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Shifting PracticesReflections on Technology, Practice, and Innovation$
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Giovan Francesco Lanzara

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034456

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034456.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.57) Introduction
Source:
Shifting Practices
Author(s):

Giovan Francesco Lanzara

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034456.003.0003

In this second part of the book, we visit the first world of practice that I have studied. The object of inquiry is the design of a computer music system at a major educational and research institution, which from now on we will refer to as the Institute. The opportunity for this study was provided by a large-scale, multimillion dollar project that the Institute has undertaken to develop new computational facilities and educational software for undergraduate education. Within the context of a broad evaluative study of the impact of individual projects on teaching and learning in a number of departments, I have participated in the computer music project as a team member, playing multiple and shifting roles, initially being a participant observer, then an evaluator and reflective interventionist. For over a year, I worked closely with the project leader Jeanne—a music teacher and developmental psychologist—and her software developer Armando, keeping track of the development process in the computer music laboratory and helping them with observation, description, and assessment of ongoing project activities. Being a first-time visitor and guest in what for me was an unfamiliar environment, in the early phases of my research I encountered many events and situations that looked strange to my eyes and did not immediately make sense to me. Also, how I was supposed to operate and relate to the project was by no means clear at the outset. My role and activities, and even my purposes, had to be discovered and framed in-situation, as the process of design unfolded....

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