This week started with a BANG – it was the sound of my laptop hitting the floor! After a few hic-cups and erratic behavioural issues it seems to have healed. I found myself moving slowly for the first couple of days as I caught up with the readings and tried to rationalise my thinking before posting and tagging. After a very social Skype meeting with my peer it appeared that social interaction was necessary for me as a new learner to the topic of Digital Education. I took on advice regarding methods that would help the digestion of reading material. I am still considering the pros and cons of ereading and the physicality of a book. I enjoyed zamzam whilst driving but found the monotonous robotic voice dangerous as I was fearful of falling asleep at the wheel. The lack of expression was also difficult for me to retain. The use of recoding myself made me shudder, so it did NOT appear on my blog!
I looked at the issue of managing challenging behaviour online and how social media sites are trying to filter aggression and abusive behaviour. It made me value the physical presence I have as an educator and the ways in which I can facilitate social interaction and learning through my body language and identity. I began to research the generation of students that are digitally competent and came across the millennial paradox . The online culture of knowledge was raised by Chanel 4 and I was shocked to hear that after a discussion with my daughter and her friend that they were both happy to accept google as 100% correct. I continued to have a very ‘honest’ discussion about how google and wikipedia work. I took part in fascinating Brain-Move workshop which made me wonder how the children that have been exposed to high volumes of technology between 0-6 years old will turn out as a generation.
Overall, I enjoyed Block 1 and continue to engage in discussion around our visual artefacts. I welcome Block 2 and along with the readings I have enrolled myself on to the Leadership and Management MOOC course through Open Education. The enrolment process was quick and easy (a rather concerning amount) and particpation will be my ethnographic study focus over the community cultures block.
Today I took part in a Brain-Move workshop where we looked at the principles of evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, biomechanics and applied neurology to elicit safety through the subconscious mind and enable easy, fluid and pain free movement. I wanted to record parts of the workshop on my phone with voice notes but could only enter the space with my water, yoga mat and notepad. The lack of technology allowed full participation and interaction. As humans our only purpose is to survive and we have a survival mechanism thats embedded from the age of 0-6 years old. The environment during the early years creates a sub conscious reaction whenever we experience stress or pain, therefore, we do not choose our actions, our behaviour is how we have been conditioned to survive….what about the children that are conditioned by technology throughout their Early Years? When they are stressed or threatened will they resort to digital and online coping strategies?
It made me think back to Miller’s (2011) article about the thinking mind and that ‘humanness’ is not captured in the movement of the body but located in the brain through our cognitive thought process. The body/mind dualism is something that has come up a few times in my blog but today I am considering if one learns dance through theory based learning and the
transfer of knowledge using technology gaining only declarative knowledge , is it ok to not have grasped or experienced the movement for themselves? As I think back to the video I shared in Block 1 I find myself asking more questions wondering if we should be aiming for tacit knowledge. I then dwelled on Valverde & Cochrane’s (2014) article that discusses the rooting of humans in their article particularly when expanding our physical bodies virtually.
“The practice of this conscious attention and intention is directed to sensing one’s weight by becoming somatic/kinaesthetically aware, focusing on breathing to diminish external muscles tension of body parts, following the directions of flow, in order to sense our very weight relaxed and connected”.
Miller, V. (2011) Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology, in Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage. (e-reserve, pdf)
Valverde & Cochrane, T. (2014). Innovative dance-technology educational practices within senses places. Priced Technology, 13, 122-129.
I bought the first batch of Digital Education books with my kindle app and the second batch were paperbacks. I have so much to read that I have considered various apps and methods to get through it all within certain timeframes and daily limitations. I have considered recording myself and listening to the voice notes whilst driving and zamzar helps transfer articles into audio files. My preference is having an actual book as I grew up next to a library and adore the smell of books. I enjoy holding them in my hand, scribbling notes and placing colour coded post-it notes that resemble a rainbow. Last night I fell asleep with my head in the book, unfortunately, I did not learn anything through osmosis.
When exploring digital education I have mainly explored the learner and the use of technology. The role and identity of the teacher is important in regard to the body language used and the identity of the educator. In the last block we looked at Cyberculture and the idea of AI delivering material to students but the lack of charismatic qualities can have an affect on learning…Robert Nelson in the ‘Body and presence in learning and teaching’ explains this in an intriguing video attached.
“The use of the body is more for encouraging participation, with gestures of community and belonging rather than the performative but that isn’t what comes to mind when people think of teacher using their bodies” Robert Nelson
I am part of a generation that checks their phone over 150 times a day. I counted and it was unfortunately pretty close to that mark (I know I’m shocked at the amount too). We are digital natives that interact online but are looking for human connection. Does digital actually excite us ? The millennial paradox generation enjoy access that is open to everyone but yet want to feel important. Personalisation being the key. Most grew up with technology but may prefer function to enhancement. We crave social satisfaction and an instant hit of dopamine, therefore, should the focus for digital education be emotional resonance? Kozinets implies that the online community experience makes the individual feel less different, less socially isolated which results in self-acceptance. The virtual environment of social media incites us to take on other identities one that is presented through text and image. Are we looking for acceptance online and investing more time on our online relationships rather than our other relationships. Yes, cyberspace is part of our life but should we not use it to channel learning in digital education as a way to focus rather than merely expressing ourselves online.
Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage. pp. 21-40.