Midwest Conference on Technology, Employment & Community
Chicago Circle Center, UIC,
750 South Halsted, Chicago,
March 2 - 4, 1995
Notes on Workshop #03: Access to information
- Carl Davidson - Coalition for Info. Access, Networking for
- Doug Gordin - PHD student Northwestern University, School of Ed.
- Antonia Stone - Founder Playing to Win Network
- Marylin Borgendale - Librarian at University Illinois Circle
- Sprite - The Autonomous Zone
View of reforming educational system. What's the Northwestern
Collaborative Visualization's model: Student as doer, active
participant. Access to What? Real world information - student as
investigative reporter. Economic model that makes most sense is break
out of the large system to smaller, local based systems that can be
He proposes the following:
- End all age grouping - they can learn from older students
- Longer class sessions
- Teacher requirements based on involvement and commitment
- Communities based schools
- Guest lecturers from the business
- Subjects shouldn't be thought of as MUST taught. We don't need
long division. Arts: Dance can teach physics, etc.
- Computers can make sources of information from the outside of the
She disagreed with Doug, in that she feels you CAN learn in a bare
classroom with only chalk, as long as the people can connect. The
technology is not what's important, rather it's the ability to get
people to share. Technology working for us, is the fundamental thing.
It needs to enable us to do things better than we used to do it.
Needs to let us do things that we didn't know we could do. We need to
play around, and in doing so, we are Playing to Win. There is an
assumption that everyone wants to use technology. Assume that the
benefits of using technology are obvious. BUT THEY'RE NOT. Making it
obvious is an important role. The other assumption is that we all
need more information.
Three reasons why PTW was started. 1) Everyone can/should have access
to a computer who want it. 2) Access is not sufficient, it's the
people who make it useful (training) 3) Must make the technology
People should be given the opportunity to do what THEY want to do, not
what we think we want them to do. People create their own agenda.
Librarians are playing an important role in the new age. If
librarians can be replaced because everyone can get to all the
contents of the library from home, then great. BUT, it's much more
complicated to that. She tells a story of a Native American boy who
travels to a virtual museum to learn about his heritage. The museums
can now be accessible universally, and three beyond the few people can
get to the museum physically. And unbelievably, libraries are
fighting a loss of budgets. Carolyn Coyle of CPSR wrote an articles
about libraries. Internet more than the sum of the networks, it's the
connection to the people. Librarians are sifters of information, who
can deliver information to people in the form that they want.
We have to make the information smart so that we can find the
information once the time is gone, or the next version is there. Lots
of questions of what should be on the NII and how to we access it. We
have to be sure that the people who are cut out of the process can
come to the public library in the future and provide this place of
Infoshop. Why? So that people who are interested in more of a
communal living. Part of this is to connect with people, and
collective around the country, can come together on-line. Connect
with lots of sub-cultures, from hip-hop to punk and other minorities.
Teach other Infoshops around the country. Started branching out to
other groups in Chicago. One, the Nekuhmah Washington Center is an
Afro-American cultural center. The Center feels that it's kids will
be more interested in learning with computers and talking to other
kids around the country.
The A-zone has been really self-sufficient, and self-taught. They've
had a lot of donations and fixing up old equipment. Technology has
allowed people to create their own media.
Comments and Questions:
Who has the right (public) as to what goes on over the Internet? The
phone companies are trying to control this. Model of cable access.
How do these different groups connect in a future where each of the
parties have their systems and access? Playing To Win attempts to
help connect these groups. It helps act as a community builder.
Social goal of participation in NII and these separate goals are not
contradictory. There can be links to it.
One participant, talked about the opportunity to do a project with
what's happening to privatization of the Internet. He compares this
to the Minitel in France. Much higher costs. Problem is that people
are trying to fit this whole structure into old paradigms. Need to
frame arguments for retaining the current Internet access structure.
Needs to be mapped out and impressed upon the power brokers.
If the 'net is wiped out, there is an important impact on the
historians' ability to write about this time and what we did during
the early development of this discussion.
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Maintained by Robin Burke <email@example.com>
Last modified: Tue Mar 7 13:27:39 1995