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Affordances of tools and media

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a several individuals at ED-Media who’ve provided much opportunity for discourse and debate. Over the last few days, I’ve had several conversations with Kai Pata from Estonia (see her excellent blog Taming the Spaces). Over dinner, shared panel, and beverages, we’ve tackled a few concepts – including the notion of affordances. Kai views affordances as arising not from the tool itself, but rather the context of use (great diagram at the end of her post). As I mentioned her comments section, the affordance of a tool or media possesses at least three elements: 1) the tool itself (what it was designed for), 2) what end-users opt to do with a tool, 3) the context of use which impacts/influences tool use.