Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Online Search & Project Development

Primary and Secondary Resources:

In order to answer my question on how technology has shaped communication within students, I need to find out how technology can be utilized to influence social change. The resource “Students utilize technology for social good through Hack4Impact” helps explore how it helps connect students with nonprofits through technology and the impacts that they make on society.

In order to answer my question on how technology has shaped communication within students, I need to find out how certain communication methods through technology change the way students interact with one another. The resource “The Role of Communication Technology in Adolescent Relationships and Identity Development” helps explain the impact that technology and communication methods have on students.

In order to answer how communication between undergraduate students at the University of Illinois has changed over time through the innovation of technology, I need to find out how students are taught to use technology. The resource “It doesn’t matter what is in their Hands” helps explore what impacts technology provided by an institution has on a student’s academic efficiency as well as their social interaction.

In order to answer my question on the social impact that technology has on students at the University of Illinois, I need to find out how increased use of technology is a factor of the social impact. My source “Students increase social media use over stay-at-home order” will help explore what can change when a student uses technology more than they did previously in their life.

Other resources I can use that will help with my research are newspapers, experiments, and interviews. For example, I could interview alumni that have experienced the progression of technology since their years in college. My research would be relevant to campus or community leaders because by understanding how the means of communication between undergraduate students at an institution changed over time through the innovation of technology, and what social impact has it had since previous years.

Drafting Interview & Survey Questions

  1. Before COVID, did you use technology on a daily basis? If so, how often did you use it? If not, why do you decide not to?
  2. What communication method through technology is the most efficient? How so?
  3. Did you experience a social change after using a certain technology to communicate?
  4. What social media platforms do you use and why?
  5. How has the constant growth of technology changed the way students connect with each other and the world?

Reading Response

Heinz von Foerster and members of the BCL used specific strategies to develop cybernetics practice. The first strategy implemented was after he established ‘second order cybernetics.’ Shortly after he did this, “he established the Biological Computer Laboratory in 1958 as a center for the study of the computational principles in living organisms” (Anderson).

The second strategy is that a member of BCL, Andrew Pickering, who “presents the emphasis on biological computing within cybernetics during the 1950s and 1960s as a productive alternative to modern technoscience” (Prutzer). He focuses on British cyberneticians to reflect the omission of von Foerster’s and the BCL’s work within cybernetics literature.

The final strategy was that Von Foerster made an attempt to keep BCL alive by submitting a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled, “Cognitive Technology.” The purpose of this proposal “drew on campuswide expertise in cognitive theory, educational psychology, linguistics, computer networks, programming, and multimedia” (Hutchinson).

4 Questions:

  1. Were the obstacles of the formation of BCL difficult to overcome? How did you overcome them?
  2. What other work is involved in the BCL besides cybernetics?
  3. The BCL, with little to no university support for its highly interdisciplinary work, was unable to sustain itself without funding. How did it manage to continue its legacy?
  4. Are BCL innovations considered more social or technical? Why is one more common than the other?

2 thoughts on “Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response”

  1. Hey Jason!

    I liked your primary and secondary resources for your research technology’s influence on human communication and interactions. For the reading response, I liked your question about the financial security of the Biological Computer Laboratory.

  2. Hi Jason, if you need anyone to talk to about technology x social impact or Hack4Impact specifically, definitely feel free to hit me up! I can say quite a bit about it from my experience in Hack4Impact as well as inform you about the field in general beyond UIUC.

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