+ panel descriptionCommunication technologies have long been heralded as the harbingers of unprecedented freedoms, including the promise of decoupling expression from physical constraints and political scrutiny. These promises are not accidental: many organizations, from private corporations like Google to open-source software projects like One Laptop Per Child, specifically build their machines and software to embody these values. At times, however, the full implications of these design choices are not fully understood until the technology is put into use. In the process of appropriating, re-negotiating, and sometimes countering a technological artifact, users Ė from governments to schoolchildren Ė bring their own values and practices to bear on it, often with unanticipated consequences.
What happens when the values of these groups conflict? When we account for the sundry cultures of designers and users, what are the implications of these technologies for society and free expression? The 2010 Rebele First Amendment Panel will explore the ways in which the design and use of communication technologies can help or hinder freedom of expression. We will discuss the process by which technologies come to embody and symbolize values, how values are negotiated by various groups as the technology goes into use, and the implications of these processes for free communication.
This panel brings together three pre-eminent scholars at the forefront of this research area: Batya Friedman, Mark Warschauer, and Jenna Burrell. These scholars draw from myriad disciplines, including anthropology, cultural studies, communication, education, information science, and computer science. Batya Friedman, Professor at the University of Washington and Co-director of the Value-Sensitive Design Research Laboratory, has provided a methodological framework for studying values in the design of technologies and offers a designerís perspective on the integration of values into technology. Mark Warschauer, Professor at University of California, Irvine and Founding Director of its Digital Learning Lab, is a leading scholar of technology in education, the digital divide, and technology and development. Jenna Burrell, Assistant Professor at University of California, Berkeley, has analyzed technosocial practices in post-colonial countries, particularly Africa. Organizer Morgan Ames will join these scholars by discussing her recent work on the values that families create around communication and media technologies and her upcoming dissertation research on the social meanings of the One Laptop Per Child project. Associate Professor Fred Turner will moderate the discussion.
+ participant biographies
Panelist Batya Friedman
Batya Friedman is a Professor in the Information School and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, where she co-directs the Value Sensitive Design Research Laboratory. She received both her BA (1979) and PhD (1988) from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Friedmanís research interests include human-computer interaction, especially human values in design, social and cultural aspects of information systems, and design methodology. Her 1997 edited volume (Cambridge University Press) is titled Human Values and the Design of Computer Technology. Her work on Value Sensitive Design has focused on the values of informed consent, privacy in public, trust, freedom from bias, moral agency, and human dignity, and engaged such technologies as web browsers, large-screen displays, urban simulation, robotics, open-source code bases, and location-enhanced computing. She is also Co-Director for The Mina Institute (Covelo, CA).