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26 October 2005 / erikduval

Gary Webster @ Skelleftea

Was again late😦 – conversations are too interesting here, and I was asked to give some feedback on learning objects under development here for the [BioMine](http://biomine.brgm.fr) group…

[Gary Webster](http://www.cddc.vt.edu/host/lnc/Webster.htm) talked about “Education Cultures”. In Sweden, a number of “excellence centers” are being funded to foster multi-disciplinary research in collaboration with business. One problem is that the different actors have different cultures, value structures, etc. For instance, Gary compared academics with corporates and also Swedes/Europeans with Americans.

One example? Swedes do personal stuff at home, professional things at work and leisure things at … leisure. Anglo-Americans do all three at all three. If you are unaware of that sort of difference, then uncomfortable situations may arise.

Another one? Is virtual communication really the same as what goes on in real spaces that are safe, neutral or casual?

I think that Gary wanted IT to better support social processes: he mentioned blogs, for instancee.

I asked whether there is really always that sort of juxtaposition: if we cut back on IT, then we may loose the opportunity to interact alltogether? He answered that sometimes people invest in IT rather than in for instance a cosy student pub, and then the one goes at the expense of the other…

Left me wondering, which I guess is good… There are ALWAYS trade-offs to be made, no?

One Comment

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  1. Katharine in Taiwan / Nov 10 2005 9:46 am

    IMO virtual comm is a lot different from f2f, even when it’s synchronous. The computer gives a feeling of anonmynity that f2f doesn’t: ppl will say a lot of things online that they wouldn’t in person. The lack of visual cues and body language also leads to miscommunication as well. With webcams, ppl still don’t feel as connected to the other as they would in person. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good points on cyber comm, such as not being limited by space or time. IMO Virtual & f2f are different breeds of the same animal.

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