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Where to from here

In the following condensed paragraphs I am going to make an attempt to explicate our context a bit, where we stand and what our next focus is going to be…

I think you all agree that we are moving from mass-media (production, text, and audience ) to personalised and personal media (network forms, roles, relations, dynamics) through hybridization of old and existing media; and social and technological innovations (Lievrouw et al., 2006). We can choose how we create, understand and use media and various technologies. We are not only consumers, but also producers of information, artifacts, interactions, etc. For instance, networked technologies have become very extensive, embedded in our every day life and taken for granted in many domains. However, technologies are usually created by someone with particular purposes or uses in mind, but as the practices nowadays show, they can be adopted and used in unanticipated ways (Lievrouw et al., 2006). Every technology or system affords a certain range of interpretations and evokes user’s perception of its affordances (potential for actions and interactions). Technologies can be reinvented, reconfigured, recombined and renewed through continuous human actions and perceived technical and cultural resources. Such a phenomena affords new or different forms of social relationships, interactions, practices and experiences, but also remediate older forms. Thus, new technologies open up new, more active modes of engagement with technologies, but also with other people mediated by these technologies. People have opportunities to shape their environments and create new interactive environments according to their particular needs at a given point of time. In consequence, patterns of action and mediation differ a lot from those that were possible via old media and technologies.

As mentioned by ShedroffInteractivity is all around us and a deep part of our lives”, in this course we are going to look at interactivity around us, mainly from the perspective of humans’ perception of opportunities to create and design their own (inter)actions with emerging technologies. Our focus is going to be on technologies as instruments that mediate and support human activities, not that much of communication per se.

So, to get an idea of a role of ‘mass media’ and ‘personal media’ in technology and society we start with the following article:

Lüders, M. (2008). Concpeptualising personal media. New media and society, 10(5), 683-702.

Next, as we started our course with the attempt to comprehend complex phenomena of human activities in technologically mediated settings by describing and analysing human activities without a clear framework, we are going to look into activity theory and its potential for this purpose. Understanding how to design, evaluate, implement, or customize technology can be achieved through understanding the human activities supported by the technology and how the technology is integrated into these activities. Activity theory provides a broad conceptual framework for describing the structure, development, and context of computer-supported activities. Later it also allows us to compare the components we came up with in our joint session with the components activity system framework offers.

Specific description of tasks will follow.

Literature: Lievrouw, L. A. & Livingstone, S. (2006) .Handbook of new media: social shaping and social consequences – fully revised student edition. SAGE Publications, London.

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