When the Social, not the Medium, is the Message: A Workshop on Community-building and Research Collaboration in Virtual Spaces

On the internet, individuals, groups, and communities try to create or contribute to spaces where they can communicate and build knowledge in ways beyond what is possible in the daily round of face-to-face interactions. Yet it can be difficult to navigate—either as a designer or user—the changing technologies of social media, each with its own interface and device configurations. To better facilitate personal development, group collaboration, community engagement and inquiry, designers need to find processes and mechanisms that are at once integrated but flexible and adaptable to multiple purposes and audiences.

When the Social, not the Medium, is the Message (the title a gesture to McLuhan) will be a day-long workshop at UMass Boston, consisting of a series of explorations, dialogues and conversations will bring together people who share an interest in community-building and research collaboration in virtual spaces—as well as in the wider social world. The sessions are designed to build on the experiences and practices of those who participate. Although a minimum of on-line technology will be used in the sessions, a small number of participants from a distance can join the workshop via skype.

Hosted by the new Science in a Changing World graduate track.  For more information, see http://sicw.wikispaces.umb.edu/SMWorkshop

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

One Response to When the Social, not the Medium, is the Message: A Workshop on Community-building and Research Collaboration in Virtual Spaces

  1. Pingback: New Social Media: From technologies to spaces for virtual and face-to-face interactions IV « Probe—Create Change—Reflect

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