Balancing media environments: digital strategies in Danish upper secondary shools

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The paper examines how students in Danish upper secondary schools experience the uses and effects of the digital environment in relation to their school activities. Theoretically a media ecological perspective (Strate 2006) is applied which understands teaching and learning practices as shaped by the interrelation between teacher, student and the media technologies. According to this perspective, media creates an environment that shapes our possibilities for acting and communicating. In a basic sense, teaching and learning is a communicative situation where, traditionally, the teacher sends information to the receiving students through a medium (e.g. speech, blackboard, book or online learning platform). Digital media challenge this situation due to their affordances (Gibson 1979) for interactivity.
Affordance has become an increasingly popular term within media studies for describing a complementary interrelation between media technologies and users and specifying how our tools and media presents us with possibilities and limitations for action. For instance, a computer affords interaction with information in contrast to e.g. a book which affords information reception. Importantly, the affordance concept implies that the user and the object influence each other in a holistic interplay. The consequences of this are twofold: 1) an object’s affordances shape the users’ understanding of their environment, and 2) user qualities such as attitudes, skills and age shape which of the object’s affordances are perceived and pursued. Consequently, we can distinguish between perceived and hidden affordances (Norman 1999), as well as affordances that are desirable and undesirable in certain contexts. Thus, this paper promotes the affordance theory as a tool for analyzing which didactic potentials and problems that emerge in a digital learning environment.
Translated title of the contributionAt balancere mediemiljøer: digitale strategier i danske gymnasier.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date19 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2017
EventNordMedia 2017: Mediated Realities - Global Challenges - University of Tampere, Finland
Duration: 17 Aug 201719 Aug 2017


ConferenceNordMedia 2017
LocationUniversity of Tampere
Internet address

ID: 182425961