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Randell Rivadeneira

1. what did you find 1.1. interesting about the article?

I found it very interesting the idea of distributed cognition. Mainly because I see in my work how continuous interaction among co-workers is required to produce some end product. Therefore I agree with the author that the need for improved human-computer interaction should be one that allows for distributed cognition to take place.
I also found it very interesting how the paper gave examples to explain his main idea. Especially to understand what cognitive ethnography entails, the example about the Ship Navigation was very helpful.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I found it interesting.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

I believe that the main point of this paper is the need to change the approach used currently to develop human-computer interaction. Ethnographic observation and controlled experiment serve better for theoretical design of human-computer environments. Through the analysis of distribution of cognitive process you can improve collaborative workplaces.

3. are themes discussed in the article which you would like to know more about?

I would like to know the results of the analysis proposed at the end by the author. What type of products has the Distributed Cognition and Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory been able to produce? And I would like to learn more on distributed cognition in the workplace.

4. please describe briefly your understanding of 4.1. distributed cognition?

Distributed Cognition is knowledge and understanding that exists in a distributed manner. That is, not one person knows and understands all the pieces of some knowledge, but the group as a whole does.

4.2. ethnography

It’s a method by which you document and analyze how a group of people interact with a system. What pieces of knowledge each has and how this integrates with the group in order to be able to use the system.

4.3. active representations (which is the most important example you can think of?)

Active representation is one that affects how the agent (system) behaves. In this case, would be the interaction of human affecting the computer system.

5. the article talks about "new foundations" for HCI 5.1. please discuss a couple of "old foundations" for HCI

And old foundation for HCI is that cognitive process occurs in the individual, rather than through social interaction. Hence the approach was to create desktop systems that only handle individual cognitive processes.

5.2. how "new" according to your knowledge are these "new foundations"?

Not that new. I have heard from past years that distributed systems should accommodate distributed cognitive processes. I have also worked with computer systems (Rational Rose, Configuration Management Version Control) that attempt to manage distributed cognition in an organized manner.

6. do you have any ideas how this research could / should be extended based on your own knowledge and experience?

I believe that it is correct approach to understand distribution of cognitive process in order to improve human-computer interaction. But it should not be the only approach, “old” approaches are still important in the sense that cognitive processes do not only happen in a distributed manner.

7. in the class on Jan 14, 2004, we showed a multi-media show about the CLever project question: which elements of distributed cognition are described in this video?

The Clever System had several instances where distributed cognition took place. First, and most important, the process of design was a distributed activity where several stakeholders helped in designing the system. That is, you had University Researchers, Transportation system planner, managers, operators and technology developers all working in order to design a system. That is a true example of distributed cognition. Then, the system itself was attempting to bring distributed cognition into place. That is, the system had some information used by the cognitive challenged, who himself had some cognition of using the system. Also the system integrated the care giver to be able to help and be informed of activities done by the user of the system.

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