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« Washington Post on blogs and "memogate" | Main | More on conversation »

Tuesday, September 21, 2004



Here's my slant on Marcus' way of viewing the dimensions of conversation ...

dynamic - perhaps where there is movement of ideas and development over time. And if one was to glimpse this progression, what would it look like?

interactive - where there is a to-ing and fro-ing of sorts, and where the interchanges shape progression, perhaps. Are there aspects of the technology itself that are 'interactive', do you think? Actually that reminds me of Lucy Suchman's reply in a recent issue of Journal of the Learning Sciences 12(2):

Interaction ... is not the stage on which the exchange of messages takes place, or the means through which intentionality and interpretation operationalize themselves. Rather, interaction is a name for the ongoing, contingent co-production of a shared social/material world. Interactivity as engaged participation with others cannot be stipulated in advance, but requires an autobiography, a presence, and a projected future. In this strong sense, I would argue, we have yet to realize the production of an interactive machine ...

What characterizes those new media are their unprecedented dynamics, based on their underlying computational mechanism. More than conversation at the interface, we need the creative elaboration of the particular dynamic capacities that these new media afford, and of the ways that through them humans and machines together can perform interesting new effects. These are avenues that have just begun to be explored, primarily in the fields of new media, graphics and animation, art and design. Not only do these experiements promise innovations in our thinking about machines, but they open up the equally exciting prospect of new conceptualizations of what it means to be human, understood not as a monadic, rational entity but as an unfolding, shifting biography of culturally specific experience and relations, inflected for each of us in uniquely particular ways.

open-ended - so many different pathways to understanding in a learning context, and an individual's own agenda drives the interaction (not predetermined, or scaffolded?) - so the environment enables an individual to generate knowledge itself, drawing from a cultural heritage?? (as contrast to being instructive, transmissive?)

searching - this sounds like exploring and locating what is of value and worthwhile??

linking aspects - I'm not sure whether there are hints of collective learning here - whether this aspect (and what occurs here) subsumes all the above ones ...

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