Connecting remote educational spaces with mediated presence

Abstract. In this article, we explore the methodological aspects for the longitudinal evaluation of a mass communication system that brings together a physically distributed educational community. There is a significant body of related research, but no integrated approach. In the 70’s and 80’s, early video-art installations have explored the links between television, architectural space and community identity. During the 90’s and onwards, the artistic inspiration has caught on with research labs, which developed several distant communication systems. Nevertheless, previous academic research has not been evaluated with casual users in public spaces for prolonged periods of time. As a matter of fact, the most interesting effects of distance communication systems on everyday life, such as community identity, community awareness, and civic participation have not been documented. We plan to deploy an ambient and social interactive TV platform that supports social communication in a positive way. In particular, we describe materials, tools and techniques for a systematic longitudinal evaluation of the social effects of the media communication system on an educational setting. Furthermore, we frame this research program in the wider context of media and architecture academic enquiry.

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