18-19 November 2005, Balatonvilágos, Hungary
Kaleidoscope partner the Institute for Philosophical Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences held this workshop, the aim of which was to consider the role and importance of chat and its impact on social and cognitive settings
The aim of the workshop was to consider
the role and importance of chat and its impact on social and cognitive
settings. The two main topics were „Media Convergence and Voice over Internet
Protocol” and “Chat in Educational Settings”. The theoretical background of the
discussion was built upon the new results of cognitive scientific and cognitive
psychological research, considerations of philosophy of communication and that
In the last decade, some new tendencies in
connection with tools we use to communicate have appeared, which suggest
certain revival of literacy and the convergence of different representational
Chat revives literacy in the sense of intensive
use of written verbal expression. However, chat in multimedial framework makes
visible the differences among live voice, written text, image and animation.
The easy use of this variety of representational forms help to make conscious these
differences and leads to a certain merged literacy.
Different forums give different opportunities
to build social networks and these networks are most likely constructed for
different purposes. Though multimedia is ready at hand in most of the forums,
the design of the interface has an impacts on how it is used and for what
purpose. As these forums provide the opportunity to personalize it, the
networks are easily sustainable even over huge distances.
The popularity of different chat forums calls
attention to some changes. As our cognitive settings are considerably
determined by our social makeup, this new way of communication can modify our
close circle of friends. Robin Dunbar states in “social brain hypothesis” that there
is a certain limit to the number of individuals that we can have in an
intensive relationship of a certain sense. The intensity is highly dependant on
the intensity of connectedness. So it is not possible to extend the circle of
relationships which are close to some extent, but the visible awareness of the
other’s presence could restructure the membership of closer circles.
Communications technology has special
importance regarding cognitive skills, social institutions, norms and ideals.
Accordingly the environment of learning is also changing and more over some
institutional changes are imminent. The idea of “Life Long Learning” e.g. stems
from the increasing mobility and speed of technological change As the different
spheres of individual life (public and private), the scheduling which was
traditionally static and organization of everyday activities were
differentiated according to the workplace and home) are being altered
radically, the traditional role of the school must be changing as well.
Considering computer program-design,
technologically determined social conditions are definitive. Taking into
consideration cognitive abilities and the notion of scaffolding in the sense of
Clark, it becomes clear that extant forms of communication have crucial
importance. Accordingly, everyday use, (i.e. the way pupils/students
communicate) is a good basis to create new and helpful tools for learning.
There is the concern for the “ritual view of
education” which is related to the Khuninan philosophy of science. It is important
to consider an implicit dimension of traditional education, rarely realized, if
at all – that its cohesive power is based on some ritual moments of educational
practice. In this sense the learning process is not simply a cumulating process
of knowledge-acquisition rather, it is an overwriting process. The process of
overwriting requires the authority of the teacher and a certain
institutionalized framing of its content. Textbooks are the most important
vehicles of this context of teaching-learning, the context of pedagogy. It is
significant to consider how this pedagogical context changes in a multimedially
networked learning environment.