Abstract

In a wired world even the most physically embodied craft skills are affected by computer facilitated communication. To consider how different sorts of space – both real and virtual – influence the learning of craft skills this paper presents three types of space – the ‘real' space of a jewellery workshop, an online ‘wiki' space for learning how to make a folding knife mediated by face to face interaction and an online discussion group about French Horn making. Some features common to the learning of any craft skill are discussed as well as some current ideas about the influence of networked communication on the way people relate to each other. Conclusions are drawn about the relationships between different types of learner, different types of skill and different types of learning space which demonstrate that while there may be no substitute for face to face contact in learning the most embodied craft skills, even in real-world settings a significant proportion of learning depends on social interaction which may be reproduced online.

Keywords:

Craft learning; Apprenticeship; Communities of Practice; Online Networks

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Jul 16th, 12:00 AM

Hands on - hands off on hitting your thumb with a virtual hammer

In a wired world even the most physically embodied craft skills are affected by computer facilitated communication. To consider how different sorts of space – both real and virtual – influence the learning of craft skills this paper presents three types of space – the ‘real' space of a jewellery workshop, an online ‘wiki' space for learning how to make a folding knife mediated by face to face interaction and an online discussion group about French Horn making. Some features common to the learning of any craft skill are discussed as well as some current ideas about the influence of networked communication on the way people relate to each other. Conclusions are drawn about the relationships between different types of learner, different types of skill and different types of learning space which demonstrate that while there may be no substitute for face to face contact in learning the most embodied craft skills, even in real-world settings a significant proportion of learning depends on social interaction which may be reproduced online.

 

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