Week 4 weekly thoughts

Image S B F Ryan, Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/47572798@N00/8397808475

I liked this music on Soundcloud because, as a set of variations on a theme, it serves as a melodic link between Blocks 1 and 2. From early cybercultures and their playful interpretations of the net, EDC is turning to concentrate on network-enabled community cultures and their meaning for education.

Looking back, variations on a theme make me think of our burgeoning ability to create iterations of our human selves as cyborgs, each slightly different from the original, although whether an improvement, is subjective and up for debate.

Looking ahead, variations hail the start of my chosen mooc, A Philosophical Road Trip.  I chose this mooc for its experiential introduction to phenomenology and the mise en abîme effect of making an ethnographic study of students of phenomenology. It is a philosophy which urges an active observation of the world and of ourselves. It encourages us to explore and exploit the double take so that we waken from perceiving the world as expected and view it anew and differently: epoché.

Following this philosophy, I might uncover some of the tensions and obscured constructions behind what it is to become part of an online learning community. I may observe “tensions between the creative, open sources practices of web media and the economic and commercial forces with which they react” (Lister, 2009, p.205), tensions between a Socratic understanding of knowledge delivery and theories of connectivism and distributed expertise, (Stewart, 2013) and tensions between a free community sharing a common interest and a forced, ersatz participation.


Lister, M. … [et al.], (2009) “Chapter 3. Networks, users and economics” from Martin Lister … [et al.], New media: a critical introduction pp.163-236, London: Routledge

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

One thought on “Week 4 weekly thoughts

  1. jknox

    ‘as a set of variations on a theme, it serves as a melodic link between Blocks 1 and 2.’

    Super musical link with our transition between blocks, making an interesting summary of week 4!

    The phenomenology MOOC sounds really terrific – another one that I wish I had time to look at myself! I think the subject area is really interesting; philosophy MOOCs seem to be very popular. I’m not sure quite why that is, but maybe your explorations might reveal more. Is it the kind of subject one wishes one had taken in college or university, but are now finding the time in one’s ‘life long learning’? Maybe it is the less formal nature of the MOOC that lends itself to philosophy teaching?

    The sense of community around a philosophy MOOC may also be particularly interesting to study. I know of a MOOC on philosophy that recently closed its discussion forum, due to what it described as very unproductive conversations going on. I guess ‘flaming’ would be the appropriate term. Perhaps there is something about the topic that can lead to antagonistic behaviour? I’m certainly not suggesting that this will happen in your course, but interested in the kind of community you will find! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *