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Natalie Jeremijenko

Changing Structures of Participation In New Media Education

UC San Diego

What opportunities do new technologies provide to transform and improve pedagogy, particularly in the context of digital and technology based curricula? I will discuss four experiments in two distinct arenas.
Firstly in the realm of internet-based, or asynchronous and cumulative learning context I will present two projects-- SCAPE: a friendster/ napster hybrid that facilitates file-sharing through social networks; and HSIM: a wiki-based visual encyclopedia that  documents labor conditions and manufacturing processes. The former focuses on group forming and, the latter builds interaction between industry and academia. Both develop evidence that the way we structure participation changes what information is produced, who produces it, and how it circulates. Both provide material to question what these changes may mean for learning.
In the 2nd realm I will discuss the opportunity presented by synchronous and co-present contexts. In two projects I explore the potential of a) computer labs and b) outdoor public space for effective participation in interpretive learning. Computer lab spaces are still new spaces, the first to have appeared in educational institutions in decades. They present the opportunity to facilitate the sort of learning that is under achieved in other institutionalized learning spaces (lecture hall, classrooms, bench labs, library). In the last 15 years many different computer lab designs have been implemented, in particular in engineering and new media education, and in institutions of informal learning (museums and galleries). These have produced some insights in how physical and social resources effect interactions therein--and I will present empirical results from an extensive ethnographic analysis and design propositions. In contrast to lab space inside institutions, taking and facilitate learning into outdoor public space can also change who participates in the learning activity. Using mobile computational platforms 'in the wild' provides a study of how people exchange information and interpret results that are rendered for the diverse participants that come with public sites.
Each of these projects suggest that the structure of participation is a primary pedagogical effect that can be changed, and potentially improved with the introduction of computation.

  • About Natalie Jeremijenko:

Natalie Jeremijenko, is an Assistant Professor in Visual Art, UCSD, the McPherson Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Science at Michigan State University, and the 2005 holder of the Mildred C. Brinn Endowed Chair at Skowhegan. She is known to work with the Bureau of Inverse Technology.

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