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Technology, Education,
Democracy
Cybera 2016
October 28, 2016
Matt Ratto
Associate Professor
Faculty of Information
Univer...
Q
What are the opportunities and the challenges offered by
emerging modes of technologically-mediated communication
and de...
Q
What is our role and responsibility as educators and as
developers of research and teaching digital infrastructures?
Q
What do citizens need in the 21st
century?
A
Literacy: same but different
...were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government
without newspapers, or newspapers without a government...
it is of the paramount importance that the means of general
information should be so diffused that the largest possible nu...
Infrastructural Literacy
infrastructure as "pervasive enabling
resources in network form"
--Geoffrey C. Bowker, Karen Baker, Florence Millerand, an...
A
we must help citizens develop a greater sense of how the
informational world and its attendant infrastructures helps sha...
Big Data
Why is this about
Democracy?
Algorithmic
manipulation
Brittle and opaque
systems
Potentially systematic
bias
critical making
The approach
• active engagements with the technological rather than passive use
of technologies as 'tools'
• inquiry that...
Activity:
-Hack CHI, engage with issues of big data, privacy, and surveillance.
-Design and Deploy
Quantitative Toilet
Outcomes
Outcomes
• Diversity of responses
• Processes for creating 'legitimate' technical interventions
• What will people 'trade'
“Makes Sense to Me!”:
Participatory Sensing,
Information Visualization,
and 3D Representation
iConference 2016,
--Gabby Re...
Goals:
• raise awareness of a data and civics;
• critically interrogate big data claims;
• develop dialogue around sensing...
Activity:
-construct and deploy wireless body worn sensors;
-produce multiple visualizations and physical representations;...
Outcomes
• Highlight the subjective choices and work of 'sensing' and data
wrangling
• Revealing the norms of data practic...
Inhabiting the Topo-
Datagraphical Network
Toronto School: Then, Now, Next
2016
Gabby Resch, Dan Southwick, Matt Ratto
Activity:
-Built an interactive immersive experience
-change the scale by placing users directly within the geospatial
lan...
Outcomes
-Affective responses to data
-Discovery of small variations (valleys) as important as large (peaks)
-Dynamic enga...
What are the opportunities and the challenges offered by
emerging modes of technologically-mediated communication
and deci...
Infrastructural literacy requires
approaches that blend social
analysis and technical work
How to support?
Can an intelligent house fall in love with the house next door? Can they
have baby houses? Is an architect a trained "womb...
@mattratto
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy
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Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy

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What are the opportunities and the challenges offered by emerging modes of technologically-inflected communication and decision-making? What is our role and responsibility as educators and as developers of research and teaching digital infrastructures? What do students need in the 21st century? As education institutions and providers struggle to respond to the first two questions, are we abrogating our responsibility to the last?

In this talk, Matt Ratto will describe some of the opportunities and the challenges we currently face, laying out a model of action for how to potentially address the questions raised above. Core to his thinking are two related points; first that we must help students develop a greater sense of how the informational world and its attendant infrastructures helps shape how and what we think, and second, that a good way to do this is to give students the space to engage in reflexive acts of technological production – what Matt has termed ‘critical making.’ He will provide concrete examples from both his research and his teaching that demonstrate the value and importance of reflexive, hands-on work with digital technologies in helping students develop the critical digital literacy skills they need to function in today’s society.

Matt Ratto is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and directs the Semaphore Research cluster on Inclusive Design, Mobile and Pervasive Computing and, as part of Semaphore, the Critical Making lab.

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Cyber Summit 2016: Technology, Education, and Democracy

  1. 1. Technology, Education, Democracy Cybera 2016 October 28, 2016 Matt Ratto Associate Professor Faculty of Information University of Toronto matt.ratto@utoronto.ca
  2. 2. Q What are the opportunities and the challenges offered by emerging modes of technologically-mediated communication and decision-making?
  3. 3. Q What is our role and responsibility as educators and as developers of research and teaching digital infrastructures?
  4. 4. Q What do citizens need in the 21st century?
  5. 5. A Literacy: same but different
  6. 6. ...were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. --Thomas Jefferson
  7. 7. it is of the paramount importance that the means of general information should be so diffused that the largest possible number of persons be induced to read and understand questions going down to the very foundations of social order... Report to the Trustees, Boston Public Library, 1852
  8. 8. Infrastructural Literacy
  9. 9. infrastructure as "pervasive enabling resources in network form" --Geoffrey C. Bowker, Karen Baker, Florence Millerand, and David Ribes, Toward Information Infrastructure Studies: Ways of Knowing in a Networked Environment
  10. 10. A we must help citizens develop a greater sense of how the informational world and its attendant infrastructures helps shape how and what we think
  11. 11. Big Data
  12. 12. Why is this about Democracy?
  13. 13. Algorithmic manipulation
  14. 14. Brittle and opaque systems
  15. 15. Potentially systematic bias
  16. 16. critical making
  17. 17. The approach • active engagements with the technological rather than passive use of technologies as 'tools' • inquiry that adresses role and scope of technology in modern society • linking of technical activities and social critique to enrichen both
  18. 18. Activity: -Hack CHI, engage with issues of big data, privacy, and surveillance. -Design and Deploy
  19. 19. Quantitative Toilet
  20. 20. Outcomes
  21. 21. Outcomes • Diversity of responses • Processes for creating 'legitimate' technical interventions • What will people 'trade'
  22. 22. “Makes Sense to Me!”: Participatory Sensing, Information Visualization, and 3D Representation iConference 2016, --Gabby Resch, Daniel Southwick, Matt Ratto Yanni Loukissas
  23. 23. Goals: • raise awareness of a data and civics; • critically interrogate big data claims; • develop dialogue around sensing and information visualization.
  24. 24. Activity: -construct and deploy wireless body worn sensors; -produce multiple visualizations and physical representations; -explore the technical, social, and semantic challenges involved with collecting, interpreting, and disseminating personal data.
  25. 25. Outcomes • Highlight the subjective choices and work of 'sensing' and data wrangling • Revealing the norms of data practice and visualization (generalizability, objective views) • Begin to posit and produce alternatives
  26. 26. Inhabiting the Topo- Datagraphical Network Toronto School: Then, Now, Next 2016 Gabby Resch, Dan Southwick, Matt Ratto
  27. 27. Activity: -Built an interactive immersive experience -change the scale by placing users directly within the geospatial landscapes of datasets
  28. 28. Outcomes -Affective responses to data -Discovery of small variations (valleys) as important as large (peaks) -Dynamic engagement with 'messiness' of data
  29. 29. What are the opportunities and the challenges offered by emerging modes of technologically-mediated communication and decision-making? What is our role and responsibility as educators and as developers of research and teaching digital infrastructures? What do citizens need in the 21st century?
  30. 30. Infrastructural literacy requires approaches that blend social analysis and technical work How to support?
  31. 31. Can an intelligent house fall in love with the house next door? Can they have baby houses? Is an architect a trained "womb" for houses, or more crudely, is an architect how a house makes another house? Does an architect feel like she/he is violating fundamental forces of evolution if she/he does not include the latest new technology in the house she/he next gives birth to? Do you believe in progress? Is the house that Donald Trump lives in better than the house you live in? --Rich Gold (1994) How smart does the bed in your house have to be before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?
  32. 32. @mattratto

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