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Month: February 2017

A Micro-Ethnography?

A Micro-Ethnography?

What are ethnographies, netnographies and can you produce one on an xMOOC? Learn about all this and about making omelettes in this video.

In this video I also tried to include metaphors and some humour, knowing of course that it is quite a challenge for viewers, being confronted with a German trying to be funny. But it seems there is nothing I am not willing to try when experimenting with learning and teaching approaches… I also experimented with scripted film-like sequences. Oh my… The idea, only some of a few hidden in the video, is that people like stories, people like theoretical facts in a fork they can relate to, people like to be entertained, all of which might lead to a better understanding. Does it work? You tell me, dear viewer.

Of course any ethnography, even a micro ethnography, even one merely tried like this one, must pay tribute to the chosen format. A written academic piece will need to make use of different stylistic means than one delivered as a film. For the film, it must be fairly short, the spoken sentences must be short, too, the presented information must be precise, yet limitted for possible understaning and with all good video productions which aim at delivering information, from all the knowledge known, teyts read and thoughts had, only few should be presented. Videos are consumed differently from texts and must therefor, of they want to succeed, by plain, not difficult, be easy, not hard, even if this might be a threat to the producer, whomight be understodd to be just as plain and simple, when one forgets that this impression might just be correctly applyed productional and academic kmow-how.

I Categorize Myself

I Categorize Myself

This blog has been going a while now. And I intentionally left the lifestream messy. The basic idea behind this is the same I have when thinking about students and classifying them. If we establish classifications and then try to see which student fits which classification, we tend to oversimply, generalize the individual student, which we should not do as educators. We should get the best possible individual perspective of every single student. Yes, this takes more effort, but as we are eduators, it comes with the territory.

With this blog, it is just the same. Starting out I did not know how it would turn out, what kind of stuff I would be posting, how often etc. So I just let it run and develop naturally. By this I could also make sure that my awareness of pre-established categories would not influence my behaviour. Being aware of categories can lead to self-fullfilling prophecies. If I have a certain self-image, I might unconsciously try to prove it by focussig on certain categories. Letting things run naturally though limits this danger and I might learn something about myself. In addition, this might actually provide a thorough insight into my course activites for assesment purposes by the tutors.

I now take some time out to look back at what as happened so far.

 What did I do?

237 posts since the first post here on January 3rd, which is 7 weeks or  51 days ago. That’s 4,6 posts per day.

And now, looking back, I will try to see, if there are actually any categories that developped, which I now can look at. So the categories are not pre-defined which would mean I sort of forcefully apply the posts to them, but the posts came first and only now I try to see, if there are any similarities. I can then look at the results, at the figures and try to make some sense of it.

Looking and thinking about the posts, I found these general categories, in which posts could be divided:

  1. active – passive: Did I actively create a post or merely (often automatically) forward it onto the blog? Did I write something or simply “like” or archive something?
  2. private – professional: Is the post of a private matter or professional? Does it have anything to do with my course or not? If it is both, I will categorize it as professional, because I will want to focus on work related efforts.
  3. interactive: is the post interactive, am I communicating with someone or not? All interactive posts fall into the “active” category, but not all “active” posts are “interactive”.

So here are the bare numbers:

And here is a possible interpretation of these numbers.

– I am rather busy online meaning: I do a lot of stuff online.

– When I get busy online, I mostly get actively involved. In 82% of cases I say something, comment, put into perspective instead of simply liking or forwarding something I saw.

– Almost half of my active posts are interactive, meaning I am personally communicating with a certain person or group of people.

– The big majority of ky posts are of a professional nature. In 72% of cases my pnline activity has something to do with my work. As I consider myself to be an educator and philosopher, I seem to always be thinking and working and posting in these fields.

What did I learn about myself?

– I am a very introverted person as well as someone who likes to think, someone who takes pride in having an oppinion, so the amount of posts does not surprise me, but the share of interaction does. Online seems to give me the chance to be interactive with others in a way which suits me.

– Most of my posts are of a professional nature. Which I did not expect, but it suggests that I am happy with what I consider my profession to be: I see myself as an educator and philosopher.

– Almost all my posts are active, which means I add some meaning or opinion to my online activities. This does not surprise me, as I am convinced that not only having an opinion onlone is possible, but also necessary. After all what use is communication if we do not communicate meaning, opinionl truths? If online allows us to engage with each other, communicate, debate, learn, an own opinion, though open for alterations, is a good starting point.


So is all this relevant in terms of course work assesment?


Peter Higgs: I wouldn’t be productive enough for today’s academic system

Peter Higgs: I wouldn’t be productive enough for today’s academic system

Physicist doubts work like Higgs boson identification achievable now as academics are expected to ‘keep churning out papers’ Peter Higgs, the British physicist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, believes no university would employ him in today’s academic system because he would not be consi via Pocket