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Category: Weekly Summaries

Week 11 Summary

Week 11 Summary

Week 11 Summary: Mar. 27 – Apr. 2

Week 11! It’s hard to believe we are in the second last week of EDC. During this week, I tried – without much luck – to integrate Evernote into my lifestream blog (see post here). I also spent some time posting about the music editing process for our final assignment HERE, and was finally able to post both the original and edited version of our music choice. Linzi and I have been contributing notes to a shared Google doc for brainstorming/planning purposes for our final assignment. We’ve also had a few lengthy Skype conversations about our collaboration where we’ve come up with some interesting and exciting ideas.
I’ve also participated on Twitter again this week and have continued to add thoughts and ideas about learning analytics and data tracking and practices in education in a post found HERE. In my post, I discussed an article by Audrey Watters: How data and analytics can improve education (July 25, 2011). Watters interviewed George Siemens about the “possibilities and challenges for data, teaching, and learning.” I tried to relate the information provided in this article to my experience teaching marketing in higher education – to tracking students via learning management systems. I suggested that the analytical data gathered by LMSs gives us (teachers) ‘warning signs’ for students who, perhaps, are falling behind. I also observed that quantitative data alone cannot give us a clear picture of a student’s progress or of their actual acquisition of learning.

Finally, I created a video artefact in honour of our Tweetorial event using Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (Finale) – please find it posted it HERE and tweeted it HERE.

As we approach the final week (12) in EDC, I have also been cleaning up my blog and fixing/editing/adding more information that I neglected to post earlier.


Watters, A. (2011, July 24). How data and analytics can improve education. Retrieved from

Week 10 Summary

Week 10 Summary

Week 10 Summary: Mar. 20-26

This week I was thankful to be able to finally attend the group Hangouts tutorial on Mar. 21.

After missing the other tutorials due to work commitments, I was grateful to have the chance to listen to my colleagues in EDC and to make small contributions to the discussion. I also wrote a couple of Tweetorial analysis posts HERE and HERE. I found it difficult to come up with a scholarly analysis of our Tweetorial, but was thankful for my classmates’ excellent observations in their blog posts.

In my first Tweetorial analysis post, I discussed the micro-contribution of ‘liking’ tweets and of how I feel this act has value because it adds to sense of community and acknowledges my peers (I see you!).

In my second Tweetorial analysis post, I used my own Twitter analytics from our Tweetorial which led to some interesting questions surrounding influence, engagement, audience and gender via social networks. I also related the data to my own professional practice of coaching figure skating, using an example of tracking jump attempts and of how this data could be used for the betterment of my skaters. I found a great paper by Pegrum (2010) about network literacy as a core digital literacy. 

In other random posts, I added a cool video on combining human and tech HERE, posted Keating’s Optimist music for our final EDC project via Spotify HERE, and reminisced about my time teaching skating in Singapore in a post HERE.

I made a brief (and funny) video HERE about Twitter and our community there, and a quick post about our Hangouts tutorial HERE.

Cheers to a great week 10!

Week 9 Summary

Week 9 Summary

Week 9 Summary: Mar. 13-19

Week 9 in EDC was exciting because of our Tweetorial exercise: an intensive two-day Tweet-a-thon on Mar. 16-17. I’ve collected all my Tweetorial tweets into one place HERE, where I discussed the Siemens article, and all my week 9 posts HERE. I also enjoyed investigating a tweet link from Clare from Siemens, Sharkey and Blackall on how to measure success. I made an extra effort this week during our two-day Tweetorial to be ‘on’ Twitter as much as I could. It did, however, become somewhat challenging because of the five hour time difference between Canada and Edinburgh (I would wake up in the morning to find a plethora of #mscedc tweets). 

Although I find the topic of learning analytics (LA) somewhat dry and uninteresting, I’ve learned over this week, that LA can provide valuable information for education. I enjoyed the video lecture from Ben Williamson and  in this post, I discuss the importance of meaning and the idea of students as ‘customers’ in higher education, sparked from a Twitter comment by Chenee about the ‘marketisation of education’. I related some of these themes back to the marketing course I taught at Durham College. I also now know what Tesco is, ha!

I also discussed how students are ‘co-producers’ of their education; I feel especially luck to be a student at U of Edinburgh and credit the institution and faculty for fostering co-production and co-creation between students and teachers. The innovative and progressive DE programme here at UofE allows me freedom of choice in my projects and educational exploration. 

Week 8 Summary

Week 8 Summary

Week 8 Summary: Mar. 6-12

Besides participating on Twitter #mscedc, I spent many hours this week exploring algorithms (as seen in posts HERE (Algorithmic Art), HERE (Villains and Heroes) and HERE (Music and Math) via my social media (mostly Facebook), through Amazon, YouTube and Google+, as well as engaging in and trying to connect the readings. I also discovered some other interesting content, found in these posts: kissing robot from Soundcloud and Facebook algorithm preventing the inclusion of Syrian refugees from LinkedIn and the Lifeline Syria Challenge from Soundcloud.

Although I was aware of the predictions and recommendations that algorithms produce, I was surprised to know to what extent their reach extends. For me, Week 8’s task on playing with algorithms culminated in the following two lifestream posts: Exploring algorithms part 1 and part 2.  I also posted Netflix for Me! and YouTube Predictive Results on my Tumblr site.

I also joined a Skype conversation this week with Chenee, Linzi, Dirk and Stuart; it was great to connect with my classmates and engage in some informal discussion. Linzi and I stayed on afterwards and discussed our upcoming collaborative video project for our final EDC assignment.

Photo of Linzi and I on Skype.

Carrying over from Week 7, Comments from Renee on my micro-ethnography project were very poignant; her remarks about how my Holocaust MOOC might’ve been more participatory due to the role of ‘empathetic listening’ around such a chilling subject matter made me think about the various roles people embody in online communities. Some people are cheerleaders, some are critical and others are ‘likers’ and/or ‘lurkers’. I believe I fall into the cheerleader/liker/lurker categories, but aspire to be more critical – yet empathetic – in my online communities.

I was also delighted to post a conversation I had with Deborah Wizel – a woman I met in my MOOC who wrote the Holocaust survivor poem I included in my micro-ethnography. I was thrilled about going beyond the MOOC community and exchanging in a personal email conversation with Deborah.

Week 7 Summary

Week 7 Summary

Week 7 Summary: Feb. 27 – Mar. 5

This week I spent most of my time creating my micro-ethnography on Adobe Spark called Stories of a MOOC: thoughts & experiences (and also found here). I first began my MOOC micro-ethnography/netnography in FutureLearn’s The Internet of Things but after spending some time immersed in the MOOC community, realised it was not for me. Thankfully, I found The Holocaust: An Introduction – Part 2; this MOOC was very intense and I was able to get involved with this community at a deeper level.

I was delighted to discover Adobe Spark which I used to create my micro-ethnography presentation. Through my weekly exploration of the course content and readings, making notes, and in looking at my classmates’ blogs, I have learned a great deal; the value of online communities is definitely apparent. I also spent a lot of time creating three videos for my ethnography found here, here and here.

Additionally, I spent time engaging with our #mscedc community conversations on Twitter, with examples here, here and here. I made comments on others’ blogs, mostly in reference to the visual artefacts – such amazing work! I also pinned my location on Eli’s #mscedc community Google map; it’s interesting to see how our class is dispersed throughout the globe yet through the affordances of digital technology we are able to come together, collapsing time and distance.

Finally, in honour of community and camaraderie, I chose to respond to Dirk’s visual artefact with a robot voice video of myself… Perhaps a little silly, but I thought Dirk might appreciate my effort with keeping in ‘cyborg’ spirit!



Week 6 Summary

Week 6 Summary

Week 6 Summary: Feb. 20-26

I hesitate to echo my summaries from weeks four and five, but again, I am struggling with finding the time to post here on my lifestream blog.

One positive thing that’s happened during this is that I’ve decided to abandon the IoT MOOC and switch to another MOOC on FutureLearn from Tel Aviv University: The Holocaust: An Introduction – Part 2. I reported this news in a post HERE. Given my interest in the Holocaust and my previous blog posts about it in Block 1, this seems like the right choice to make. I’m now thinking, why didn’t I decide to study this Holocaust MOOC in the beginning? Better late than never, I suppose.

Since I decided to join the Holocaust MOOC, I was reminded of a documentary film on Ellen Burka – legendary Canadian figure skating coach. I posted the YouTube documentary video in a post HERE. I remember when Skate to Survive first came out and I purchased the DVD which had to be shipped from Israel. How nice that it’s on YouTube now for all to see!

I have also been reinvigorated this week through our #mscedc Twitter community with some proof of this in tweets HERE, HEREHERE and HERE.

Week 6 has also been a time for me to re-visit the readings – especially Knox (2015), Kozinets (2010) and Stewart (2013).

My favourite quote from Kozinets (2010):

“When information and communications technology is cast into the world, and moist life breathed into its brittle, dry circuitry, it turns out that it is used to manifest culture and build community.”

And finally, in THIS post, I included some of my rough planning notes in preparation for my micro-ethnography presentation.


Knox, J. 2015. Community Cultures. Excerpt from Critical Education and Digital Cultures. In Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. M. A. Peters (ed.). DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_124-1

Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage. pp. 21-40.

Stewart, B., (2013). Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation? MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Technology, 9(2), pp.228–238.

Week 5 Summary

Week 5 Summary

Week 5 Summary: Feb. 13-19

Week 5…

Once again I am struggling to find time to post my thoughts on my lifestream blog.

I am working on a comic strip for my micro-ethnography; I think it might be a creative way to present my findings and to ‘re-brand’ the MOOC experience into something new and fun. Here, you will find a sneak peak in THIS post.

In THIS post, I talk about how the IoT MOOC has taken the educational community to an arguably non-educational and more social space: WhatsApp. The IoT MOOC WhatsApp chat group is limited to 250 members and is only for those who are most enthusiastic participants (not me). Knox (2015) mentions that social network spaces like Facebook and Twitter can be identified as “intense sites of contemporary community culture;’ can WhatsApp be considered as part of this group? In my experience with WhatsApp with my classmates, Chenée and Iwona (from other courses), I can accurately report that the community culture, camaraderie and support I’ve received from participating in discussion on WhatsApp has been invaluable to my studies at U of Edinburgh. Whenever I have a question, make a hypothesis or need support, my friends on WhatsApp are there for me…isn’t this the epitome of community culture in a digital world where are separated only through geographical distances?

And although it’s not showing in my lifestream blog, I am spending much time researching and creating my micro-ethnography. My motto is always to ‘enjoy the process.’


Knox, J. 2015. Community Cultures. Excerpt from Critical Education and Digital Cultures. In Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. M. A. Peters (ed.). DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_124-1

Week 4 Summary

Week 4 Summary

Week 4 Summary: Feb. 6-12

Week 4 of EDC has been a blur. I’ve had no time to sit down and post my thoughts which I collect on various Google docs. I’m finding it difficult to manage this course and my two jobs (one during the day and one in the evenings/weekends). I also think I’m struggling because I seem to be stuck in week 3 in thinking about the visual artefact as that project was a major undertaking for me.

I did manage to enrol in a MOOC thanks to a suggestion from Chenée, again, and spent time going through the MOOC content and postings.

I’ve also checked the Hub, but haven’t contributed to the discussion there. Perhaps it is lack of time and/or energy, but I’m struggling to post my thoughts on this public platform rather than just jot them down in my private Google documents. Once again though, I am learning from reading about my peers’ activities and postings on their blogs.

Week 3 Summary

Week 3 Summary

Week 3 Summary: Jan. 30 – Feb. 5

This week was dedicated to the following three things:

  1. Recording video footage for my visual artefact: I decided to record clips of ‘happenings’ from around my own house – the coffee grinder, piano, laptop computer, chandelier, etc. I wanted to depict everyday things that mix the ‘technology’ with the ‘human’. I posted a rather ‘unedited’ planning document HERE, before taking the footage to begin the long process of creating and editing it on Final Cut Pro into a video for my visual artefact.
  2. Postings: I engaged in conversations on Twitter commenting on others’ visual artefacts and tweeted my own artefact HERE. I also blogged about figure skating prosthetics and cyborgs HERE, and reflected on transhumanist views in relation to an exciting initiative called ‘New Dimensions of Testimony’ using Bayne (2014) and Miller (2011) HERE. Finally, I posted a picture of Holocaust survivor, Pinchas Gutter HERE, and more on ‘New Dimensions of Testimony’ HERE and HERE.
  3. Visual Artefact: This week, I posted my visual artefact – a few times from a few different sources – but the final artefact can be found HERE, with comments from my classmates. I was proud of how my artefact turned out; I wanted to portray a feeling of anxiousness and of monotony – like a drone machine trying to struggle through life as a human or machine (or a cyborg, perhaps?). I enjoyed mixing the tech sounds and images with the human (breathing, heartbeat sounds) and think it was an effective way to combine human and tech.

As I usually do, I realise I probably spent entirely too much time creating my visual artefact, but I did find it to be a worthwhile project – a great way to end week 3!

Week 2 Summary

Week 2 Summary

Week 2 Summary: Jan. 23-29

Week 2 of EDC has been difficult because I’ve been very involved with training for my new job in communications in the nuclear power industry (I know nothing about nuclear power). I’ve had limited time to dedicate to my lifestream blog and am feeling the pressure to produce worthy content to post.
I was glad to participate in Helen W’s Togethertube catch-ups where we discussed the films from the Film Festival. It was great to hear ideas from my peers but was sometimes difficult to follow the film, think about the film and follow the discussion. I also think it was difficult for me since I have no background in these topics (I’ve never seen Bladerunner!).

This week, I’ve also been giving much thought to my visual artefact and expressed some of those ideas in a post HERE, along with thoughts about ‘transhumanism’ from the Bayne (2014) paper.

I also discussed my favourite films from the Film Festival in a post HERE. I loved We Only Attack Ourselves and found the imagery quite impactful and representative of the human-cyborg struggle.

I am lucky to have become friends with Chenée who I chat with quite often on WhatsApp; in this post, I illustrate our discussion through a screenshot and through an image of a sketch I made about culture after hearing Chenée’s thoughts.