Education and Participation: The Use of Reflective Technology to Help Students Learn

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A generation ago interest in technology was mostly technical: how to build and formally model the functioning of the technology. With the increased impact of technology on every facet of our everyday lives in business, science, education and our social lives, a larger group of effected parties have emerged. Educating students interested in the use of the technology and its significance as a form of mediation is the main topic of this talk. The talk will explore the role of collaborative reflective technology as a medium for organizing classroom activity. The use of collaborative technology changes the kind and level of student participation during the semester. Students work from text and narratives of their own experience. The objects of analysis and reflective study that are produced enable students to alternate between different frameworks of study and analysis, experiencing different kinds of roles and identities, while progressing from peripheral participation, via instructor-led lectures and discussion, to critical participation.

Keywords: Education, Participation, Reflection, Technology-Mediated Activity
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Richard Alterman

Professor, Computer Science Department
Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis Univeristy

Waltham, MA, USA

Richard Alterman is a Professor of Computer Science at Brandeis University with a joint appointment in the Volen Center for Complex Systems. His research is interdisciplinary with a strong computational basis. Early in his career his primary focus was in AI and cognitive modeling, but since then he has worked in other areas with different methods. Currently his research group is doing research on engineering online collaborative environments; he has also started a project on training and skill acquisition. The research framework of his lab uses a mix of methods from different fields, including discourse and conversation analysis, cognitive ethnography, intelligent user interfaces, HCI and CSCW, cognitive engineering, user modeling, and software engineering. He is a long time member of the Cognitive Science community, which is his core community. The common theoretical themes of his research are planning and activity, intersubjectivity, and communication. He chaired the 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. He was a founding member of the governing board for the Society of Text and Discourse, and he co-chaired the first two annual meetings.

Johann Larusson

Ph.D student, Computer Science Department, Brandeis University
Waltham, MA, USA

Johann Larusson is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at Brandeis University and a member of Richard Alterman's G.R.O.U.P. lab (Group for Research on Usability and Pragmatics). His research interests include (but are not limited to) CSCL, CSCW, and software engineering. He received the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Text and Discourse in Amsterdam 2005 for a research paper that describes a model for tracking the representational work carried out by pilots during an approach briefing. Currently his research focus is on engineering collaborative environments and analysis tools that facilitate a detailed over-the-shoulder and after-the-fact analysis and data mining of online wiki-based activities. Before arriving at Brandeis University he graduated from Reykjavik University with a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science. He has an extensive real-world experience with engineering large collaborative environments ranging from flight data processing systems for Air Traffic Controllers to shared distributed surveillance software that uses computer vision to detect foreign objects and mediate the exchange of information between guards when assessing a possible threat.

Ref: T08P0400