Week 4 – Lifestream Synthesis

Week 4 has been my quietest week of lifestream activity yet but the week has certainly been one of the busiest. This is largely due to me tackling two of the core readings by Knox (2015) and Lister et al (2009).

I spent some time browsing and considering a wide and varied range of MOOCs to enrol on that I will ultimately base my work throughout Block 2 on. Eventually I settled on ‘The Internet of Things’ facilitated by Kings College London and delivered via FurureLearn. I chose this course as I felt I had at least a little prior knowledge of the subject to make sense of things as I progress through the course.

I blogged about my first impressions of the MOOC and my observations on the (large) community that has already formed within it. Already I am wondering if my observations are clouded by my own experience of the tight-knit community that my peers and I enjoy on the MSc Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. In comparison the MOOC students seem largely anonymous and insignificant to each other.

My Lifstream blog also includes some relevant news stories that have coincidentally appeared on the BBC news app throughout the week. I have explained why I think they are relevant to the core readings that I have completed so far.

I was late in accessing the EDC17 group on the hub, however I started communicating as soon as I was able to. Next week I hope to continue my readings and further consider how I am going to approach my ethnography.


References

Knox, J. (2015). Algorithmic Cultures. Excerpt from Critical Education and Digital Cultures. In Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. M. A. Peters (ed.). DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_124-1

Lister, M., Dovey, J., Giddings, S., Kelly, K. (2009). Networks, users and economics. In New media: a critical introduction. M. Lister (Eds.) (London, Routledge): pp. 163-236.

One Reply to “Week 4 – Lifestream Synthesis”

  1. Thanks for this clear and thoughtful summary, Stuart.

    ‘Week 4 has been my quietest week of lifestream activity yet but the week has certainly been one of the busiest. This is largely due to me tackling two of the core readings by Knox (2015) and Lister (2009).’

    This is fine and I would suggest entirely natural. If the lifestream is intended to reflect your interaction with digital spaces and content then I would expect that it might fluctuate from week-to-week, shaped by other course-related activities and competing interests. And of course, great that you’ve been undertaking some of the reading at the beginning of the block, Stuart.

    ‘I spent some time browsing and considering a wide and varied range of MOOCs to enrol on that I will ultimately base my work throughout Block 2 on. Eventually I settled on ‘The Internet of Things’ facilitated by Kings College London and delivered via FurureLearn.’

    Again, great that you’ve selected a field site so quickly: that will certainly help in the coming weeks of this block. Out of interest, were you at all tempted to opt into a MOOC that you didn’t have any background in? What was it that encouraged you to opt for a field site covering a subject that was already familiar to you?

    ‘Already I am wondering if my observations are clouded by my own experience of the tight-knit community that my peers and I enjoy on the MSc Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh.

    I think its inevitable that your view of the MOOC will be shaped by your own prior experience and you certainly shouldn’t see that as a weakness. What I would suggest you need to do as an ethnographer is be up front about the way that your gaze is shaped by your own history and interests, which of course you have done here. You will want to be guided by what you see and hear, however you can’t put aside your own background or your role as a researcher, I would suggest.

    ‘In comparison the MOOC students seem largely anonymous and insignificant to each other.’

    This is a really interesting observation and it might be interesting to see whether, as the MOOC continues, you begin to notice a change in the rituals that take place? I wonder over time whether you might begin to get a sense of community, or whether the massiveness of the MOOC environment precludes that possibility?

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