Sociocultural Theory, the L2 Writing Process, and Google Drive: Strange Bedfellows?

Sociocultural Theory, the L2 Writing Process,
and Google Drive: Strange Bedfellows?
Nikolay Slavkov
TESL Canada Journal Vol 32, No 2 (2015)
This article provides an overview of sociocultural theory, relates it to the process approach to writing and suggests that Google Drive can be an effective tool to enhance simultaneous engagement of learners and promote learning.   The author notes that word processing software has long been used in the process approach to writing, but that the affordances of Google Drive go beyond what is possible using word processing software alone. He describes Google Drive’s main features and outlines its  affordances for writing instruction. He provides sample course organization templates along with examples of tasks that take advantage of these affordances. These include the ability to create a document, store it, share it dynamically and collaborate in real time with other readers and instructors who can edit and comment on it either synchronously or asynchronously.

Learning to Identify and Actualize Affordances in a New Tool.

Karen J. Haines. (2015). Learning to Identify and Actualize Affordances in a New Tool. Language Learning & Technology, 19(1), 165–180.

This report suggests a reflective process that identifies both the technical features of a tool and its ability to allow learners to achieve their learning goals which may help teachers cope with the increasing number of technologies available. The study defines affordance as the potential that teachers perceive in a technology tool to support activities in their contexts. Other research has noted that teachers may learn how to use a tool, but they may not learn why they might use it. The study looks at the affordances of blogs and wikis and reports on both initial and later perceptions of two teachers as they familiarized themselves with these tools and saw possibilities in their use as they explored them over time. Their learning was based mostly on experimentation in their classrooms along with reading research and good practice about the two tools. The study ends with suggestions for teacher training in situated contexts so that teachers have ample opportunity to use a wide range of tools and be trained to judge their affordances for themselves.

Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/february2015/haines.pdf