Impact of Networked Communications on Social Groupings

ASIS 1994 Midyear Session
Wed, May 25, 10:45 AM
Moderated by Howard Besser

Using Internet Resources to Teach About Internet Impact
Howard Besser, faculty , <howard@info.berkeley.edu>; Carolyn Smith, student <carolyn@info.berkeley.edu>

Reports on experimental methods used to teach a course on the social implications of new information technologies at the University of California. Methods include: using electronic messaging to focus class discussion, an ongoing close analysis of current newspaper articles to critically examine underlying implications of current events, and role-playing on electronic networks to explore gender issues. Howard will be introducing the subject, and Carolyn will be giving a talk based upon extenstions of her paper Community Memory: A Case Study of Factors That Influenced an Academic Class's Use of an Online Public Message System, following which Howard and Carolyn will be discussing the course in general.

Virtual Communities: The 90's Mind Altering Drug or Facilitator of Human Interaction?
Jaye Lapachet, student <jlapache@info.berkeley.edu>

Examines the social benefits and drawbacks to virtual communities. Looks at issues of discrimination, message sorting, and gatekeeping. Is particularly concerned with the two-way nature of communication, and uses theories of the "spectacle" and "representation" to postulate what might happen if the "Information Superhighway" follows the model of television or advertising.

Distance Learning
Natalie K. Munn, student <nkmunn@info.berkeley.edu>

In Spring '94, Professor Jeff Dozier at UC Santa Barbara opened his graduate course, "Information Systems for the Study of Global Change," to students at remote sites. I enrolled as a remote student from UC Berkeley.Professor Dozier used picture-tel, a teleconferencing system, to bring his weekly class to outside students. He also used internet tools like email and ftp to communicate with students and distribute course materials.

I kept a log of problems associated with distance learning technologies during the course. I also distributed questionnaires to the professor and fellow students regarding the positive and negative aspects of distance learning. Using my log and questionnaire responses, I describe graduate students' reactions to distance learning. I argue that teleconferencing technologies are not sufficiently developed to provide graduate students with the equivalent experience of a on-site seminar at a quality university. However,I do find that the opportunity for students to learn from appropriate educators and contemporaries across campuses justifies the integration of distance learning into the graduate curriculum as a complement to more traditional course work.

Latin America's Information Revolution: Myth Into Reality?
Kalee Sprague, student <l200-bs@garnet.berkeley.edu>

Examines the spread of information technology and network resources into Latin America. Brings the issue of cultural differences into the discussion of information access and dissemination. Uses examples of the spread of communications technology from the developed world into Latin America to hypothesize about the spread of information technology and networks. Kalee's talk will be in the proceedings but she will not be not be presenting it at this program.


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