Comment on Lifestream summary: week 9 by hwalker

Comment on Lifestream summary: week 9 by hwalker

Hi James,

Great to chat with you and the rest of the group in the Hangout earlier.

‘it was great to see how Twitter enabled these other voices to momentarily ‘join our class’.’
Yes: absolutely! It was really exciting to see experts join us. For me, our hashtag functions to offer a sense of us being ‘removed’ from the wider twitterverse; the activity in the tweetorial reminded me that we are, as ever on this course, learning in public.

‘The sociomaterialist perspective of the ‘the constitutive entanglement of the social and the material’ (Orlikowski, 2007) and, therefore, the technical, is a seam which has run throughout our blocks of study and was highlighted in both the Siemens and Williamson readings.’
Like you, I feel this has been a thread that has run through the course, although it has particularly come to the fore around cybercultures and now algorithmic cultures. I think it very helpfully challenges us to move beyond critiques of digital education where we are ‘done unto’ by technology, or simply use technology as the means of production.’
I think this will be – necessarily – one of the focuses of my final assignment. I’m finalising ideas for content and form and look forward to discussing these with you next week.

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Comment on Lifestream summary: week 9 by jlamb

Comment on Lifestream summary: week 9 by jlamb

Thanks for this weekly summary, Helen – you’ve really nicely managed to weave the content of the Tweetorial discussion around the Siemens article, the Williamson lecture and also Sian Bayne’s ideas around entanglement and also work by Orlikowski on sociomateriality – really nice synthesis drawing on different courses.

By the way, I love the marginalia and other scribbles on the scanned piece of the Bayne reading: there’s something suggestive there of the way that sociomateriality reveals the ‘messiness’ of education.

‘In the second half of the week, we engaged in a two-day ‘tweetorial’ and I found myself communicating with Ben directly about LA.’

Thanks for your input to the Tweetorial – the exercise was really dependent on the contribution of the group and along with other members of the class, it really made for a compelling and captivating exercise. I’m really glad to see that you managed to entice Ben Williamson into our tutorial! Along with a contribution from Ibrar Bhatt on Friday morning (who also does interesting work around sociomateriality and digital literacy practices) it was great to see how Twitter enabled these other voices to momentarily ‘join our class’.

‘The data generated by our discussion were, to an extent, captured and ordered by the algorithm, but the results are simultaneously ‘messy’ and require human agency to make sense of the ‘cheese’ in the data.’

I enjoyed a wry smile at the way this unfolded and will enjoy looking through the data like everyone else to see whether it comes to the fore! Curiously, on the visualisation in your summary my eye was drawn to ‘STUDENTS GOT SPAM’ which might or might not be an accidental critique on the eating habits of the class (I doubt it).

‘The sociomaterialist perspective of the ‘the constitutive entanglement of the social and the material’ (Orlikowski, 2007) and, therefore, the technical, is a seam which has run throughout our blocks of study and was highlighted in both the Siemens and Williamson readings.’

Like you, I feel this has been a thread that has run through the course, although it has particularly come to the fore around cybercultures and now algorithmic cultures. I think it very helpfully challenges us to move beyond critiques of digital education where we are ‘done unto’ by technology, or simply use technology as the means of production. As you acknowledge, it more complicated than that, more entangled.

I’m going to look forward to reading you blog reflecting on the learning analytics from the Tweetorial. And before that of course, I’ll hopefully see you in a google hangout in the coming days, Helen.

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Lifestream summary: week 9

Lifestream summary: week 9

Having taken the learning analytics course last year, at the start of this week I was back in familiar territory, reading Siemens on LA and EDM and watching Ben Williamson’s lecture on the digital university. In the second half of the week, we engaged in a two-day ‘tweetorial’ and I found myself communicating with Ben directly about LA.

The tweetorial was very much a tweetathon and I was fascinated to follow Anne’s link to some emergent analytics around our engagement and communications over the two days. Nigel’s cheesy diversion had an impact on the data which was generated via Twitter.

It will be fascinating to see what further analysis offers up, but this initial insight provided evidence of the conflicting interpretations as to what algorithms can offer us: order and chaos. The data generated by our discussion were, to an extent, captured and ordered by the algorithm, but the results are simultaneously ‘messy’ and require human agency to make sense of  the ‘cheese’ in the data.

For me, thinking summatively about what we’ve focused on over the last 9 weeks, I keep circling back to Bayne’s term, ‘entanglement’ (Bayne, 2015).

The sociomaterialist perspective of the  ‘the constitutive entanglement of the social and the material’ (Orlikowski, 2007) and, therefore, the technical, is a seam which has run throughout our blocks of study and was highlighted in both the Siemens and Williamson readings. As Siemens highlights, learning cannot be reduced to data:

The tension, the interplay, between the technical – the algorithm – and the human, informed much of our discussion during the tweetorial. Discussions circled back to the subjective agency which informs LA – both in terms of data extraction and interpretation – and to the impact of data on the subjects – both teachers and students. Kitchin and Dodge’s definition of algorithms – cited by Williamson – reminds us that data are not objective:

I’m looking forward to drawing more strands of thought together as we progress into week 10.

Orlikowski, W. J. (2007). Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work. Organization Studies (28)9, pp. 1435-1448.

Comment on Lifestream summary: week 8 by hwalker

Comment on Lifestream summary: week 8 by hwalker

Thanks for your feedback James. An interesting question about whether my increased understanding of LA has affected my own behaviours; in short, I don’t think so. However, it has affected my attitudes towards the use of data in the schools and the Trusts I work with. Even key figures in the field – such as Siemens and Gašević – acknowledge that it is an emergent science and much work is needed to ensure that LA offers improved experiences and outcomes for students. In my experience, the focus on summative data in schools and their use as a means to judge staff and students is crude and often unhelpful.

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Yuval Noah Harari: ‘Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so’ https://t.co/RhgMCOMVi2 #mscedc

Yuval Noah Harari: ‘Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so’ https://t.co/RhgMCOMVi2 #mscedc

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Harari’s thinking here is at times, determinist, but the discussion of transhumanist ideas is interesting: “I think that Homo sapiens as we know them will probably disappear within a century or so, not destroyed by killer robots or things like that, but changed and upgraded with biotechnology and artificial intelligence into something else, into something different. The timescale for that kind of change is maybe a century.”