City University of New York (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 60-71
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
The paper addresses the need for new pedagogical strategies for facilitating design thinking in parallel to computational thinking in general education and for new media in particular. The concept of pedagogical installation will be introduced. The installation can be considered as an open ended physically tangible sketch subjected to iterative prototyping as well as to provide the problem space to integrate the components required for testing both design and programming to facilitate further design thinking. We will focus on use and use case abstraction as a methodology in order to establish a pivotal point linking deeper understanding of human needs and design necessity to emerging practice in new media.

The origin of technology goes far back to ancient times when humans began utilizing materials to incorporate in their activities. The discovery of flint to make fire is the discovery of the material interaction between the stones: when put into persistent friction, the material interaction causes fire. Humans discovered they did not have to depend on the natural phenomenon for fire to occur. But if we ‘desire’ fire we must acquire skills and knowledge to set up the conditions from which we can obtain fire. The author identifies this orientation at the heart of pedagogical strategy to kindle the creativity in educating new media practitioners. Traditional digital media and art education focuses on students’ acquisitions of skills using black box tools to achieve results effectively. This paper departs from that approach by pursuing how to deepen students’ technologically informed design skills to prepare the conditions from which their desired outcomes are to be expected. The paper will draw upon methodologies from the fields of engineering design, interaction design, and Human Computer Interaction to formalize needs and necessity and apply them to new media design. This approach establishes vital principles for linking basic inquiry to emerging practices.

Use case studies were dominantly taught and practiced in the software engineering field where multiple participants develop code. Such studies have not yet been adapted in new media practice as a rigorous pedagogical methodology; they can provide more stress on human centric views concerning how technology is used involving aesthetical criteria. Methodologies are introduced for formalizing (1) human observation to identify the need, (2) human constructs to prepare the necessary conditions, (3) human intelligence to build adequate variety into the system of conditions to generate alternative experiences, and (4) human interaction proper to the system of conditions to make sensible choices. In all of these courses of actions, use and use cases are also used to analyze and critique the tools and instruments because they are the foremost mediating agents in design.

Other discussions will detail new media hypothesis formation, propositional use case development, issuing multiple use cases, and prototyping and testing use cases. The paper will also address the broad scope of new media literacy to increase students’ awareness from a producer’s point of views rather than the consumers.
design thinking, tangible sketch, use case, new media, scaffolding theory.