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Reading Multimodally: What is Afforded?


Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy Volume 55, Number 1, ISSN 1081-3004


Technological changes and the proliferation of digital devices have created new reading experiences for students. The rapid transition from print to digital texts is evident in the movement toward the adoption of an e-book standard, increasing sales of e-book readers and tablet devices, and projections that universities and public schools may use more e-textbooks and e-book devices than print curricula in the near future. Considering these changes, it is necessary to examine the digital tools and the theoretical perspective of affordances, a term originally coined in ecological psychology. This column discusses how affordances are related to multimodal texts. It examines three promising tools with multimodal affordances and argues that this perspective might offer educators a new way of conceptualizing how to use emerging digital technologies. (Contains 4 figures.)


O'Brien, D. & Voss, S. (2011). Reading Multimodally: What is Afforded?. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1), 75-78. Retrieved April 19, 2019 from .

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Cited By

  1. Turn on the book: Using affordance theory to understand the adoption of digital textbooks by university lecturers.

    Debborah Smith, Jeffrey E. Brand & Shelley Kinash, Bond University

    ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2013 (2013) pp. 812–820

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