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Title: Beyond Access: Informed Participation and Empowerment
Authors: Arias, Ernesto G
Eden, Hal
Fischer, Gerhard
Gorman, Andrew
Scharff, Eric
Issue Date: Dec-1999
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Arias, E. G., Eden, H., Fischer, G., Gorman, A., & Scharff, E. (1999). Beyond Access: Informed Participation and Empowerment. In Hoadley, C. M. & Roschelle, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 1999 Conference. Palo Alto, CA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: This paper is based on the fundamental claim that one of the major roles of new media is not to deliver predigested information to individuals, but to provide the opportunity and resources for social debate and discussion. For most design problems (ranging from urban design to graphics design and software design) that we have studied over many years, the knowledge to understand, frame, and solve these problems does not exist, but is constructed and evolved during the process of solving them, exploiting the power of the "symmetry of ignorance" and "breakdowns." From this perspective, access to existing information and knowledge (often seen as the major advance of new media) is a very limiting concept. Many social and technological innovations are limited to provide primarily better access, leading to "consumer" cultures. Our approach focuses and creates support for lifelong learning activities grounded in informed participation and empowerment, allowing learners to incrementally acquire ownership in problems and contribute actively to their solution.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 1999

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