Archive for the ‘Science and Technology Studies’ Category

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ProPEL Conference 2014: Professional Matters: materialities and virtualities of professional learning

July 2, 2014

It_is_all_in_the_questions_we_ask_fenwick_propel2014Last week I attended the very inspirering ProPEL Conference 2014: Professional Matters: materialities and virtualities of professional learning. 

I recommend tjecking out the programme booklet with abstracts as well as the ProPEL homepage with (among other) link to their new blog.

Going back home from attending a conference allways make me think: “what was the important stuff I bring with me back?”

In this case it has different forms, some of which was gained through participation in the conference twitter #2014propel dialogues. For instance: “Pedagogies of noticing” was something I had never heard of before. I definitely will look more into this, as I believe that this relates very much to the paper I presented at ProPEL, and furthermore to the paper I have presented in May 2014 at the Designs for Learning Conference.

Also, I brought a new book “Reconceptualising Professional Learning – Sociomaterial knowledges, practices and responsibilities” (Fenwick & Nerland, 2014) back with me. At a glance it looks extremely relevant and interesting. The introduction has already convinced me that it is going to be a read worth while.

Tara Fenwick held a captivating opening speech emphasizing the importance of the questions we ask as researchers. I noted two important questions:

– What is professional knowledge and capability becoming in this era of rapidly changing work?

– How can education better support this becoming?

I was happy that the paper I presented at ProPEL seemed to fit right in, and it also received quite positive response and spured interesting questions to pursue further. The paper is related to our VIOL project, focusing on welfare technology, innovation, care and learning:

“REFURNISHING SENSIBILITY BUTTONS – MOVING PROFESSIONAL CONTEXTS OF KNOWLEDGES AND ENGAGEMENTS WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

Welfare technology is taking up increasing space in health care debates, policies and professions in Denmark and worldwide. In Denmark, recent national and municipal health care strategies emphasize a radical refurnishment of the health care sector. Telemedicine, telehealth and homecare, empowerment and citizen-centric approaches are invoked as passages to the innovation of future health care practices.New actors in these health care movements are concepts like “epital” (virtual hospital), “telemedicine”,“telemonitoring”, “outmitted” and “self treating” patients. All of these movements are associated with what it implies to be working with and focusing on welfare technology. Digital technologies are seen as central actors in working with welfare technology in the professions, and central actors in forwarding the so-called new health care paradigm. In Denmark, recent research into developments of the nurse profession state that nurses increasingly experience rapid introduction of new digital technologies into their daily work practices. When it comes to the physiotherapy profession, there is a lack of knowledge about recent developments in the health care sector, and its implications for the physiotherapy profession.

In 2002 empirical philosopher Annemarie Mol stated that the new meaning of “is” is situated. Being is situated. In this spirit, welfare technology is basically about (rapidly and digitally) changing the sociomaterial configurations of health care situations – that is moving the “is” of health care practices.This paper places professional sensibility towards sociomaterially shifting contexts of knowledges and engagements as a central literacy related to the new emphasis on digitally/tele supported health care practices. With the new health care movement, we foresee increasing needs for professionals that are able to navigate between and continuously develop new professional sensibilities, related to the rapid changing situations of the professional knowledge and engagement spaces.This foregrounds being able to professionally sense and provide answers to this question as increasingly important: what are the specific implications for the professional knowledge and engagement spaces,when introducing this or that digital technology into the health care situation? Engaging with this question presupposes professional relational sensibility towards practical (sociomaterial) arrangements of alternative health care practices, and towards their implications for enacting variations of good and bad passages to the “is” of health care practices. In other words, this paper also places an argument for the increasing importance of comparative literacy in the health care profession. This is presented as“professional relational comparative sensibility”.

The paper refers to a large ongoing professional education development project at University College Zealand (UCSJ) in Denmark. The project is called Welfare Technology, Innovation, Care and Learning. It runs from January 2013 – December 2014, and includes developing welfare technology related teaching and learning practices in and across eight professional bachelor programmes at UCSJ. The project’s ambition is to further develop educational programmes in order to better raise students’ “technological literacy”.

This paper takes point of departure in the ongoing refurnishment of the health care sector, and relates these movements to two case examples from the first empirical phase of the project (January 2013–August 2013). The two cases provide different analogies to what it means to “refurnish sensitivity buttons”. The first case “health clinic and digital patient portfolios” is from module eight at the Bachelor of Physiotherapy Degree Programme. The second case “virtual rehabilitation” is from a Danish health center. The empirical gatherings are methodologically inspired by Annemarie Mol’s approach to praxiography. After a discussion of praxiography as a methodological approach to engaging with technological literacy (in this instance), the paper places technological literacy in relation to professional education in general, and more closely to the Physiotherapy Degree Programme in Denmark and at UCSJ. Thereafter, the paper presents the two cases, and refers to Moser and Law’s concepts of “extension”, “specificity”,“passages”, “bad passages”, “better passages”, as a means to engage in a relational comparative sensibility towards the shifting contexts of knowledges and engagements in physiotherapy practices.”

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Shifting ontologies of a serious game and its relationships with English education for beginners

March 29, 2011

Just want to raise awareness of a series of papers to be published in a special issue of E-learning and Digital Media, Vol 8, issue 3, 2011.

The call for papers is copy-pasted below:

“Media: Digital, Ecological and Epistemological

Special issue of E-Learning and Digital Media, Editor Dr. Norm Friesen

Media today are everywhere. From educational gaming through portable e-texts to cell phones ringing in class, it seems we can’t escape. Nor can we live without media; instead, they form a kind of ecology that we inhabit. In addition, media have an epistemological function; they shape both what we know and how we come to know it: “Whatever we know about our society, or indeed about the world in which we live,” as Niklas Luhman observed, “we know through… media.”

Speaking of media in education suggests a range of possibilities that are different from what is suggested by educational technology (electronic, digital or otherwise). Describing computers and the Internet specifically as digital media casts their role not as mental tools to be integrated into instruction, but as “forms” and “cultures” requiring “literacies” or acculturation. In this way, speaking of media in education brings instructional environments more closely together with the world outside. Explorations of these terms and possibilities have been initiated by the likes of Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman and Elizabeth Eisenstein, and they are also touched upon in research on media literacies. However, more recent theoretical developments and accelerated mediatic change –from blogging through networked gaming to texting and sexting– offer innumerable opportunities for further exploration.

This special issue of E-Learning and Digital Media invites contributions that focus on media, particularly digital media, and their ecological and epistemological ramifications. Specific topics may include:

  • School and classroom as media (ecologies) and the changing world outside
  • Digital challenges to media literacy and literacies
  • Media socialization and media education
  • Histories of media and education
  • The epistemological character of (new) media”

To see the draft of table of contents for this special issue:  Issuecontents ELEA 8_3_proof

Our paper:

Shifting ontologies of a serious game and its relationships with English education for beginners

Publication: Research – peer review › Article

This paper takes its point of departure in a language project, which is a subproject under the larger ongoing (2007-2011) research project Serious Games on a Global Market Place. The language project follows how the virtual universe known as Mingoville (http://www.mingoville.com/) becomes an actor in English education for beginners. The virtual universe provides an online environment for students beginning to learn English in schools and at home. This paper will focus on the shifting ontologies of Mingoville and teaching and learning situations in beginners’ English. This paper takes its point of departure in neither Mingoville as part of the media ecologies of the classroom, nor in the epistemological ramifications of Mingoville. Instead, it suggests that opening up the shifting ontologies of Mingoville (i.e. what mediates Mingoville and its relationships with doing beginners English) may offer a different and useful approach to understanding how Mingoville becomes a multiple actor. It reveals that such an actor both influences, and is influenced by, manifold constitutive entanglements involved in organizing English teaching and learning activities for beginners. Theoretically and methodologically, the paper, the empirical gatherings and analysis, are inspired by science and technology studies (STS) and actor-network-theory (ANT). The arguments and descriptions provided throughout the paper will focus on the shifting ontologies of Mingoville as it moves into, and out of, different teaching and learning situations of English for beginners.
Original language English
Journal E-Learning and Digital Media
Publication date 2011
Volume 8
Journal number 3
Number of pages 24
ISSN 1741-8887

Keywords

  • English education for beginners, e-learning, Digital learning resources, Virtual worlds, primary and lower secondary school, media and ICT, ANT (Actor-Network-Theory), Entanglement approach, Relational Ontology, serious games, Educational technology research

APA

Hansbøl, M., & Meyer, B. (2011). Shifting ontologies of a serious game and its relationships with English education for beginners. E-Learning and Digital Media, 8(3).
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Poster and positioning paper from ECGBL 2010

November 13, 2010

I presented my Mingoville research at the 4th European Conference on Games-Based Learning on October 21-22 2010.

I have linked to my poster here: ECGBL_2010_poster_MH_240810. The poster was supplemented and further elaborated in a positioning paper to be found in Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Games-Based Learning, pages 499-503.

Paper title: “Alternatives and Passages: English Teaching, Learning, and Mingoville”.

Abstract: While much research into serious games focus on following teaching and/or learning activities, and particularly the human and institutional actors involved in these, the central actors of game based learning research (i.e. the games) seldom get much attention (unless the focus is so-called “technological”). This brief positioning paper takes point of departure in an ongoing postdoc project following circulations and establishments of http://www.mingoville.com/, which is a virtual universe with game based elements developed for beginning English teaching and learning.  The paper presents a Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) inspired approach to researching emerging passages between beginning English teaching and learning and Mingoville.

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Virtual Worlds – SERIOUSLY

October 7, 2010

As previously mentioned here, last week I did a presentation at the Virtual Worlds project’s workshop “Augmenting Reality in the Public Domain”.

It was an interesting day with good discussions on amon other the constructions of the “serious” in serious games and serious virtual worlds. I deliberately turned my title around to “Virtual Worlds – SERIOUSLY” because I wanted to indicate that there exist many ways to engage with virtual worlds seriously. I also wanted to insert that the boundaries between what makes a virtual world and a serious game are not very clear. They might in fact become partially contained in each other.

In my talk, the focus was on assemblages of relationships between education and virtual worlds. As previously mentioned here, CarrieLynn Reinhard and I went to Singapore in June where we met up with representatives from the InfoComm Development Association and people from two schools working with various initiatives to engage with and construct virtual worlds for both educational and gaming purposes.

CarrieLynn’s presentation at the workshop introduced how the government in Singapore is thinking strategically in terms of virtual worlds for tourism, and my presentation was more focused on what seems to mark the Singaporean mergers between education and virtual worlds (with the limited knowledge we have). I supplemented this with a focus on my research following how a particular virtual universe Mingoville.com moves and becomes moved in and out of schools, homes and other contexts dealing with education ‘in the world’ (i.e. in Vietnam, Singapore, Finland, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Chile, Nigeria, China).

(Too) Briefly put, I suggested (and this is very much to be considered work in progress) that we are dealing with many different constructions of what it means to work seriously with virtual worlds (e.g.):

  • Built/designed/structured around/for serious purposes with learning goals/purposes
  • Used for serious purposes for learning goals / purposes
  • The imaginary that learning transfer happens from the serious game/gaming/virtual world engagements to other situations.

Furthermore, I explicited three variations as examples of approaches to serious engagements in virtual worlds:

  • Virtual worlds used for / engaged in  local/regional/periodic educational situations (e.g. secondlife.com and the Singaporean virtual world constructed for education and youth olympic games engagements. See CarrieLynn’s and my slides for examples and elaborations).
  • Virtual world / learning environment developed locally (e.g. for a school) with more long-term serious aims (e.g. several examples can be found in Singapore’s Future Schools projects that merge serious games, virtual world elements and LMS/VLE elements).
  • Serious games /virtual worlds developed for serious purposes with a broader scope/market (e.g. the world as market) and more broad educational aim – ‘educational oxygens’ (e.g. Mingoville.com and the Serious Games Interactive series). Those may include both shorter periodic activities and more long-term engagements.

These examples represent quite different ways to construct hybridities between serious games and virtual worlds, and how these can in various ways adress and become actors that augment different aspects of educational activities and thereby assist in solving/supporting various educational challenges in the world.

 I would love to get comments on my attempts to describe these matters.

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4th European Conference on Game Based Learning (ECGBL)

September 6, 2010

This year’s ECGBL will be held on October 21-22 at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University (Copenhagen, Denmark). It is not too late to register!

Considering the many interesting titles represented among the accepted abstracts, I think that it is going to be an interesting conference. I will be presenting a short positioning paper and poster with the title “Alternatives and Passages: English Teaching, Learning, and Mingoville”. In this paper I present (too briefly) the Science and Technology Studies inspired methodology and four analytic strategies that I engage with to study enactments of passages between English teaching/learning and Mingoville.com ‘in the world’. The contribution of this paper is to the further development of research strategies that include emerging enactments of an educational game/virtual world as an educational alternative in heterogeneously constituted everyday ways of living.

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Opportunity to partially follow EASST 2010 in Trento online NOW

September 2, 2010

Right now the EASST 2010 conference is going on in Trento, Italy. I received an e-mail about EASST related online events ( Twitter and blog) that might be of interest to others like me that were not able to participate themselves.

The people behind the two initiatives write that it is:

a project for all those who don’t find
the time or money to go to conferences

“Practising science and technology, performing the social” is the title of the EASST010 conference in Trento (Italy) which takes place from 2nd to 4th September 2010. Many researchers in science and technology studies will go there, probably some technologists too. And a few students will be there too. There are usually much more students interested in conference themes than those who actually find the time and money to finally attend such a conference.

For all those who cannot physically go to this conference, we started this little project, to in return make our own conference visit possible (as we got some financial support for this project by the local students union). On this weblog we will provide live commentary of what we encounter at the conference. Additionally we will put here daily reflections on what is going on at the conference. We also will try to find some well-known science and technology scholars who have time to do an interview, which then will be provided at the blog.”

The initiators call themselves “a bunch of computer science as well as science and technology students from Vienna (Austria)”. They launch everything in accordance with this Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike license which is worth looking at too for inspiration.

It is a wonderful initiative (that also illustrates the conference title perfectly), and I look forward to following the emerging activities. Hopefully a lot of EASST participants will feel encouraged to share their experiences and reflections on the blog and via Twitter.

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PhD thesis and defense

May 20, 2010

Yihaa, I am defending my PhD thesis on 3 June 2010. See and download the announcement here at the Danish Association of Science and Technology Studies’ homepage. Hope to see you at the defense :-).

Download the thesis: Hansbøl, Mikala (2009) Researching Relationships between ICTs and Education: Suggestions for a Science ‘of’ Movements, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University

I just stumpled upon this fun blogpost about different ways to conduct PhD defenses in the world. This is actually kind of interesting.