Something from Scannable

Scannable Document on 24 Feb 2017, 10_53_23

February 24, 2017 at 10:53AM
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I’ve been thinking this week about presence and absence, partly in response to a decision I made at the beginning of the week not to reveal myself as a researcher on the discussion board for my MOOC. This was for several reasons, but mainly that I sort of missed the boat:

(a) the discussion boards I’m predominantly looking at are historical (i.e. they’re two weeks old), so new posts would be missed

(b) there isn’t anywhere else obvious to me where a post like this would be seen; there is a ‘general’ board, but there are very, very few entries on it

Anyway, this quotation from Hine was caught me at just the right time while I was considering this and made me consider my own status and identity – in the MOOC setting, as a researcher – and the impact that might have. Today (two days later), as I sit having finished (but not yet posted) my artefact, I’m still wondering about this…

What I’m reading

Putting together a MOOC/ethnography ‘if I only had the time’ reading wishlist

Clarà, M., & Barberà, E. (2013). Learning online: massive open online courses (MOOCs), connectivism, and cultural psychology. Distance Education, 34(1), 129–136.
Fielding, N. G., Lee, R. M., & Blank, G. (2016). The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods. SAGE.
Hine, C. (2000). Virtual ethnography. London: SAGE.
Hine, C. (2015). Ethnography for the Internet : embedded, embodied and everyday. London ; New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Hjorth, L., Horst, H., Galloway, A., & Bell, G. (2016). The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography. Florence: Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from
Knox, J. (2016). What’s the Matter with MOOCs? Socio-material Methodologies for Educational Research. In H. Snee, C. Hine, Y. Morey, S. Roberts, & H. Watson (Eds.), Digital Methods for Social Science (pp. 175–189). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Loizzo, J., & Ertmer, P. A. (2016). MOOCocracy: the learning culture of massive open online courses. Educational Technology Research and Development, 64(6), 1013–1032.
Saadatdoost, R., Sim, A. T. H., Jafarkarimi, H., & Hee, J. M. (2016). Understanding the Setting of a MOOC: A Journey into Coursera. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education (IJICTE), 12(1), 77–98.
Wasson, C. (2013). ‘It was like a little community’: An ethnographic study of online learning and its implications for MOOCs. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, 2013(1), 186–199.
Webster, J. P., & Silva, S. M. da. (2013). Doing educational ethnography in an online world: methodological challenges, choices and innovations. Ethnography and Education, 8(2), 123–130.


February 12, 2017 at 09:08AM
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What I’m reading

Bayne, S. (2015). What’s the matter with technology-enhanced learning? Learning, Media and Technology, 40(1), 5:20.

In this article, Bayne argues convincingly in favour of subjecting the term ‘technology-enhanced learning’ to a far more rigorous critique. This, she contends, would fruitfully draw on critical posthumanism, considerations of the boundaries of ‘the human’, and the inescapable politics of education, how we perceive of education’s function and purpose. In a deliciously meta move, she conducts such a critique, and concludes that – among other things – she was right to do so.

I was struck by the nuanced way in which Bayne describes the enmeshment of the term ‘TEL’, and the reality (if we can call it that) to which it shorthandedly refers. I liked how she used her critique of the term to inform and illuminate her critique of what it reflects, how it is used, and the political, social, educational situation which gave rise to it.

Bayne argues that technology and education are:

co-constitutive of each other, entangled in cultural, material, political and economic assemblages of great complexity

The term TEL, and what it implies, are flawed, because it doesn’t take account of this complexity. But what’s the alternative? It’d be a hard case to push to a VC that their new spangly TEL department should be renamed the ‘Department of Co-Constituitive Assemblages of Technology and Education’. DECATE for short. But I don’t think this is really what Bayne is getting at.

Instead, I think the real message underlying Bayne’s argument is contra shorthandedness in general – the lazy binary of technological determinism vs technological instrumentalism, and the assumptions that we might make about education and technology and the relationship between the two. Bayne’s rallying call, ultimately, is for a heck of a lot of critical thinking.


January 28, 2017 at 01:57PM
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Something from Scannable

Scannable Document

I usually try to make a list of the definitions of any isms that I come across in reading, and I generally aim to do this by hand, rather than on the computer. Because I write by hand much slower than I can type, I think more carefully about the words that I use, and somehow that cements the definitions in my head a bit more.

So a few words that I’ve learned this week and last:



Miller, V. (2011). Understanding digital culture. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.


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January 28, 2017 at 12:45PM
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What I’m reading

To read:

Bayne, S. (2010). Academetron, automaton, phantom: uncanny digital pedagogies. London Review of Education, 8(1), 5–13.

Ross, J. (2012). The spectacle and the placeholder: Digital futures for reflective practices in higher education. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (pp. 227–244). Retrieved from

January 14, 2017 at 12:08PM
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