Dr Katina Hazelden

Katina Hazelden achieved her PhD in Telematic Learning Environments in 2012.

Graduated BSc MediaLab Arts in 2002, and then MSc Human Communication and Computing, Bath in 2003. Master’s thesis evaluated the impact on social dynamics when engaged with mobile devices.
Employed from 2003 to 2004 as full time lecturer in digital media at Filton College, Bristol.
2004, employed as a training officer for TASI based at Bristol University.

Infinite Infants (www.infiniteinfants.org) aims to design and deploy networked augmented playspaces to local primary schools in Plymouth. This is a trans-disciplinary practice based research project exploring the potential for shared, sustainable, virtual environments for children. The research is an enquiry into the potential for situated and collaborative learning via telematic narrative spaces.

Research Interests include psychology of learning, user led design and evaluation, augmented physical spaces, and telematically connected spaces.

PhD Title: Can Children Play with Electric Sheep? An Enactive Approach to Technologically Mediating Play Ecologies.

Research Question: Can the digital media artifacts and spaces of augmented realities, afford sufficient embodied presence to be embedded into enactive learning processes?

This thesis investigates the application of enactive principals to the design of classroom technologies for re­ception level learning. An enactive perspective stresses the importance of the active role of the body and the environment in thinking, acting and feeling. Cognitive, emotional and physical competencies are believed to result from embodied, emergent and co-determined learning processes. Enaction has repercussions for framing the learning activity and the design process, and so informs both the pedagogy and the design methods in this thesis. Situated research and practice considers how enactive concepts can be embedded within interactive digital media technologies and, in turn, reveal how media technologies might be assimilat­ed into children’s social, cognitive and physical learning. Technologies created as part of the design practice bring the context of use, the body and social domains, into mediated learning experiences. Factors which are considered to be largely absent from current classroom technologies and therefore use.

This thesis identifies the attributes of an enactive pedagogy, in order to understand what processes need to be afforded. From an enactive perspective, the learner is defined as an autonomous agent, capable of adap­tation via the recursive consumption of self generated meaning within the constraints of a social and mater­ial world. Adaptation is the parallel development of mind and body that occurs through interaction, which renders knowledge contingent on the environment from which it emerged. Parallel development means that action and perception in learning are as critical as thinking. An enactive approach to design therefore aspires to make interaction with technology part of the learning process, to exploit and develop behavioural knowledge.

This thesis recognises play and playfulness as vehicles for designing and evaluating enactive learning and the embodied use of technology. In enactive terms, social and physical play encompasses the principals of enactive pedagogies, such as autonomous enactment, and the urge to create, share and consume meaning. As an applied framework, this position rejects the computer centric activities prevalent in systems available for learning through play; instead, this thesis focuses on the physical and cognitive qualities of children’s so­cial play and pretence.