During the seasonal break I had over indulged, I kept all course work on the shelf, and I even lost track of my fitness regime. After New Year, it was time to dust off those cobwebs. However, I decided to go for a run instead of prepare for the Education and Digital Cultures course; I began to procrastinate.
I’m a natural mover and I connect with the body as a living. I am fascinated by people; their actions both anatomically and their interactions with each other. The world of dance has progressed with the aid of technology. The students I teach are engrossed in a world where apps and an online community is available to them 24/7 with the additional extremity of the ‘smartphone.’ Rather than fight this evolving cyber culture I have enabled my teaching to embrace the latest technology and further engage my students.
I have always tried to keep my relationship with technology up to date and I take pride in my savvy approach socially and as a teacher. However, I feel that I did not prepare for a course that challenged me in a world that was unfamiliar and where I was the student. During my preparation and the first week of the course, I was out of my depth. I needed to research and digest before I began to post anything relevant.
I began looking through the online WordPress lessons, and I started to sweat. The idea of a lifestream blog on top of juggling my everyday life felt overwhelming! Can I do this? I began to fumble through my online WordPress canvas and grasp IFTTT via the already familiar apps; Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. My blog content was bland, and I felt basic tweets of 140 characters was all I could manage. As the week progressed and conversation evolved, I found a rhythm. I was a participant that would merely respond to my peers and rather than initiate the conversation by posting a blog entry or attaching a thought-provoking link; I eased into the first week through basic online interaction. I had become an observer. On reflection, I acknowledge that it is a course that I need to take a step at a time. I do not want to post merely for the sake of posting and as I gain further knowledge and understanding I hope to move on to the next virtual level. If I think back to my first run of the year, I thought that 5 miles was impossible and that I should settle for 3 miles. However, as I began to control my rhythm between strides each mile accomplished helped me move on to the next. I completed 5 miles at the end of that run. As the saying goes – I can not run 1,000 miles but I can run 1 mile 1,000 times. If I cover the course in incremental steps I am sure to fall in love with the online digital world of education.
Miller, V. (2011) Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology, in Understanding Digital Culture. London:Sage.
via IFTTT http://ift.tt/2j0xv2D http://twitter.com/LinziMclagan/status/823101764341821440
via IFTTT http://ift.tt/2j0xv2D http://twitter.com/LinziMclagan/status/823095212021075968
During my first week of the Education and Digital Culture course, I have spent more time reading and familiarising myself with the process of uploading and engaging with my peers over Twitter than posting. I like to talk (most would say that I love to talk) and see the person I am conversing with but having my words online made me apprehensive and full of reservation. I found myself reflecting in my head more than communicating to my newfound community online. I felt unprepared and the lack of confidence in the subject meant that I preferred individual internalised learning and wasn’t looking forward to the social aspect of the course where I would need to expose my understanding to a group that seemed more competent and knowledgable. Unlike, the statement by knox in his paper ‘Critical education and Digital Cultures’ (2015) I didn’t seem to have a drive for social interaction and was extremely nervous for the first Film Festival. The use of TogetherTube was a new experience for most, and I prepared while on my daily commute to work, by watching a couple of videos prior.
Due to teaching commitments, I had a small window to organise myself for the 8 pm appointment. It felt like a date that I could not miss. I sent my child and our dog to one side of the house as I sat alone. I signed in and made myself physically comfortable if not psychologically.
The group was welcoming, and the humour was enlightening. I felt at ease instantaneously. As we watched the first film, our tutor initiated conversation. However, it took time for this to flow. Some peers have compared the experience to people chatting at the cinema due to the distraction of conversation while trying to watch and comprehend the film. I had seen the first two films, so this didn’t seem to phase me, but I still found myself struggling to comment in an academic or constructive way. Due to a number of people involved in the chat, I found myself pressured to make an appearance via my keyboard but I couldn’t seem to keep up with the conversation. If I wasn’t fast enough, I missed the opportunity to comment as the conversation moved on and I began to realise how much I hesitate to put opinions forward online through fear of being wrong or off tangent.
The next part of the session involved films that I had not watched as the links were not available before the session. The added layer of trying to process film with the conversation meant that I began to panic and as if the computer could sense my emotions it started to malfunction and stop synchronising. The computer and I seemed to be connected, human and machine. Despite my inept contribution, I valued the group’s conversation, and the topics addressed. The process of the session made me acknowledge the importance of group learning and that I will learn more efficiently if I engage and connect rather than retract. I feel that the more I prepare through reading and assessing the film content prior then the more I can embrace conversation. Maybe, I do have the natural human drive for social interaction after all? I look forward to the next Film Festival….
Knox, J. (2015) Critical Education and Digital cultures
After Tweeting about my ‘homework’ I love that I can catch up with old movies without having to go to the ‘video’ shop……If homework means watching films, then I am game.
“Our relationship with our cyber objects is part of our real, material, embodied life, life lived with families, life lived on the move, juggling between our various roles and responsibilities.” ( Massanari & Jones, 2006. p64)
This extract from Chapter 5 ‘Catching Waves’ by Wendy Robinson captures my entangled relationship with technology. I feel that I can be both ambitious in my career , a supportive teacher, an ardent student but keep on top of my family life and fulfil my role as a loving mother. Utilising the technology available puts my mind at ease as it allows me to be in more than one place at a time.
Massanari, A,. & Jones, S. (2006). Critical Cyberculture studies. New York, NY: New York University Press