Morgan G. Ames

Morgan G. Ames
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society

See http://morganya.org

About

39
Publications
8,649
Reads
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3,478
Citations
Introduction
See http://morganya.org for my current research and copies of most of my papers.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - December 2015
University of California, Irvine
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2006 - June 2013
Stanford University
Position
  • PhD Student
August 2004 - May 2006
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Student

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
This paper examines the history of the learning theory "constructionism" and its most well-known implementation, Logo, to examine beliefs involving both "C's" in CSCW: computers and cooperation. Tracing the tumultuous history of one of the first examples of computer-supported cooperative learning (CSCL) allows us to question some present-day assump...
Conference Paper
There is a growing community within CSCW that examines issues of equity and inclusion in internet and social media use. With researchers focused on global development, social justice, accessibility, and more, we contend that there are issues of equity and inclusion impacting the research subjects located on the "margins" of digital existence, the r...
Article
Full-text available
This special theme contextualizes, examines, and ultimately works to dispel the feelings of “sublime”—of awe and terror that overrides rational thought—that much of the contemporary public discourse on algorithms encourages. Employing critical, reflexive, and ethnographic techniques, these authors show that while algorithms can take on a multiplici...
Conference Paper
We present a microsociology of Minecraft play based on ethnographic observations of a 40-hour co-located Minecraft camp for 28 low-income and minority children in July 2015, supplemented by usage statistics and follow-up interviews. We consider the equity challenges presented by (1) Minecraft itself and the ecosystem supporting it; (2) the multipla...
Article
We identify and examine the assumption of information determinism that is commonplace in policy arenas: that mere access to the “right information” will precipitate desired actions. Our analysis focuses on implications of information determinism in three cases: California disaster response plans in the 1980s, an Indian development project in the 19...
Article
This article examines one of the largest interventions in computer-based learning currently underway, the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, with 2.5 million laptops in use worldwide. Drawing on 2010 and 2013 fieldwork investigating a project in Paraguay with 10,000 of OLPC's “XO” laptops, I explore the ways in which participants interpreted leis...
Article
This special issue provides an opportunity to rethink how we approach, study, and conceptualize human relationships with, and through, technology. The authors in this collection take a multiplicity of approaches on diverse topics to develop a rigorous theoretical understanding for non-use, setting crucial groundwork for future research.
Article
div class="page" title="Page 1"> To explain the uncanny holding power that some technologies seem to have, this paper presents a theory of charisma as attached to technology. It uses the One Laptop per Child project as a case study for exploring the features, benefits, and pitfalls of charisma. It then contextualizes OLPC’s charismatic power in th...
Conference Paper
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of alt.chi, two of this year's alt.chi chairs, Ames and Lindtner, will moderate a panel with chairs from previous years to reflect on the legacy of alt.chi in the broader CHI community and discuss where the track should be headed in the future. We intend the panel to be highly interactive, incorporating the audi...
Conference Paper
While some in the CSCW community have researched the values in technology design and engineering practices, the underlying ideologies that reinforce and protect those values remain under-explored. This paper seeks to address this gap by identifying a common ideological framework that appears across four engineering endeavors: the OLPC Project, the...
Article
Non-use goes beyond the absence of technology. Use and non-use are not binary opposites but represent different configurations of socio-technical practice. Studying these socio-technical configurations opens up central questions around 'the user' in HCI. A workshop has been organized at ACM?s CHI 2014 conference to address this issue. The participa...
Article
Ames describes the appeal of the XO laptop, created by the One Laptop per Child program, in Paraguay in terms of the concept of the charismatic object, which exerts power not because of what it is but because of what it promises to do. Tracing the everyday challenges related to the use of the XO laptop in the classroom and the networks of NGOs, tea...
Article
In contrast to most research in HCI, this workshop focuses on non-use, that is, situations where people do not use computing technology. Using a reflexive pre-workshop activity and discussion-oriented sessions, we will consider the theories, methods, foundational texts, and central research questions in the study of non-use. In addition to a specia...
Article
Making has transformed from a fringe and hobbyist practice into a professionalizing field and an emerging industry. Enthusiasts laud its potential to democratize technology, improve the workforce, empower consumers, encourage citizen science, and contribute to the global economy. Yet critics counter that in the West, making often remains a hobby fo...
Conference Paper
This paper explores issues that come up in practices of breakage and repair through two projects: the 'XO' laptops of One Laptop Per Child in Paraguay and public sites of facilitated repair in California, USA. Collectively drawing on 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork, 156 interviews, and archival research, we find that breakdown and repair are no...
Article
We introduce two case studies that illuminate a particular way of conceptualizing childhood and technology: the East Bay Fixit Clinic and the One Laptop Per Child project. Both cases borrow ideologies of childhood from contemporary American culture and ideas of technological potential from computer cultures. The developers and organizers in these t...
Conference Paper
This paper discusses three concepts that govern technosocial practices among university students with iPhones. First is the social expectation of constant connection that requires multitasking to achieve. Second is the resulting technosocial pecking order of who gets interrupted or ignored for whom. Third is the way that many students push back aga...
Conference Paper
Users in the developing world continue to appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs) in pioneering ways resulting in innovations such as M-Pesa, the popular mobile money transfer system developed in Kenya. M-Pesa's success demonstrates the emergence of user-centered innovative applications in resource-constrained settings. The go...
Article
Full-text available
The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program has sought to transform education by developing and distributing to low-income children around the world an inexpensive computer with an innovative interface and applications. This article investigates the implementation of OLPC in Birmingham, Alabama, where some 15,000 of the group's XO laptops were distribu...
Conference Paper
This ethnographic study of 22 diverse families in the San Francisco Bay Area provides a holistic account of parents' attitudes about their children's use of technology. We found that parents from different socioeconomic classes have different values and practices around technology use, and that those values and practices reflect structural differen...
Article
Full-text available
Family Story Play is an interactive book-reading system designed for two-to-four-year-olds that couples videoconferencing with paper books and interactive content to support grandparents reading together with their grandchildren over the Internet. The Story Play system is designed to improve the amount and quality of interaction between children an...
Article
What is the future of digital imaging? Mobile imaging technologies have been changing rapidly and will continue to do so. We explore new developments in cam- eraphone photography with the goal of improving the design of the next generation of mobile imaging devices. We equipped 26 diverse participants with cameraphones, photo uploading and sharing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we explore the benefits of videochat for families and the corresponding work that home users engage in to make a video call run smoothly. We explore the varieties of social work required, including coordination work, presentation work, behavioral work, and scaffolding work, as well as the technical work necessary. We outline the bene...
Conference Paper
We interviewed and observed families in their homes to understand how they communicate across generations and across distances. The phone is still the most common way for keeping children in touch with distant relatives. However, many children can't talk on the phone by themselves until 7 or 8 years old. This paper examines the challenges children...
Conference Paper
Why do people tag? Users have mostly avoided annotating media such as photos - both in desktop and mobile environments - despite the many potential uses for annotations, including recall and retrieval. We investigate the incentives for annotation in Flickr, a popular web-based photo-sharing system, and ZoneTag, a cameraphone photo capture and annot...
Conference Paper
The PhotoArcs interface aims to enable easy and fun creation and manipulation of photo-narratives to encourage sharing and interaction. PhotoArcs levera ges the benefits of existing sharing habits both online and face-to-face. We describe our design of the PhotoAr cs interface, report on the results of an exploratory low- fidelity usability study w...
Conference Paper
PhotoArcs is a framework for flexible creation of timeline displays of photographs, photo-narratives, and consistent, collaboratively-created metadata. The interface aims to enable easy and fun manipulation and sharing of digital photographs and stories, organized around chronological "arcs" of photographs, to encourage remote sharing and interacti...
Conference Paper
Developments in networked digital imaging promise to substantially affect the near-universal experience of personal photography. Designing technology for image capture and sharing requires an understanding of how people use photos as well as how they adapt emerging technology to their photographic practices, and vice versa. In this paper, we report...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Synchronous remote usability studies can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to conventional local usability studies. Although they are common in the field, there has been little research comparing synchronous remote usability studies with local studies. In our comparison of remote and local studies of an expert interface, the primary di...
Article
Full-text available
We present a technique for evaluating the usability and e#ectiveness of ambient displays. Ambient displays are abstract and aesthetic peripheral displays portraying non-critical information on the periphery of a user's attention. Although many innovative displays have been published, little existing work has focused on their evaluation, in part bec...
Article
Cameraphones show the potential to revolutionize personal photography. We gave cameraphones linked to an Internet-based uploading and sharing system (MMM2) to a tightly-connected group of 40 people for up to ten months. This paper examines cameraphone use as both continuous and discontinuous with prior practices in personal photography. We describe...
Article
Full-text available
We are conducting open-ended interviews and field observations with 20 families from different ethnic groups and living in different locations to explore how technology is implicated in family communication and feelings of family "togetherness" for families with children in early elementary school. We intersperse these interviews with design exerci...
Article
Full-text available
An important problem for technology design is predicting users and uses for emerging technologies—doing user- centered design for users and uses that don't yet exist. The primary contribution of this paper is in presenting a method for anticipating future uses of new technology by looking at users' higher-order motives or activities for current and...
Article
Full-text available
The Healthy Cities project addresses the lack of publicly- available information about city health. Through interviews and surveys of Berkeley residents, we have found that city health includes a wide variety of economic, environmental, and social indicators. We are building public ambient displays that make city health more visible and encourage c...
Article
Full-text available
We first present a set of potential design dimensions for ambient displays, which are ubiquitous computing devices which monitor and display information in a peripheral, non-obtrusive way, and are meant to reduce demand on one's memory and overloaded senses (such as vision). We developed these design dimensions based on our experience in building t...
Article
In three transnational case studies of ICT use, we unpack common social constructions of free information in the West: the market commoditization of information, the socially viral nature of information, the ethical role of information, and the physical (dis)embodiment of information. We connect these constructions under the ideology of "neo-inform...

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