IADIS 2011 ICT and effects on Humans – Tuesday 26.july

Today I select two presentations, although there were two others who really deserved attention too. Case studies on «Teachers» forums» and not least the extensive activity «Designing with and for the elders». Alas. I was not able to keep up with the presenters paces.

Note: This is my short conference notes on two very different but interesting presentations today and they are prone to faults and misunderstandings. For reference use http://www.mccsis.org

1. INTERNET USAGE AND REAL WORLD ACTIVITIES: WHO IS SOCIALLY WITHDRAWN? (F094) Univ of Kagawa, Japan, Emiko Itami, Hiroyuki Tarumi, Kazutoshi Kobayashi and Mitoko Nakashima

Introduction:Aim of study is to find relationship between Internet use and real world activities.

Subjects: 235 engineering students from year 1-3 at the University.

Survey: With questions on:1) Internet use, 2) Change of daily activities due to Internet usage, 3) Usage of regional facilities

Results:
– Three categories of internet usage was defined based on reported data on time spent on Internet: Light usage: 96 students, Middle usage: 98, Heavy: 41
– Internet usage has reportedly strong increasing impact time spent on student hobbies, friends and on time spent at home. Not all effects are positive
– The service with most impact reportedly was VSS (Facebook and a popular japanese alternative) that increased number of physical places visited
– Internet usage directly affect hobbies, number of friends and activity area!
– Specialist services are found on internet when located relatively far from physical location.
Heavy users are NOT more active. There is a difference between going there and knowing about it.
– Further analysis includes involving factors, such as subjects: «living at home» or «own a car»

2. ICT SUPPORT TO THE RECONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL MEANINGS AFTER A DISASTER (S021)
Francesco Maria Barbini, Alessandro D’Atri, Laura Tarantino and Stefano Za

Introduction: 6.april 2005 an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck L’Aquila and killing 308, injuring 1500 forced 70 000 to evacuate.
35 000 still has not been able to return due to massive material damage. But the massive immaterial damage is felt even harder to repair. Without their houses to live in, streets to walk in and shops to visit people has reportedly lost much sense of meaning.

Current strategy seems to hamper new sense-making that must be based on interaction. 20 000 are at the moment located in more than 20 small «new villages» built directly after the disaster. Can ICT help?

The project seeks answer in Pierre Levy’s research and use of anthropological space: Earth – Affiliation, Territory – Address, Commodity – Professional role

In Cyberspace many systems are available, but the paper states that few focus on citizens.

The EagleVox- project want to build a platform with the right focus and ease of use. The channels envisioned are primarily mobile terminals (SMS) with some use of terminals and a web portal.
The modalities: top-down (institution to citizen), bottom- up, and peer-to-peer (between citizens). A unique listening point gather information, evaluate and then disseminate to users.

Conclusion: This platform will allow citizens to participate in creation of new sense-making.
Current prototype support top-down modality, the second prototype will support bottom-up modality and the final will support peer-to-peer communication.

Post- presentation comments;
The project team has shared experience with researchers at University of South Carolina. They report similar effects and citizen needs after the hurricane disaster hit New Orleans.
The presenter was personally one of the citizens who endured the quake with its consequences and has been forced to move.


A few comments:
1. IT would be interesting to couple (and strengthen) the findings with other sources than the students own reports ( data repositories of internet use. I do not like the ide of putting a gps-tag on each of them to measure what they do all the time.)
2. A very good and necessary project. ICT to support sense-making should obviously be heavily invested in by both public and private agents. I am surprised to hear that adequate systems do not already exist.
The proposed platform mainly based on SMS does not (to a programming novice) sound technically challenging to build by assembling open-source code or perhaps purchasing proven sms- modules or entire CMS-systems.
Platform usability, introduction and procedures ensuring quality of content will be challanging.

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About heimset

Resarcher at WNRI/Vestlandsforsking
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