Week Two Lifestream Summary

I’m now starting to get a feel for how the course structure can work for me and to home in on some of the core themes, after the initial excitement of getting to grips with this experimental format.  At first, I found the sheer volume of interesting information and links that the relatively small number of students on this course manage to generate a little overwhelming.   It wasn’t until the beginning of this week that I began to realise that it was OK not to read every linked article or watch every linked video. Firstly most of the linked content isn’t going anywhere and I can take it in at my own pace and secondly, I’m getting a feel for what will be most helpful to me and which links I need to follow and bring into this blog.

As well as, by inference (and possibly unintentionally), setting an expectation that the students on this course will have an “all singing, all dancing, expertly curated Lifestream” by the end of the course, Jeremy, our tutor, has helpfully summarised the key themes as:

  • sentience
  • almost human
  • memory
  • divisions between technology and humanness
  • the preservation of the authentic human
  • the Utopia and dystopia of technological intervention
  • enhancement
  • centring of the desiring human subject

I think two of my more recent and longer blog post have clear links to a few of the above themes and I will look to expand my thinking in those areas in the final week of this block and over the remainder of the course.

The technology enhanced teacher

I’ve been giving some thought to Sian Bayne’s paper “What’s the matter with ‘technology-enhanced learning’? ” (2014) and the many issues that are encapsulated in this simple, three-word phrase.

Can technology enhance our ability to ‘learn’ in the same way as it can enhance the capabilities of our bodies to lift heavy objects, travel at speed, survive in hostile environments,  or fly?   Bayne suggests “it makes no sense to see ‘learning’ as open to mere ‘enhancement’ by the operations of an externally applied technology ‘solution’”.  However, I’m interested in finding out if there is any evidence to indicate that (to paraphrase Daft Punk) learning can be faster / deeper / stronger with technology.   For example as an optician I’m interested in finding out whether e-reader and tablet PCs are conducive to quicker reading and improved comprehension (through easier access to Dictionary and Thesaurus look-ups for instance).  From an optical standpoint the increased contrast of back-lit displays should be beneficial, particularly to older readers, but the first few papers I’ve found on the subject indicate that there is a lot more at play beyond the factors one might expect, such as resolution and contrast.  I’m still researching the topic and when I have looked at more of the evidence I will summarise it in this blog.

I do agree with Bayne’s premise that what technology actually enables us to do is enhance the way we teach.  In this respect, we have always used the technologies of the day as teaching aids, whether that is moving on from word of mouth sharing of knowledge to recording it in written form, or disseminating through other new media technologies such as image capture and projection, or audio and video recordings.

Bringing together the points Bayne raises and the wider definition of bodily enhancement covered by Miller, V (2011) perhaps we can take Bayne’s argument one step further and state that rather than ‘technology-enhanced learning’, what we are in fact referring to is ‘technology-enhanced teachers’.

After all, today’s teachers can  use technology to aid learning in ways that would have been considered science fiction only a few years ago:

  • They can slow down and speed up time to show learners processes that would be impossible to see without the aid of technology, either because they happen too quickly or too slowly, or because they would be too dangerous for a human observer to be close to.
  • They can enable learners to see the impact of their own actions in real time through rich simulation of anything from basic fractions through to complex economic and mathematical modelling – for example Utah State University has been building a library of ‘virtual manipulatives’ since the late 1990s*.  Similarly electronic or mechanical sensors can also be used to demonstrate physical, chemical and biological processes in real time.
  • And they can overcome barriers such as time and distance, allowing learners from different parts of the globe to experience each other’s country and culture, or earth-bound classes to take part in experiments conducted in space.
Teacher using technology in the classroom.
Teacher using technology in the classroom. From www.bc.edu (Boston college)

These teacher could already be considered to have ‘cyborg properties’ through their physical connection to the technology as they control it through input devices such as a keyboard, mouse or presentation ‘clicker’.

So perhaps rather than ‘technology enhanced learning / teaching’, or as I would prefer ‘Technology assisted learning’, we should be referring to Technology enhanced teachers.  This centres the technology firmly with the teacher and, rather than technology threatening to replace them, it would differentiate them from those who are not ‘technology enhanced’.


RSS feeds

In the interests of keeping an eye on emerging technology and specifically educational technology I’m experimenting with adding some appropriate RSS feeds to the content bar.  By their nature these are transient but it could highlight stories that are worth following up and may contribute to future blog entries.

Boy holding RSS feed logo
From www.freeiconspng.com


I have a new follower on Twitter!

I think these notifications of new followers are relevant to the community cultures topic, but to tidy up my Lifestream I’ve copied them all to this page.  I’ve also indicated the date and time each one was posted and whether or not the new follower is a fellow student:

Published on: 26 Mar 2017 @ 04:46

Crochez is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Researching #historyofeducation and #sociologyofeducation
Also into #oralhistory #yarnbomb #homeschool #skiing #vegan #crochet #tinyhouse (11091 followers) http://twitter.com/_crochez

 Published on: 25 Mar 2017 @ 08:06 – a ‘bot’ I presume 

b2bYellowpages.com is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Free listing allow buyers and sellers to locate or advertise products and services to and from other businesses. (52417 followers) http://twitter.com/b2bYellowpages

Published on: 18 Mar 2017 @ 05:40 – another bot, this one was a result of the Tweetorial posts

MuleSoft is now following me on Twitter! Bio: MuleSoft makes it easy to connect the world’s applications, data and devices. (59039 followers) http://twitter.com/MuleSoft

Published on: 18 Mar 2017 @ 00:35 –  probably another bot, this one was a result of the Tweetorial posts

Pyramid Analytics is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Bridging the gap between business and IT user needs with a self-service Governed #Data Discovery platform available on any device. #BIOffice #BI #Analytics (6729 followers) http://twitter.com/PyramidAnalytic

Published on: 17 Mar 2017 @ 22:30 

Kevin Yu is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Co-founder & CTO @socedo transforms B2B marketing with social media by democratizing #CloudComputing & #BigData. Husband of 1, dad of 2, tech and sports junkie. (68521 followers) http://twitter.com/kevincyu

Published on: 17 Mar 2017 @ 22:10 – fellow student with a sense of humour and quick on the draw.  One of my favourite followers 🙂

Cheese Lover is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Lover of #cheese and interested in #education (0 followers) http://twitter.com/CheeseLoverBot

Published on: 17 Mar 2017 @ 10:41

Ben Williamson is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Digital data, ‘smart’ technology & education policy. Lecturer @StirUni (1621 followers) http://twitter.com/BenPatrickWill

Published on: 17 Mar 2017 @ 10:41

Dr. GP Pulipaka is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Ganapathi Pulipaka | Founder and CEO @deepsingularity | Bestselling Author | #Bigdata | #IoT | #Startups | #SAP #MachineLearning #DeepLearning #DataScience. (19910 followers) http://twitter.com/gp_pulipaka

Published on: 16 Mar 2017 @ 21:26

Michael J.D. Warner is now following me on Twitter! Bio: CEO @ThunderReach ⚡️ #socialmedia #marketing + VIP digital services ➡️ https://t.co/Rf6jA4EIEo • ig @mjdwarner • ✉️ceo@thunderreach.com ⚣ #gay 📍toronto • nyc (98298 followers) http://twitter.com/mjdwarner

 Published on: 16 Mar 2017 @ 20:42 – another bot

Featured Heights is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Elevating your #brand with creative websites & engaging marketing. Sharing #marketing, #webDev, #design, #ux & #socialmedia resources. (2281 followers) http://twitter.com/featuredheights

Published on: 16 Mar 2017 @ 18:41

Lisa 🐥🐦🐤 is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Social media, Twitter trainer, blogger, marketing specialist, content marketing, real estate, news, nature photos, pets, wanna be meteorologist from RI (20802 followers) http://twitter.com/Lisapatb

Published on: 16 Mar 2017 @ 16:44 – another bot?

Lumina Analytics is now following me on Twitter! Bio: We are a big data, predictive analytics firm providing insightful risk management & security intelligence to large, regulated corporations & government clients. (10786 followers) http://twitter.com/LuminaAnalytics

Published on: 12 Mar 2017 @ 23:01 – fellow student

Diego Rates M is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Tweets about Design, Science, Art, Community issues. Student Msc Dig Ed, U. Edinburgh. Founder: Pixel Learning Open Project: https://t.co/tasnKcS9SY (649 followers) http://twitter.com/RatesDiego

Published on: 8 Mar 2017 @ 22:41

Joyce Weber is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.  (18 followers) http://twitter.com/joyceweber7431

Published on: 7 Mar 2017 @ 00:43 – my nephews partner and a friend of a fellow student.  Serendipity doing its thing.

Jo Alcock is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Freelance trainer, researcher and coach with a background in librarianship. Passionate about helping others develop. (4642 followers) http://twitter.com/joeyanne

Published on: 25 Feb 2017 @ 17:28 – fellow student

Linzi McLagan is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Encourager. Storyteller. Life is short. I am determined to make it great. (136 followers) http://twitter.com/LinziMclagan

Published on: 21 Feb 2017 @ 13:10 – wasn’t aware I had ‘followed ‘It’s a fabulous life’

Its A Fabulous Life is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Thank you for following Its A Fabulous Life (751 followers) http://twitter.com/ItsaFabLife_

Published on: 20 Feb 2017 @ 19:50 – fellow student

Myles Thies is now following me on Twitter! Bio: (27 followers) http://twitter.com/Tauraco

Published on: 20 Feb 2017 @ 17:25 – fellow student

Cathy Hills is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Tech, education, lifelong learning. Curious and interested. (98 followers) http://twitter.com/fleurhills

Published on: 20 Feb 2017 @ 13:10  – fellow student

Stuart is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Learning/Assistive Technologist & MSc Digital Education student (120 followers) http://twitter.com/learntechstu

Published on: 17 Feb 2017 @ 06:10 -…it’s taken a while but my social life finally merges with my academic life!

DANCERS DREAM EVENTS is now following me on Twitter! Bio: The UK’s Best Dance Socials, Events & Holidays (83 followers) http://twitter.com/InfoDancers

Published on: 15 Feb 2017 @ 17:00 – Tutor

Jeremy Knox is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh.
Posthumanism and the MOOC: Contaminating the Subject of Global Education
https://t.co/3Bw1XFjMkJ (1534 followers) http://twitter.com/j_k_knox

Published on: 14 Feb 2017 @ 10:20 – bot?

Belbin Singapore is now following me on Twitter! Bio: The World’s GOLD Standard in Team Profiling! To find out more about the team roles, visit: https://t.co/5siZGc5htj (374 followers) http://twitter.com/BelbinSingapore

Published on: 7 Feb 2017 @ 19:40 – fellow student

Clare Thomson is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Educational technologist in #meded, #CMALT. Currently learning to think like an assemblage – posthumanism at Uni of Edinburgh: https://t.co/KmjryO9vbA (392 followers) http://twitter.com/ClareThomsonQUB

Published on: 5 Feb 2017 @ 01:48 – fellow student

Renée Hann is now following me on Twitter! Bio: MSc Digital Education student at Edinburgh; educator & dabbler in the growing of food (46 followers) http://twitter.com/rennhann

Published on: 4 Feb 2017 @ 23:48 – fellow student

Helen Walker is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Edugeek (518 followers) http://twitter.com/helenwalker7

Published on: 4 Feb 2017 @ 17:58 – needs no introduction!
Sian Bayne is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Edinburgh University. Professor of Digital Education. School of Education. (3064 followers) http://twitter.com/sbayne

Published on: 4 Feb 2017 @ 17:58 – fellow student

Philip Downey is now following me on Twitter! Bio: MScDE student at Univ of Edinburgh; Conservative and will respectfully defend your right not to be, but will respectfully exercise my right to call you on it. (70 followers) http://twitter.com/philip_downey

Published on: 1 Feb 2017 @ 12:39 – seriously no idea who…or why!

Amanda Brown is now following me on Twitter! Bio: (289 followers) http://twitter.com/spittingkittyn

Published on: 30 Jan 2017 @ 09:54 – or this one

Roxane is now following me on Twitter! Bio: (13 followers) http://twitter.com/DigiWWWorld

Published on: 28 Jan 2017 @ 22:45 – fellow student, sorry Dirk your photos won’t show for some reason

Herr Schwindenhammer is now following me on Twitter! Bio: Educational Scientist, Philosophical Oddball and Senior TV Professional (33 followers) http://twitter.com/HerrSchwindenh_

TWEET: enhanced humans

via Twitter https://twitter.com/nigelchpainting
January 29, 2017 at 10:44AM

Well this elicited a few responses and some strong feelings from my fellow students that centred on the question of whether the Paralympics should be a separate event.  I do see some merit in the point they’re making, as one could see this as a form of segregation, however, I believe the question I raised is still valid.  In the same way that we specify criteria for examination conditions, such as open book, calculators allowed etc., will we need to specify similar conditions such as enhancements must be declared, switched off, put in airplane mode etc.?

TWEET: trying to figure out IFTTT / Twitter triggers

Apologies for spamming, just trying a different IFTTT trigger

via Twitter https://twitter.com/nigelchpainting

January 28, 2017 at 10:42PM

Edit 06/04/2017 – I won’t clean this post up as it just shows what some of us went through trying to get their lifestream updating automatically.

TWEET: IFTTT frustrations

via Twitter https://twitter.com/nigelchpainting
January 28, 2017 at 10:12PM

Edit – I’ve since trawled back through my automated posts and embedded the tweets – less IFTTT more OCD!

To be fair IFTTT is a clever idea, enabling a myriad of on-line activities to trigger other activities or entire chains of activities.  From an education perspective it could be useful for helping students understand cause and effect, or the basic principles of coding .

I use IFTTT along with Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition to trigger home automation activities, although I’ve discovered that these too can yield undesirable results.  For example, at one point turning on my TV and Amp would turn off the lights!