Telelearning and teleconferencing

A major cognitive framework for individuating, visualizing, and keeping track of different items of knowledge (such as who said what in a conference or what items of data go with what) is the use of real 3D spatial locations. We use space both literally (as in the desktop or office model of data organization) and also figuratively. Examples of the latter includes such techniques as mentally locating different facts and premises in certain imagined spatial loci -- a technique widely used in mnemonic aids, and the use of spatial location in reasoning where so-called "spatial paralogic" provides an important scheme for keeping track of different components of a problem. The use of distinct spatial loci in reasoning and visualizing can be enhanced and its effectiveness in communication increased if distinct spatial locations can be shared. This, of course, happens routinely when people use gestures, pointing, and carving shapes in the air when they converse. Sharing a common workspace and conceptual space is now becoming technologically feasible through the use of interactive multimedia workstations, in which sound and 3D visual locations can be communicated and spatial indicators such as pointing in space can form part of the human-computer interaction.
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