Context Photography and Talking About Work

 Mattias Rost and Johan Lundin, Viktoria Institute & Goteborg IT University,

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 28 , 2005

Context Photography, Mattias Rost

Context Photography is a novel digital photography application that runs on standard camera phones. When a picture is taken, graphical effects are rendered on top of the images depending on the context, such as sound and movement.

Push!Music is a music-sharing application in which the music files can move between different devices connected in an ad hoc WiFi network, either through active recommendations or autnomously on their own accord. It runs on standard PocketPC devices.

I will present these applications and talk a little about how they were implemented.

Talking About Work, Johan Lundin

I will talk about my thesis Talking About Work as a conceptual innovation for design IT to support learning.

Learning at work is dependent on engagement in practice, on repeated use of the tools of the practice, but most importantly on the interaction with other practitioners. Traditional ways of understanding learning in work, such as apprenticeship, through active collaboration, observation and supervision, seem to fail to be applied as easily in today's workplace. In the empirical material presented in this thesis (i.e. mobile and distributed work) workers cannot depend on observation and hands on supervision to learn at work.

This research contributes to our current comprehension of collaborative learning in mobile and distributed work, and to how IT can be constructed to support learning. The results show how learning in mobile and distributed work, as well as the evolution of mobile and distributed practices is dependent on is dependent on talking about work. These conversations can be described in terms of triggers, types and functions. Where triggers are subjects that are established as motivations for engaging in conversations about how work is conducted, types is a number of ways of talking about that is commonly applied in practice, and finally how these talks connect to maintaining and sustaining practice.

"Talking about work" is a collection of five papers, ranging from experimental approaches to exploring collaborative learning activities in work, on to implementations of IT support for learning among colleagues in everyday work, and finally studies of how self-organized collaborative learning takes place as part of everyday practice. From these studies it becomes obvious that our prior conceptions of learning at work need to be revised, and that concepts and models based on learning as a result of teaching at school provides little help when trying to design for collaborative learning at work. Rather talking about work, is the conceptual innovation that can provide new directions for the design of IT-support for learning as well as the organization of new learning activities.

Mattias Rost and Johan Lundin are graduate students at Goteborg IT University in Sweden.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.