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Week Review 7

Week Review 7

Two courses in one semester – not only twice the work, but also twice the fun. Especially when activities on both courses intertwine. This is what I read:

“Being recognized as a certain “kind of person,” in a given context, is what I mean here by “identity”. In this sense of the term, all people have multiple identities connected not to their “internal states” but to their performance in society.” (Gee 2001, 99)

As our contexts, as communities change, we have different identities in different groups. These communities can now also be found online, as Lister points out. (Lister 2009)

And although Kozinets asks for a more complex analysis of our identities, he still clings to the concept of clustering:
“We need alternatives to the rather essentializing clustering of all members of online communities into a single category of membership or non-membership.” (Kozinets 2010, 133)

Already four years ago, working on my BA in Primary School Education at Humboldt-University Berlin, I opposed the idea of viewing individuals as having multiple identities or grouping them, as this leeds to biases in assessing the individual student.

Additionally, as individuals, we should not wear masks, thus adopting different identities behind which we can hide.

I funnily twittered about this, I engaged on MOODLEI (partly jokingly) adopted a different identity in my Ethnography. And I keep repeating myself:

We should be who we are wherever and whenever we are.

Gee, James Paul. 2001. “Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research in Education.” Review of Research in Education 25:99-125.
Kozinets, Robert V. 2010. Netnography : doing ethnographic research online. London: SAGE.
Lister, Martin. 2009. New media : a critical introduction. 2nd ed. ed. London: Routledge.

Week Review 6

Week Review 6

Data Analysis vs Facebook age estimate

Online communities, especially commercial ones, can be characterized by their inherent data collection and the commercial use of this data. I looked at my data at two different sites, on my EDC homepage and on Facebook, where I used one of those FB games which try to find out something about yourself. The one I chose to use, chose to play with wanted to guess my age and gender by nowing my answers to a few questions. The game failed miserably, which was a relief to me.
I also looked at my EDC homepage and analyzed the data. The funny thing here: I provided the data and it was also me who analyzed it. If you have a film camera fiking the pictur it is filming, e.g. a TV screen on which the live footage is shown and then filmed by the same camera, you create a visual feedback loop – a very very distorted picture. Maybe my own analyzis is just as bad as the one on FB.

Ethnography Video plus Twitter discussion

I tried producing a netnography, but the MOOC I had chosen did not make this possible it seemed, so I turned the possible failure into a piece of learning for me and others. There is still a lot to be researched and studied when it comes to using video in education and I am surprised just how little is obviously done at an academic level. Well, I am getting there – from day one on this programme and for as long as I may.

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?