chapter  9
20 Pages

Networked Places as Communicative Resources

A Social-Semiotic Analysis of a Redesigned University Library
WithLouise J. Ravelli, Robert J. McMurtrie

This chapter takes one such learning space, the Menzies Library at the University of New South Wales' (UNSW), Sydney, which underwent significant recent renovations, and examines how changes to place have the potential to simultaneously reconfigure the nature and potential of learning in these places, and particularly of networked learning. It demonstrates how a social-semiotic approach can be applied to the physical dimensions of a learning space, in order to provide a particular understanding of "networked" places. The chapter proposes that the reconfiguration of the physical space, enabling varying social connections and behaviors, simultaneously facilitates a reconfiguration of networked learning within the University. Goodyear and Carvalho point to the urgent need for greater theorization of complex texts: material, digital, and social. Social semiotics is one theory which can address such complex notions of text, where "text" is understood as a meaningful instance of communication.