Wilber (2010)

Wilber, Dana J. (2010). Special themed issue: Beyond ‘new’ literacies. Digital Culture & Education, 2(1), 1-6. http://www.digitalcultureandeducation.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/dce_editorial_wilber_2010.pdf

It is interesting (to me) that whenever a new way of doing something appears, many of the early reactions are in terms of how it compares with what has preceded it, i.e. reading on an iPad cf. reading a book. The first vehicles were termed horseless carriages. McLuhan talks about moving forward while looking into a rear view mirror. In one sense, we have few options but to make sense of the new in terms of what is familiar.

If I can quote from a recently published chapter1:

Seeing new things in terms of what we know is how humans initially make sense of the new. When cars first appeared they were talked about as horseless carriages. The first motion pictures were made by filming actors on a stage and so on11. Stephen Hill (1988, p. 44) tells a story which underlines this habit of mind. It is a story about a native of Papua New Guinea who returned to his village after hearing a radio account of the first moonwalk:

In the tradition of the people, he presented a masterful oratory on rockets and space capsules, and on men journeying through the skies to land on the moon that the people could see see above the skyline of their jungle habitat… The orator was heard in complete silence … At the end the people asked him two questions. The first was ‘Why did they go? –– was it for pigs or women?’ The second was ‘Who were they? –– Roman Catholics or Seventh Day Adventists’

This, I hope, illustrates powerfully the ways in which people attempt to explain the new in terms of the old. We routinely transfer our assumptions from one context to another. This is also seen in the way people make decisions about how to respond to particular technologies and which ones to allow into schools.

The term affordances will appear in a good deal of the literature you read. Important to track down where it came from. What is meant by the term? How is it used differently in the pieces you read?

There are a lot of other terms which might qualify as in-house jargon. Important to make notes about the ones that you come across in your notebooks.