My lifestream started frenetically, reflecting the confusion and sense of disorientation which comes with immersion within a new field and a new learning environment. I made 25 posts in the first week of the course and also put an inordinate amount of time into crafting artefacts. In the first weeks of the course I was grappling with challenging and fascinating content and also with producing content in an entirely new way: via multiple feeds and sources. On reviewing those early entries, many are focused on the practicalities of working together. My reflection – my metadata – is either missing or tentative (see here, here and here, for example); I was, as most new learners are, operating within Bloom’s domains of knowledge and comprehension.
As my lifestream progresses, the number of posts per week reduces (mostly – the tweetorial skewed this) but the entries become more focused and reflective as I begin to move into the domains of application and analysis. This is particularly marked after the mid-point review by James, in which targeted and specific advice about how to improve the blog was offered. Feedback works.
A visual theme which run as a thread throughout my lifestream is the Instagram shot of my laptop in various places. I reflected on the significance of this recuurent image here. I was in many different places when I took these photographs, but I was also only in one space: our MSCEDC learning space. This image also reflects my life as a cyborg, augmented by an array of mobile technologies which enable me to work, study and communicate anywhere.
In terms of stream feeds, Twitter dominates. On asking peers why they thought this was, ‘inertia’, ‘ease’, ‘connectedness’, ‘multimedia’ and guaranteed lifestream feed were all cited as reasons. For me, it was immediacy. I could quickly feel connected to other learners on Twitter, whereas blog communications were asynchronous; this was highlighted particularly during the tweetorial.
In my experience, there was a lack of roaming between blogs ( I reflect on this immobility here). I made comments on others’ but, when visits weren’t reciprocated, I returned to Twitter and its sociable babble. My MOOC micro-ethnography artefact attracted by far the most comments of all of my blog posts. As I reflected on here, there are a number of reasons why this might be: I posted fairly early in the week (so the arena wasn’t saturated with work to comment on); I included an amount of personal information in the artefact; and, finally and most importantly, we were encouraged to do so. The movement between blogs was scaffolded by the learning task: teaching presence is key to building a successful online community of inquiry.
Overall, what the lifestream traces is a journey from the domains of knowledge and comprehension through to synthesis, structured via the various artefacts we have created, and evaluation, via the weekly summaries and this final blog post.