Information and communication technologies in educational practices: interaction spaces? A study on an on-line forum

This study gives a special emphasis on the concept of interaction that emerges with force and expression from the use of the technologies of information and communication. It focuses on the specific field of educational practices by analyzing the communication among participants of an on-line forum, an interactive practice to promote exchanges of information and experiences. From the theoretical point of view, the relationships among the participants are analyzed according to the categories of Jürgen Haberma's theory of communicative action in dialogue with the speech categories proposed by Eni Orlandi. This analysis allows us to affirm that if the so called interactive spaces (as chats and on-line groups of discussion) are potential resources for the transformation of social relationships. Yet, these same resources can be used to reinforce power relationships, thus serving more to consolidate ideas and propositions that one wants to execute than to promote interaction.

Virtual environment; Technology of information and communication; Communicative action; Social interaction

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