Courses: CD143 Technologies of the Self

This course explores how new technologies have an impact in the way we think about identity and the way we construct our sense of self and community. Particular attention will be paid to how children and teenagers might use these technologies in their developmental quest. Computers are not only instrumental machines but also psychological tools that evoke questions about who we are, where do we come from and where are we going. During the course students will become both users and designers of such technological tools, ranging from multi-user virtual environments to robotics. Through the semester students will read and discuss materials from a wide variety of sources such as educational technology, developmental psychology, human computer interaction and artificial intelligence. The three hour long class will be divided into a first part devoted to theoretical issues, and a second part or design studio, a hands-on workshop in which students will experiment with new technologies. Students from a wide range of disciplines are encouraged to enroll. The goal is to have a group with expertise in the areas of child development, education, computer sciences and engineering. Enrollment is limited to 15 students.