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Technologies and Environments

Technologies and Environments That Support Collaboration


With the development of online technology, people have realized new ways of interacting with information and there are new ways of using the technologies that were unthinkable decades ago. The popularity of Web 2.0 applications demonstrates that, regardless of their levels of technical expertise, users can wield technologies in more active ways than had been apparent previously to traditional media producers and technology innovators (Harrison M.T, Barthel B., 2009). Everyone can easily publish content online or search for information and knowledge and, as stated by Harrison & Barthel, new media technologies now enable vastly more users to experiment with a wider and seemingly more varied range of collaborative creative activities. Depending on the activity there are environments that can be used for individual activities, knowledge sharing, communication, information sources, etc.

There are two main terms which should be defined individually. Technology and environment seem to have the same meaning, when actually there is a difference between them. Both of them however, are used in the process of teaching or learning. 

Technology is the making, modification or usage of tools, techniques, or systems in order to solve a problem, achieve a goal and perform a specific function. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. Debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. (Wikipedia, 2012)

Knowledge environments are social practices, technological and physical arrangements intended to facilitate collaborative knowledge building, decision making, inference or discovery. From another perspective, the purpose of a knowledge environment can be defined as, to facilitate consistent knowledge outcomes. Knowledge outcomes reveal themselves as learning, communication, goals and decision making. (Wikipedia, 2012)

Environments seem to be part of technology, as the second one is wider notion. It includes different kinds of science, and uses different environments to achieve the goals. 



The "Technologies and Environments" section of the chapter is divided accordingly:


Harrison M.T, Barthel B. (2009) Wielding new media in Web 2.0: exploring the history of engagement with the collaborative construction of media products. SAGE Publications.
Wikipedia. 2012.  Technology. (accessed 28.10.2012)
Wikipedia. 2012.  Knowledge Environments. (accessed 28.10.2012)







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