06 SES 07, Trans-Disciplinary Exploration and Digital Materials
A ‘mediatic turn’, as has been recently argued by Theo Hug (2013) discussing earlier works of Schulz (2004), Rusch (2009) and Mills (2010), can be described as an attempt to create a complementary relationship amongst contemporary perspectives that serve to materialize varied discursive practices that bring forward constellations of what we come to know today as ‘media society’, ‘knowledge society’ and even ‘network society’. The expanded field of web based communication technologies along with globalization processes (linked to particular political and economic agendas) serve to an increasing spectrum of possibilities for the reorganization and renegotiation of practices, images of practices and their public understanding at specific educational, entertainment and working places.
As has been experienced several times in the past but remains also an issue today, synchronous developments in technology and digital media in particular (including the web, expressive and social media) have made it increasingly possible to engage in ‘sharing’ practices of digital material of varied genres but also to participate within digital spaces and collectives that afford ‘communication’ and ‘cognition’ around areas of interest. Sharing, here, may refer to a complex scope of activities of ‘give and take’ and actions that involve the representation, transformation and expansion of traditional information networks into far-reaching educational or epistemic communities and life-worlds. Communication and cognition, as they are interrelated with multiple facets of sharing, deal with dimensions of constructing, distributing and transforming knowledge (see Hug, 2013, 2012). This complex potentiality, also refer to as the ‘medialization of knowledge’, needs to be based on a recognition of knowledge and its relation to self and the world as plural and fragmented. As Hug (2013) explains within this optic ‘…it will be easier to deal with the many aspects of the medialization of knowledge, even without resource to an elaborate multimedially, multisensorially, multicodally and multimodally differentiated epistemology’ (p. 33).
Taken the above into consideration, one may wonder how educators and designers may respond to this complex set of potentialities as they become forwarded by such an urgent , inescapable and unavoidable ‘mediatic turn’ that we experience in our contemporary digital times, either we want it or not, and even, either we can rationalize it or not. In this paper we aim to discuss our tentative endeavors towards the design of a virtual space that takes into account this vast availability of digital fragments of knowledge in all sorts of expressive forms (i.e. video segments, pictures, sound, digitalized text) either accessed through the web (e.g. portals, YouTube) or collected through research efforts (e.g. fieldwork studies, teaching experiments, interview vignettes). Our effort has geared to focus on the creation of a portal entitled ‘street mathematics’ that captures a double metaphor. First it engages with a spatial representation of digital fragments of information utilizing metaphors such as the city, streets, routes, scenes, meeting points etc. And second, it emphasizes and explores how processes such as sharing, communication and cognition could become facilitated, supported but also transformed via representational forms that take into consideration the spatiotemporal dimension. The project ‘street mathematics’ synthesizes (collects and represents) digital fragments concerning varied narratives of people’s relation to mathematical practices and distributes them (shares and disseminates) in ways that eventually enable transformative ways of communicating, understanding and learning.
Hug, T. 2013. On the Medialization of Knowledge in Digital age. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 3 (11), 22-35 Mills, K. 2010. A review of the ‘digital turn’ in the New Literacy studies. Review of Educational Research. 80 (2), 246-271 Shulz, W. 2004. Reconstructing mediatization as an analytical concept. European Journal of Communication. 19(1), 87-101.
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