Reciprocal Interaction

Aligning closely with my personal definition of technology as interactive affordances, is Jonassen’s (2000) thinking on technology as “cognitive affordances”. Jonassen supports constructivist methods of learning and suggests that technology use requires students to think purposefully about how and why they are using technology while inquiring, knowledge building, problem solving, collaborating and self assessing. In addition to Jonassen’s perspective, technology defined as interactive affordances requires students to actively participate with technology through an actual relationship established through processes of input and reciprocal output. Generally within the interaction, the student is required to provide input while the technology responds with output. This type of interaction augments the learning experience for the student, creating a reciprocal environment; the student and technology participate in a dialogue experience, rather than the student passively receiving a technological monologue.

In designing a TELE (technology enhanced learning environment), incorporating the following five areas of learning is ideal: planning, collaborating, creating, sharing and reflecting. Each of these five areas requires an interactive approach with technology, along with an engaging relationship with varied digital tool possibilities. Designing spaces that allow for individual and collaborative learning provides opportunity for students to synthesize and articulate their own ideas, and then join together with others to receive feedback and new ideas. Collaboration and feedback also include teacher scaffolding through questioning, comments and formative assessment. Interactive affordances and the reciprocal nature of learning within this TELE occurs because of relationship with both the technology and other individuals.


Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Computers as mindtools for schools, 2nd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/ Prentice Hall. Retrieved from Google Scholar:

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