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There are many barriers to the uptake of technology for teaching and learning. These have been called ‘the usual suspects’ and include lack of time and technical skills (Cooke 2008; Walker et al. 2012). However some lecturers overcome these barriers to make changes in their teaching and learning practices. This paper examines lecturers’ motivations to make use of social media tools in their teaching and learning practices based on a small scale phenomenological study of the ‘early adopters’ of these tools. The paper draws on a framework proposed by Kennedy and Lefevre (2009) for understanding the features Web 2.0 tools. The framework suggests that these tools have three broad pedagogical functions; knowledgebuilding, discussion based, and community building and six affordances;documentation, tutor support, organisation and convenience, opportunity to usethe new affordances of digital media, community building, communication. The paper argues that whilst it is important to understand the tools and their affordances and how they can be applied to teaching and learning, thi sknowledge, in itself, does not explain what drives a lecturer to choose to use them. The paper suggests that there is one overriding reason or driver for the adoption: the ‘killer affordance’ .This killer affordance is the feature which significantly enhances the learning experience for students and which motivated lecturers to make use of the tool. In particular the paper suggests that online space has unique features (ownership,persistence, asynchronicity, controllability, different online learningbehaviour and online time) which makes it entirely different from the off line,synchronous, face-to-face environment. The paper concludes that it is the features of online space that provided many lecturers with the ‘killer affordance’ which drove their adoption.The paper will be of interest to academic developers and learning technologists who seek toexplain and encourage the use of social media tools in higher education. References Cooke, R. (2008). On-line Innovation in Higher Education: DIUS.Kennedy, D., & Lefevre, D. (2009). Epigeum: Learning TechnologiesOnline. In T. Anderson (Ed.), Internet Based Collaborative Technologies Walker, R., Voce, J., & Ahmed, J. (2012). 2012 Survey of TechnologyEnhanced Learning for higher education in the UK: UCISA.
|Affiliation||University of Huddersfield|