| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.

View
 

Rethunkin

Page history last edited by Richard Devon 11 years, 3 months ago

Rethinking Technological Literacy: Open Sourcing the Process and the Case of Nanotechnological Design

Richard Doyle and Richard Devon

Penn State University 

1. As the target population is the general public as well as leading policy makers and educators, technological literacy emerges in the rich hinterland between political science and engineering science. This implies a need to reach out to a wide variety of theorists and interdisciplinary researchers. This abstract is itself the outcome of a collaboration beween a theorist and a designer.

2.  The authors are interested in what makes society democratic  in a society influenced by any sophisticated body of knowledge and the technical infrastructures and realities yielded by that knowledge. Feedback loops between technology and living systems are well established in the evolution of cognition. We suggest amplifying such feedback loops and evolving collective open source design. Open source solar technology as well as software ( e.g. Linux) are proof of concept for an open source approach to technological literacy. The example of the nanotechnology wikibook ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Nanotechnology) provides us with a schematic for growing an open source process for technological literacy and open source design.

3. The important issue is process, because it may not be necessary or possible to pre-load people with technological knowledge. This is a good thing since there is too much to learn. Rather, to teach a process that is democratic and inquiry-based so that in any given situation people can, and will know how to, get informed. Open source and collective intelligence are exciting prospects here. Open access and open source have been engines for technological and scientific literacy already - our goal is to translate that new literacy into new designs, particularly in the realm of nanotechnology.

4. Shifting the focus to the democratization of (nano)technology rather than adaptive processes to ameliorate a hopelessly huge knowledge gap yields 1) we move from a negative perspective to a positive one, 2) we can tackle a doable task rather than a hopeless task, and 3) we have a chance to make a bigger impact and attract more interest in the movement and to emerging possibilities for nanotechnology.

 

This is what I submitted

 

As the target population is the general public as well as leading policy makers and educators, technological literacy emerges in the rich hinterland between political science and engineering science. This implies a need to reach out to a wide variety of theorists and interdisciplinary researchers. This paper is a collaboration between a theorist and a designer. They teach about nanotechnology to students with technical and non-technical backgrounds. The paper will open with a literature review and a development of this new approach to technological literacy.

 

The authors are interested in what makes society democratic in a world influenced by any sophisticated body of knowledge and the technical infrastructures and realities yielded by that knowledge. Feedback loops between technology and living systems are well established in the evolution of cognition. We suggest amplifying such feedback loops and evolving collective open source design. Open source solar technology as well as software ( e.g. Linux) are proof of concept for the value of an open source approach to technological literacy. We will describe the use of a nanotechnology wikibook ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Nanotechnology) in the nanotechnology class that provides us with a schematic for growing an open source process for technological literacy and open source design.

 

The important issue is process, because it may not be necessary or possible to pre-load people with technological knowledge. This is a good thing since there is too much to learn. Rather, it is important to teach a process that is democratic and inquiry-based so that in any given situation people can, and will know how to, get informed and make good decisions.  Open source and collective intelligence are exciting prospects here, as are the Danish consensus meetings. Open access and open source have been engines for technological and scientific literacy already – and our goal is to translate that new literacy into new designs, particularly in the realm of nanotechnology.  The main theoretical arguments of the paper will be developed around this theme with many concrete examples used for empirical validation.

 

We will conclude by noting the advantages of this approach for the technology literacy movement. Shifting the focus to the democratization of (nano)technology rather than adaptive processes to ameliorate a hopelessly huge knowledge gap means, 1) we move from a negative perspective to a positive one, 2) we can tackle a doable task rather than a hopeless task, and 3) we have a chance to make a bigger impact and attract more interest in the movement and the way that it can improve the advancement of (nano)technology.  

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.