Tag Archives: Pinterest

Pinterest! River Course


Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: river formation diagram


In Week 10 I posted a picture of the beach which I captioned Lifestream reaches the sea and I captured this diagram as part of my imagining of this lifestream as a river course, associating its early days with the steep plunge of a young river when I was learning what was required and how to set up the ifttt automation before embarking on a fast and furious flow of reading, blogging, capturing and tweeting. This vertiginous drop gave way briefly to calmer pools in which it was possible to momentarily catch breath and reflect on the course before racing downstream again. I could carry on making these associations – tributaries representing ideas and impressions flowing in from my mooc and from other students in the community; rocks set midstream or pebbles thrown in from tutors causing thought-ripples or rapids; taking leisurely meanders through ideas picked up along the way; running aground in stagnant oxbow lakes when losing flow, direction or community.

Where I think the lifestream’s analogy to a river course does work is in the fast-paced nature of the experience, the myriad inputs from outside that have flowed into it, its unique source and the individual landscape around it that will make every lifestream different and the vertical scrolling rolling unidirectional blog form privileging the now and making attempts to wade back upstream difficult.

Pinterest! Getting google-shaped

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures:

Among the best ways to improve the usefulness of search results is to analyse which links were ultimately clicked by people who previously performed the same search, as well as what the user has searched for before.

Google has far more of that data than anyone else. That suggests the company may continue to shape our access to knowledge for generations to come.


Pinterest! Dispositif

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: Foucault’s dispositif http://ift.tt/2mQsRqI

What is the dispositif?

I pinned this because I found it serendipitously whilst looking for the word diapositif or negative, (old-fashioned film slides) for a short post I was writing on Jeremy’s Abstracting Learning Analytics blog. Foucault’s dispositif seems to sum up the complex interrelation of elements making up the mechanism or apparatus behind Learning Analytics:

From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispositif

This requires some reading before I can properly decide if it’s relevant.

Pinterest! LARC

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: The Learning Analytics Report Card (LARC) project asks: ‘How can University teaching teams develop critical and participatory approaches to educational data analysis?’ It seeks to develop ways of involving students as research partners and active participants in their own data collection and analysis, as well as foster critical understanding of the use of computational analysis in education. Working with students on specific courses within the Masters in Digital Education. http://ift.tt/2mccV5K

In spite of my default viewpoint being negative and dystopic (!) this looks like a really interesting approach to Learning Analytics, although I might have preferred it if students could choose what was tracked, not just what was displayed in their report. Perhaps doing so would mean that not enough student data would be captured for the research to be meaningful.

As well as tracking student data, individuals could be asked to supply contextual detail to supplement the algorithm’s understanding of them.

Pinterest! Data Visualisation

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: Big Data Humor: Power of the Pie http://ift.tt/2moCA7p

I pinned this image to Pinterest because it is amusing but also because it says lots of things to me about Learning Analytics and infographics. Learning Analytics companies are keen to promote their ‘dashboards’ where information is depicted graphically, enabling users to understand performance, trend or numbers at a glance. I am suspicious of these kind of duplo infographics which resist all nuance to deliver headline news. The visual representation of statistics is, by definition, devoid of intricate detail, but the view of information these graphics embody is more akin to advertising a reality than reflecting one. Infographics are selling us a view of information, the gathering of which has ready-encoded in it the decisions and motives behind the view it wants to promote. Advertising is designed to be appealing, persuasive and agentic whilst subtly constitutive of a social and political stance.


Pinterest! Data de-humanises?

I pinned this cartoon to Pinterest because it made me think about learning analytics and its requirement to model the student and map the knowledge domain against which she might be measured. Williamson emphasises the importance of modelling,

complex human and social activities – and the values and assumptions held about them – are operationalized by being translated into a functional interaction of models, goals, data, variables, indicators, and outcomes. The algorithm itself, in this sense, may not be as important an object of inquiry as the underlying ‘models’
(Williamson, 2017, p.84)

Does modelling de-humanise the student by reducing her to data and, even if that is the case, are hitherto unrealised patterns of behaviour revealed which might help her? The more detailed and recursive the modelling, employing techniques of machine learning, the more faithful the model and potentially, the more useful a prediction or prescription. However, as Siemens (2013) admits, analytics is “about identifying and revealing what already exists” (p.1395), leaving little scope to unearth the accidents and epiphanies of learning.

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures: Data dehumanises? http://ift.tt/2mJqI2u

Pinterest! Facebook and censorship

Just Pinned to Education and Digital Cultures:

A senior MP says he is disturbed Facebook refused to remove sexualised images of children.

Gillespie, (forthcoming),

Though large scale information services pride themselves on being comprehensive, these sites are and always must be censors as well. Indexes are culled of spam and viruses, patrolled for copyright infringement and pornography, and scrubbed of the obscene, the objectionable, or the politically contentious