Wednesday, October 01, 2008

shape shifting; the effects of computer and communication technologies in counselling

I'm currently editing a paper I have submitted to ASCILITE 2008. The paper looks at how the emergent uses of communication and computer technologies are shaped as well as reshaping a youth counselling agency. The study is still in progress. I would appreciate comments, here's the beginning

Cn I jus txt, coz I don wan 2b heard

When integrating new technologies into practice, we tend to think of ourselves as designers or directors of our own practices. In contrast, this paper considers how technologies may be shaping practices and/or shaping us. In studying change as communication and computer technologies are integrated within a community youth counselling centre, I explore the web of relations where human and non-human actors have influence. The research presented in this paper is informed by actor-network theory (ANT), an approach investigating the material semiotics of what shapes, and is shaped. In this paper, the particular and peculiar effects of mobile phones for text messaging are explored. The effects are not considered in terms of being good or bad. To this author, attempting such normative evaluation is like asking: is talking to strangers good or bad? The answer must be: it depends. Whether the changes that occur are anticipated, desirable, able to be enhanced or moderated requires a fuller understanding of processes involved. Initial findings suggest there are implications for educators considering this medium, whether for providing pastoral care or in integrating text messaging as a medium for learning. The use of a texting medium provides unexpected challenges as well as the opportunities foreseen.

1 comment:

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