Without the internet I would not have learned what I learned tonight…

….Without the internet I would not have required to have learned what I learned in the first place.


I then set about creating a birthday wish with some video and images for my brother-in-law. It got a bit out of hand. I enjoyed learning what I needed to learn in order to create. I used YouTube, blogs, online discussion forum and some web pages to figure out techniques around Chroma Key, simple animation of images, cross-channel fades, downloading youtube videos….. I then posted it to Facebook so that my brother-in-law and his facebook friends could view it.

The end result itself for this course is not entirely relevant, but the skills I have learned tonight are exceptionally useful. Learning by doing. If you have the motivation to put effort in to something, then you will go the extra mile. This is why some technology, despite its obvious novelty value, is of great value in the classroom. Once you hook someone in, be it through motivation of progressing or changing status in a community, or just because something is fun initially, it can result in a great deal of satisfaction for the learner. No doubt for the teachers too, who see students getting to a new level of understanding without having to battle against unwillingness to learn.

Community in MOOCS should provide that backdrop. A motivation for learning. Appeal to those who can form connections out of nothing more than keypresses and internet communication. By  fostering community, the basic social need to be heard, to be seen, to be understood can be met.

Anyways, here’s the rather random outcome of my brother-in-law’s birthday wish.

Media Sources:

Soundtrack and some video clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXfs8qymvCc

Broforce PS4 game footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YchbF1b8m4

Greenscreen effects:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwRgYgC013o

Week 6 – Round Up

This week has been about my micro-ethnographic course over on Future Learn. I’ve been thinking about the ASPIRE framework, which is a good attempt at structuring workflow in advance of creating a bottom-up reusable learning object. I don’t know if I should be posting my comments from over there to my blog here or not. Perhaps they’ll be out of context, or perhaps not, or at least no more than some of my twitter posts and discussions with course-mates here on EDC.

I have been reading from the block’s secondary readings and thinking more about ethnography in the digital realm. I’m ready to start pulling together my report.

I’ve added some further videos to my playlist this week, but I can’t get around IFTTT and YouTube, so I’ll have to post them individually as I go, which is an inconvenience. This week’s videos have mostly been about or including virtual reality headsets such as the HTC Vive. One example from China includes the future of shopping. Many communities form around retail experience. I  will take a look at such communities forming in VR sometime next week.

Some of my images have been looking back, perhaps with some nostalgia, over what community was before the internet. With posts I might go back and title “how to community“; “remember when…” and “Is this on the internet of things?” I am enjoying taking time to consider how, after all we claim tech has changed our life, we’re still people, who need to eat, think, be creative and clear snow.

I also have grown to particularly dislike my current blog template (and IFTTT). Having looked at others on the course, my design sensibilities (such as they are) have returned to my blog somewhat offended by the lack of formatting, consistency and all. At this mid-ish-point, I intend to overhaul and extensively tidy my blog next week.

Micro-Ethnography – formation of a community and/or groups

I’ve been participating in the University of Nottingham’s excellent reusable learning objects course, which is actually entitled “Designing E-Learning for Health”.

For my micro-ethnography, I am currently looking at two possible routes.

The first is to take a snapshot of comments from two different stages in the course (beginning and middle, most likely as the course is still underway) and see if it’s possible to attribute each comment in a single activity to a position on  Kozinet’s matrix as I discussed with my blog tutor, James, in the Week 5 round-up.

The course has  also now offered participants a practical challenge. I wonder if it’s possible to look at tracking somehow, the formation of the groups through the comments section of each week. I’m not sure if this will be practical to achieve in the time frame, but I possibly might find that information easy enough to pull together when I’m looking at the Kozinet’s frame work and pulling in some ideas about how the community is forming, its nature and so on.

I also have some ideas about presenting some quantitative information surrounding the discussion analysis in Minecraft, but I’m probably just making a rod for my back. We’ll see how time goes.

From Twitter – Blue-sky thinking before technological pragmatism

from http://twitter.com/c4miller

From Twitter – Black Mirror

Black Mirror is constant stream of relevant sci-fi for Education and Digital Cultures. My wife watches it more often than I, but I’m struck by the themes and the dark twists that the series seem to enjoy. I will watch more over the summer…

from http://twitter.com/c4miller

From Twitter – community formation

I’ve been very busy at work this week, but community is really taking shape in my micro-ethnography subject course, as well as some items of work. Creating community is also something that some old gaming friends of mine are attempting to achieve. The coincidence piling through at this time was quite remarkable, hence the tweet.

from http://twitter.com/c4miller

From Twitter – a cautionary tale from a dysfunctional online community

from http://twitter.com/c4miller

Virtual reality, community and story telling

I’ve been busy at work preparing for a practical demonstration and a talk about Virtual Reality. The talk is primarily aimed at Marketing MSc students, but I’ve been able to draw some of it back to this course.

I’ll dissect this set of slides at the weekend, but here’s a video I found particularly compelling from a community perspective. Stories are absolutely essential to the fabric of any community, I argue. Online perhaps more-so.


There’s more on story telling, community and VR to come, but I also have to go back and add some meta data to the most recent Pintrest stream.


From Pinterest – “Every day is a School Day” in an online community

I had never heard of this simple technique for long multiplication, so this meme hit home.  When off-topic pieces of information are shared within existing communities, it can often lead to more than one person learning something new. “Every day is a School Day”.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Funniest Memes – http://ift.tt/2lqumvR

From Pinterest – How to build community

For each of the steps applicable to a community “IRL” (in real life) there is an equivalent step possible for an online community. People are people:

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: This is how things USED to be in my grandparents’ time… how sad that we have to be told how to get back to a simpler, more fulfilling way of life. http://ift.tt/2lBYzu8

From Pinterest – Online communities eventually take shape offline too

Perhaps it’s human nature, but I’d be interested to find examples of online communities that haven’t at least talked about meeting IRL (in real life).  Here’s an example of a very successful community that exists both online and offline.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Maker Movement Infographic http://ift.tt/2l3lRGj

From Pinterest – Dealing with problems in online communities

I found this info-graphic and thought it seemed to have sensible advice about how to deal with the instances where the community does not meet some reasonable levels of netiquette standards.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: How To Manage Negative Social Media Comments #infographic #SocialMedia #communitymanagement http://ift.tt/2lBRdqF

Remember where you’ve come from

In examining the recent past, it can help us appreciate what we have now. Appreciating what we have now is important because we should never take our situation for granted. Communities and technologies come and go, but underlying principles remain the same. Whether you have bookmarks or index cards, you still need to know how to find what you’re looking for. Communities surrounding practice also need to record their history. Your motivation to do so will depend on your engagement, and ambitions for that community and your place in it.

Just Pinned to Future: Google google Dewey Decimal System http://ift.tt/2lHj7la

From Pinterest – we’re not global yet, the digital divide

The internet may span the globe geographically, but it’s a long way short of spanning all of the planet’s inhabitants.  When wrapped up in your own online bubble, it’s very easy to forget that there are still billions of people who will never access the internet that day, or perhaps ever. The digitial divide is real.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Where Should You be Active Global Social Media Usage Stats for 2017 http://ift.tt/2li0gw5

From Pinterest – A cheeky reminder that technological progress is not always for the best

Forgetting the old ways?  Community helps keep our feet grounded and reminded that some of the answers we have come up with are actually worthwhile.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Solar-powered laundry dryer! http://ift.tt/2m7yill

From Pinterest – information overload

Great ideas can occur when you’re not actively engaged in seeking them. The fear of forgetting something important leads us to ever more pervasive forms of communication with the online communities we are part of. This PhD comic strip is not explicitly about community, more likely the protagonist is engaged in solo pursuits via a word processor, but the concept is sufficiently general to transfer to all ideas, their formation, and recording.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Where’d the idea go! http://ift.tt/2lhR0bw

From Pinterest – at the root of it all is an idea, possibly even a creative one

I feel there is something of a point to be made about the lifestream in this comic strip. We are encouraged to look evermore at multiple media types, and bring in visual (and aural) interest to the blog, but ultimately, it’s the idea at the core of it all that is trying to germinate through the layers. I feel it helps me to take hold of otherwise abstract ideas in readings, but perhaps not everyone feels that way.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Wow, ANIMORPHS-NOVEL.RTF? Just gonna, uh, go through and delete that from all my archives real quick. http://ift.tt/2l2S6W0

From Pinterest – reading online

There’s something to be said for printing out readings and sitting in a comfy chair to consume them.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Maybe we should give up on the whole idea of a ‘back’ button. ‘Show me that thing I was looking at a moment ago’ might just be too complicat… http://ift.tt/2lBQAxa

Week 5 Round-up

This week my chosen open course started “EXPLORING E-LEARNING FOR HEALTH” from the University of Nottingham.. I do not want to say too much more about that until I’m ready to consider my research. I’m keen to see if it’s possible to track or map the community using the matrix presented by Kozinets:

I’ve also been interested in the tensions outlined by Lister et al between politics, commerce, culture and the development of the internet. Sub cultures that are not really counter-cultures as such, but often wide-spread communities for like-minded people to express themselves without being stigmatised. Arguable, a powerful draw of all users of the web. Equally, the internet also provides the means under which such sub-cultures (such as “weeaboos”) become placed under intense, sometimes unwelcome or unfair, comment and criticism. Drawing this back to education I am minded that within classrooms virtual or physical, but particularly large classes as offered by MOOCs, there will be a multitude of backgrounds drawing people to the “open” mode of study. The true nature of which is not always evident either when being a “newbie lurker” (see above diagram) is always an option.

I’ve tried to use Twitter more this week. I’m starting to recognise names of my fellow students and look forward to reading their input or posts, which also suggests our community is starting to take shape, at least in my mind.

We had our Hangouts seminar this week two which I found to be very useful. I’m starting to get in to the habit of supplying meta data on most of my lifestream posts that are not self-descriptive at least.

p.s. I also note that I did not supply a week 4 roundup, which I’ll get to next week.

Communities, communication, creation; a song for MSCEDC playlist

There’s a short story called “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury that fits the themes of block one. A story about… well let’s just say it’s a chilling story about breakdown of family values, set in a world filled with technological marvel that doesn’t seem so far away from where we are today. How the creation of the lyrics came about fits neatly in block two…

Chris James online had picked up the lyrics from the music producer’s Deadmau5’s soundcloud. The music producer’s fans made the artist aware of the “fan” creation via text chat in the stream. That moment is recorded here [NSFW]:
Here are the lyrics that got Deadmau5 so excited:

The world that the children made

Happy life, with the machines
Scattered around the room
Look what they made, they made it for me
Happy technology

Outside, the lions run
Feeding on remains
We’ll never leave, look at us now
So in love with the way we are
The world that the children made
The world that the children made
The world that the children made
The world that the children made
Every night, they rock us to sleep
Digital family
Is it real, or is it a dream?
Can you believe in machines?
Outside, the beating sun
Can you hear the screams?
We’ll never leave, look at us now
So in love with the way we are
The world that the children made
The world that the children made
The world that the children made
The world
And here’s the final music and official video.

It’s well worth reading the story, watching the video of the “eureka” moment, and also watching the final video. The order you do that in is up to you! I hope you enjoy.  Certainly it’s a great set of events. The result is what has now for me at least, transcended from a song I knew, to a very memorable track.

From Pinterest – political constraint on technological development

We “need to be aware of the political and social pressures that constrain the development of technology” (Lister et al, 2009, p. 171)

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: German politician Patrick Sensburg thinks typewriters can thwart U.S. spying. http://ift.tt/2kU5P1c
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

From Pinterest – global geopolitics and networked communications media

“The ‘new era’ of global geopolitics is contemporaneous with the development of networked communications media.” (Lister et al, 2009, p 182)

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Read between the lines,and you will know the truth! They tell it like a Politician would. Leaving themselves in compliance and innocent at the same time. ??? http://ift.tt/2lVQ0Ly
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

From Pinterest

Sometimes getting away from it all gives new perspective. Our internet culture is world-wide, but we still segment ourselves in to smaller boxes. Perhaps our lives as social entities are unable to comprehend the vastness of it all, so segmentation is inevitable. Unless you’re on the moon….

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: ”You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.” http://ift.tt/2kUaYGG

From Pinterest – How can you ‘counter’ anything when you are continually observed?

Capitalism needs to continually feed itself, and monitor its participants to ensure the system is never effectively challenged. Technology and education serve both emancipators and jailers.
“to be ‘counter’ is to be in opposition, to something, some ‘mainstream’. The sheer profusion of net based affinity groups with who users might ally themselves make the political ‘edge’ of the term ‘countercultural’ increasingly irrelevant.” (Lister et al 2009, p 167)
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

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: They’re watching you… http://ift.tt/2lVVkyx

From Pinterest – Don’t look up

Old media is keen to highlight the fears surrounding New Media, especially as at the time of this movie, peer-to-peer file sharing was subject to urban myths and moral panics.

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: Enemy of the State (Will Smith, Gene Hackman) – 66% – An exciting action thriller. http://ift.tt/2kUk8mm

From Pinterest – Long Tail market reach

“… the net afford Long Tail market reach, [the] audience may be much smaller than in the era of mass media”  Lister, et al (2009  p.172)

Just Pinned to Community Cultures: long tail http://ift.tt/2lvNNpJ
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