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Gerhard Fischer and Hal Eden: "Design, Learning, and Collaboration" ?Spring Semester 2004

Assignment 15 – "Home Alone"

source: Chapter 3 "Home Alone" in Brown, J. S. & Duguid, P. (2000) The Social Life of Information, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA

Important ?Role distribution: analyzers and summarizers for assignment 15:

1. Khan, Huda

2. Kim-Warren, Sarah

3. Zweig, Scott

The "analyzers and summarizers" can do their work individually or jointly

due: Wed, March 31, 2004

1. producers: please submit by 10:00am to the class website; please be on time, so the "analyzers and summarizers" can do their work!

2. analyzers/summarizers: please submit by 2:00pm to the class website

Briefly discuss the following issues:

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

1.2. not interesting about the article?

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

3. what does the following quote mean to you: "design needs to attend not simply to the frailty of technological systems and the robustness of social systems, but to ways in which social systems often play a key part in making even frail technology robust"

3.1. why are social systems robust?

3.2. why are technological system frail?

3.3. or do you disagree with the authors about his?

4. think of a couple of persons (maybe family members or friends) who are in a position to use computer by being "home alone"! Characterize the major problems that these persons have!

5. Describe briefly some new innovative technologies that you can think of which would address these problems!

6. in case of problems with computer systems ?how often to you look for help/advice

6.1. from humans?

6.2. from written documentation?

6.3. from online resources?

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