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.

Google coding champion whose Cameroon hometown is cut off from the internet #mscedc https://t.co/1WSxVcZ9pX

I stumbled across this article on the BBC news app this afternoon and thought of it as a great example of the “Digital Divide” that Lister et al (2009) describes. Most notably when he says:

“More importantly, the central claim that we all live in an ‘information age’ is also open to question on the basis of the actual spread of technologies and access to them and the nature of the content of new media”

and

“the dissemination of  communication technologies has still not reached the level of penetration that would suppose the globe is encompassed in a complete web of interconnectedness”

These two quotes come from a chapter where Lister is explaining technology’s influence over global economies where he suggests that wealthy countries are reaping the benefits of digitisation whilst the poor are still struggling.

It was also interesting to compare the example he gives of the Chinese government blocking access to the internet to control democracy, and the case in the BBC story where the government of Cameroon imposed a block as an act of punishment. Perhaps they consider the Internet as a luxury rather than an embedded way of life.


References

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.