Microcultures, Local Communities, and Virtual Networks

Microcultures, Local Communities, and Virtual Networks

José Luis Lalueza (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Isabel Crespo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) and Marc Bria (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-970-0.ch009
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Through a case study, we will exemplify how ICT can be used in a collaborative way to constitute the foundations of intercultural projects in local and global communities. First, we present a local learning community based on the Fifth Dimension model where, adopting a collaborative model, each of its activities departed from the traditional teaching-learning form based on transmission. Collaboration mediated by ICT in local computer-supported learning communities, understood to be borderer zones that are not the exclusive property of any one specific cultural group, has the potential to generate genuine neo-cultures in which participants can share meanings and appropriate artefacts. Second, the same approach is adopted to analyse the dialogue established between educational researchers and technologists. Setting out with different goals, both groups engaged in a borderer activity involving the development of educational artefacts that could be accessed via the Internet. Common participation in those activities gave rise to a set of shared beliefs, knowledge, behaviours and customs, i.e. a network of meanings that crystallised into a common microculture.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Microculture: Here in the sense of ideoculture, i.e. a system of knowledge, beliefs, behaviours and customs shared by the members of an interacting group to which the members can refer and which serves as the foundations for new interactions. Members recognise that they share experiences and that these can be alluded to with the expectation that they will be understood by the other members, thus using them to construct a reality for the participants.

Content Management System (CMS): When organizations realized that a webmaster could be a “bottleneck” for their presence in the net, new applications were developed thought to make easier to publish digital creations (texts, images, video, audio, documents...) in web pages. Those systems, that define user’s roles, assist during the publication workflows, and introduce a lot of automatisms to administrate content, allow authors to publish their content directly without the need of any intermediary.

Collaborative Learning: Methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task in which each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. Groups of students work together in searching for understanding, meaning or solutions or in creating an artefact of their learning, such as a product.

Borderer activity: Spaces where exchange and dialogue is possible between cultures. In such activities, each participant arrives with his or her particular goals and motives, but different actors and institutions can negotiate and try to construct common goals.

Copyleft: The Free Software Fundation and some other associations, created this concept to label a set of licenses that defend different kinds of freedom in cultural creations. Those licenses are the legal base that allows the construction of a common repository of knowledge free to reach and adapt by everybody interested in. Wikipedia (2007) says: “Copyleft is a form of licensing and may be used to modify copyrights for works such as computer software, documents, music, and art. In general, copyright law allows an author to prohibit others from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the author’s work. In contrast, an author may, through a copyleft licensing scheme, give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work as long as any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same copyleft licensing scheme.”

Inter-subjectivity: Shared meanings constructed by people in their interactions with each other and used as an everyday resource to interpret the meaning of elements of social and cultural life. Inter-subjectivity allows people to share a definition of the situation, and is the basis for a meaningful collaboration.

Wiki: A classical wiki is a subtype of CMS without any publication workflow (creations are directly published, without any revision), without any role (every user of the system get the same rights) and with a strong version system (that guarantee that any data will be lost). Those kind of systems that allow a kind of collaboration where every user is equal to others (so modifications could be done in a fast and easy way), become popular with “wikipedia” that is also a good example of a wiki.y

Artefacts: Tools and symbols that, mediating the actions between subject and object, transform both. An artefact is an aspect of the material world that has changed during the history of their incorporation into human action aimed at targets. They are the basic constituent of a culture, and are the constituents of its “possible” worlds and realities.

Activity: Psychological analysis unit in the frame of the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory . It is an indivisible set of situated practices where we could identify subject actions oriented to goals and mediated by artefacts. All activities are articulated in a cultural framework of meanings. The perspectives introduce rules, community bonds and division of labour as elements that must also be identified in activity analysis. Activity theory helps explain how social artefacts and social organization mediate social action.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Thomas Hansson
Thomas Hansson
Thomas Hansson
Chapter 1
Abdul Azad
This chapter presents the development of a modular Internet-based laboratory facility using cutting edge technologies along with its implementation... Sample PDF
The Modular Design of an Internet-Based Laboratory
Chapter 2
Carl Bagley
This chapter draws on the analysis and (re)presentation of qualitative research undertaken on a UK government project known as Sure Start, an... Sample PDF
Exploring Multimedia Performance in Educational Research
Chapter 3
Mads Bo-Kristensen, Bente Meyer
This chapter focuses on the relationship between remediation and educational innovation in Information and Communications Technology- (ICT)... Sample PDF
Transformations of the Language Laboratory
Chapter 4
Leena Hiltunen, Tommi Kärkkäinen
A topic-case driven methodology for a web course design and realization process is based on software engineering metaphors for capturing the... Sample PDF
A Topic-Case Driven Methodology for Web Course Design
Chapter 5
Hamish Holewa
The chapter aims to document the challenges associated with the management of an international research program and to look at innovative... Sample PDF
New Paradigms: A Collaborative Web Based Research Tool
Chapter 6
Jonas Ivarsson, Göran Karlsson
The overall aim of this chapter is to explore some of the pedagogical potentials, as well as limitations, of animations displaying complex... Sample PDF
Animations in Science Education
Chapter 7
Andrew Kitchenham
This chapter outlines a recent study on 1:1 computing and teacher transformation. It begins with an introduction to the theoretical framework of... Sample PDF
One to One Computing and Teacher Transformation
Chapter 8
Gennadiy Kuleshov
The use of web enhanced curriculum to teach and reinforce science concepts based on specific learning objectives has been a positive experience for... Sample PDF
Web Enhanced vs. Traditional Approach for a Science Course
Chapter 9
José Luis Lalueza, Isabel Crespo, Marc Bria
Through a case study, we will exemplify how ICT can be used in a collaborative way to constitute the foundations of intercultural projects in local... Sample PDF
Microcultures, Local Communities, and Virtual Networks
Chapter 10
Monica E. Nilsson
The aim of this chapter is to discuss digital storytelling in the context of education. Two questions guide the study: What is a digital story? What... Sample PDF
Digital Storytelling as a Tool in Education
Chapter 11
Nancy Sardone, Roberta Devlin-Scherer
Today’s middle school students represent a generation growing up where digital tools abound and where using them for home and school is the norm.... Sample PDF
Multi-User Virtual Learning Environments in Education
Chapter 12
Anne Bartlett-Bragg
This chapter proposes that social software can enable informal learning environments through collective learning networks and the fundamental social... Sample PDF
Pedagogical Practice for Learning with Social Software
Chapter 13
Josianne Basque, Kim Dao, Julien Contamines
The goal of this chapter is to illustrate how the concept of authentic learning can be implemented in a web-based distance course. We present a... Sample PDF
Authentic E-Learning in a Virtual Scientific Conference
Chapter 14
Albino Claudio Bosio, Guendaline Graffigna, Edoardo Lozza
Starting from a review of current dominant points of view about online focus groups, the authors outline the results of a research project in which... Sample PDF
Toward Theory and Technique for Online Focus Groups
Chapter 15
Robert Dixon, Kathyrn Dixon
A longitudinal study of students in the Training and Development program at Curtin University of Technology has been undertaken in an attempt to... Sample PDF
Online Pedagogical Effectiveness in Adult Contexts
Chapter 16
Leah Herner-Patnode, Hea-Jin Lee, Eun-ok Baek
The number of learning opportunities that are technology mediated (E-learning) is increasing as institutions of higher learning discover the value... Sample PDF
Reflective E-Learning Pedagogy
Chapter 17
Louise Limberg, Mikael Alexandersson, Annika Lantz-Andersson
The purpose of this chapter is to present and discuss findings from a study of students’ information seeking and use for a learning assignment. The... Sample PDF
To be Lost and to be a Loser Through the Web
Chapter 18
Heather Lotherington
Contemporary conceptualizations of literacy as socially and culturally situated practice must be framed in our digitally-mediated, glocalized... Sample PDF
Digital Epistemologies and Classroom Multiliteracies
Chapter 19
John Paul Loucky
This chapter integrates important challenges of how to improve accessibility, readability and learnability of online content. It is concerned with... Sample PDF
Improving Online Readability and Information Literacy
Chapter 20
Anoush Margaryan, Betty Collis
This paper focuses on tools and strategies to integrate the strengths of formal and informal learning in the corporate context via the use of... Sample PDF
Technology-Enhanced Learning in the Corporate Context
Chapter 21
Robert J. McClelland
This work is concerned with the evolution of blended learning supports for university students in moving from early Virtual Learning Environment... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning Environment Blends
Chapter 22
Kathryn Moyle, Robert Fitzgerald
An emerging trend in education research methods is to integrate digital technologies into the research process. Electronic focus groups represent... Sample PDF
Education Research with Electronic Focus Groups
Chapter 23
Staffan Selander, Anna Åkerfeldt
School pedagogy is being questioned. Increasing migration as well as increasing access to information and new patterns of communication are... Sample PDF
Learning and Meaning Making in the Virtual Space
Chapter 24
Thomas Hansson
Research into human behaviour have produced much innovative modelling, some respectable instrumentation, but little empirical theory-testing. This... Sample PDF
Communication and Relation Building in Social Systems
Chapter 25
Agnes Kukulska-Hulme
Advancements in technology are a significant driving force in educational innovation, but a strong focus on technology means that human aspects and... Sample PDF
Human Factors and Innovation with Mobile Devices
Chapter 26
Irit Kupferberg
This chapter presents and illustrates the theoretical and methodological frameworks of a discourse-oriented approach to the study of... Sample PDF
Self-Construction in Computer Mediated Discourse
Chapter 27
Jeanette Lemmergaard, Damien Brigth, Christopher Gersbo-Møller, Tim Hansson
Through a case study based on a knowledge-sharing community of Danish plant growers, this chapter examines how an IT system can be designed to... Sample PDF
Design and Implementation of Trust Enabling Functions
Chapter 28
Steve McRobb, Pat Jefferies, Bernd Carsten Stahl
In this chapter, a framework which models at a high level the interactions between technology, pedagogy and ethics is applied to the interpretation... Sample PDF
Lost in the Funhouse, is Anyone in Control?
Chapter 29
Konrad Morgan, Madeleine Morgan
Since the inception of the Internet in the late 1960´s, technological advances in the field of Information Communications Technology (ICT) have... Sample PDF
Ethical Issues in Digital Information Technology
Chapter 30
Olli Mäkinen
This chapter deals with the influence of mediation in different kinds of virtual environments, e.g. virtual conferences, e-learning platforms... Sample PDF
Philosophy of Web-Based Mediation
Chapter 31
Lars-Erik Nilsson, Anders Eklöf, Torgny Ottoson
The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate how access to information through the implementation of digital information and communication... Sample PDF
Unstructured Information as a Socio-Technical Dilemma
Chapter 32
Anders D. Olofsson, Ola J. Lindberg
The importance of incorporating an ethical perspective in the development of digital competence is discussed. It is argued that an ethical... Sample PDF
An Ethical Perspective on ICT in the Context of the Other
Chapter 33
John Traxler
The increasing diversity, availability and functionality of mobile and wireless technologies over the last four or five years has accelerated the... Sample PDF
Mobile Learning in a Social, Ethical, and Legal Environment
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