Information Technologies Socialise Geographies

Information Technologies Socialise Geographies

Gilbert Ahamer (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria) and Josef Strobl (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2010070101

Abstract

One of the ethical tasks and practical effects of IT is bridging and spanning different locations, thereby “socialising” across diverse “geographies of understanding”. A dozen documented case studies use IT (especially Geographic Information Sciences) in distance learning. The underlying conceptual model of a network society combined with empirical research on long-term civilisational and economic evolution leads to a general understanding of Information Technologies as facilitators of a multi-perspectivist and multi-disciplinary construction of world views (m:n type of science). Such a synopsis of education, structural evolution, social spaces and institutional change provides insight into IT’s strategic role of facilitating consensus building and constructing common world views that can socially converge (“socialise”) isolated cultures of understanding. “Geography” is here seen as a provider of world views that emerge from communicative action. The presented cases in this paper span both geographic locations as well as constructed cultures of understanding.
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Background

What is Learning?

Several basic approaches can be taken towards learning. The direction in which one understands learning predetermines the learning setting considered as optimal. Consequently, it is a prerequisite to reach clarity about how one might understand “learning”. This chapter proposes:

  • 1.

    learning as mental structural change (psychological approach)

  • 2.

    learning as leapfrogging biological and evolutionary cycles (evolutionist approach)

  • 3.

    learning as creating new (mental, existential) spaces by reflection (ontological approach).

In any case, it will be useful to keep in mind both learning of individuals and learning of society.

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