Multimedia Dissertation

“Now I can actually do what I want”: Social learning ecologies supporting youth pathways in digital media making This study examines how youth are able to pursue interest-driven learning and practice-linked identities connected to digital media making with the help of individuals in their lives.

Engaging in digital media making is an important route to developing important 21st century skills, empowered civic identities, and lifelong learning; also reports indicate that individuals from non-dominant communities are less able to derive such benefits.

Analysis of the interviews and archives focused on the intersection of the participants’ Twitter lives and their academic lives.

Drawing on an integration of sociological and learning science theory, this research explores Twitter’s use as a platform for innovative academic practices; as a catalyst for challenging hierarchy and formality; as a new model for academic networking; and as an evolving platform for a new definition of the public intellectual.

The design-based research study involved three iterative design cycles of a mobile app with input from a group of adult users to explore how a mobile app can prompt mindfulness states throughout the day using surrounding context and mental events as the attentional focus, and end-of-day reflections incorporating forms of cognitive reappraisal and body awareness.

Analysis involved self-report measures of mindfulness, behavior logs, and in-depth interview analysis, all mapped against conjectures that related design embodiments, to mediating processes, to outcomes of curiosity and decentering (two factors of a mindfulness state).

However, it is important that we be critical of what we mean by mindfulness states in that the approach embodied through the app can be argued to be a diluted form of mindfulness that is excessively cognition-focused, and provides limited pathways to more non-conceptual understanding – insight.

Ultimately, the dissertation posits a form of computer-supported mindfulness that makes use of situated context to induce mindfulness states, and provides a phenomenological understanding of the advantages and limitations of such an approach within the context of modern demands and traditional contemplative understandings of mindfulness.

The point of purchase represents a nexus of the contemporary, globalized ecology of production and consumption and is, therefore, a space for intervention (i.e., product labels, consumer education, product information databases and apps, etc.).

Ecopedagogy aims to educate about resilient, sustainable, healthy, and pro-social attitudes and behavior.

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