Sunday, November 03, 2013

Placed resources

New technology means different things in different places as we can see in the variety of ways in which hardware and software are taken up and integrated into existing and emerging social practices. Mastin Prinsloo's concept of 'placed resources', and the way in which he uses this in documenting practices in South Africa is particularly useful in this respect. I'm also interested in how the resources themselves are adapted and this is illustrated in Glenn Auld's work with the Kunibidji community in Maningrida in Australia's Northern Territory. Central to this work is the adaptation of old-style iMacs so that they can be operated as touchscreens, and this is described in non-technical detail here. It's a fascinating account, strengthen by the description of how the adaptation supported literacy practices that were embedded in the everyday social practices of the Kunibidji. This sort of approach could be a template for the next wave of iPad developments.

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