Tweet! Even my filming gigs are about algorithms

I was filming a lecture today for the Digital Playgrounds course at ECA and would you believe it but the relevance fairies have been at it again, the lecture was about some visual works that were created using algorithms to show climate change in various outputs.

Was a great lecture, really enjoyable and again, great to see algorithms in a different light, something a mile away from learning analytics.


Tweet! It’s happening

Social situations or the support of peers has always been an important part of the learning process for me,  it worked so well with IDEL that I wanted to give people to chance to participate in something similar. I’m not sure if everyone will find it useful, but I certainly have.


Taking cyberpunks out of the dystopia

umwdtlt – Jim Groom as Edupunk
CC BY 2.0 Created: 28 May 2008

Block 1 concentrated on the big picture of digital culture through the lens of the sci-fi film and fiction genre and introduced us, through our together tube sessions to the concept of the cyberpunk, although we never referenced them directly, only saw them in action.

So what is cyberpunk? Well, cyberpunks are the underground rebellion against the big capitalist corporations controlling the technology in the not too distant dystopian future of the sci-fi genre. They scavenge technology, much like Hector in Memory 2.0, as the megacorporations control access to and use of clean, safe and costly “official versions” of the same technology.

In Memory 2.0, Henry begins by visiting the business selling the virtual memory experience but ends up visiting the seedy world of the cyberpunk and specifically Hector, when the corporation can’t or won’t meet his needs.  Due to the unregulated and amateur set up of the cyberpunk provider, this has consequences. A moral tale to the viewer that we shouldn’t be involved in the underground and disreputable world of the rebellion perhaps.

Cole (2005, pp. 259) describes the power struggle between the cyberpunk and the megacorporations where “power is imposed by a system of social domination”,  the rebellion against this power and authority being the source of the moniker of punk for this community relating to the punk subculture of the 1970s where common punk community goals included anti-authoritarianism, a DIY ethic, non-conformity and direct action (Wikipedia 2017). The cyberpunks DIY ethis being in their technology use.

Fast forward to 2008 and the punk subculture influence is seen again in a movement which was to be named “EDUPUNK”, a movement defined by Tom Kultz (2008) as “an approach to teaching that avoids mainstream tools like PowerPoint and Blackboard, and instead aims to bring the rebellious attitude and DIY ethos of ’70s bands like The Clash to the classroom. EDUPUNK sees teachers react against the rapid implementation of course-management systems, which provide “cookie-cutter” tools that promote uniformity at the expense of pedagogy.  Jim Groom, an instructional-technology specialist and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington, is credited for coining the term and declared himself a poster boy for the movement and “ds106” was the course which launched Jim Groom into the public consciousness as an EDUPUNK. He took all the essential elements of teaching for his course and put made them open and online, choosing to use an array of available web tools instead of relying on the institutionally provided VLE, which he claims waters down the elements of web 2.0 and dilutes the social aspect of learning.  Again we see the anti-authoritarian approach matched with the DIY ethic. The moniker this time focussing on the educational focus of the punk attitude rather than focusing on the technology element, which is also strong.

Listen to Jim Groom talk about ds106:


Cole, D.R., 2005. Education and the Politics of Cyberpunk. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 27(2), pp.159–170.

Escapist Movies, 2014. Memory 2.0 – Dugan O’Neal/Wilson Bethel (Prototype), Youtube. Available at: 

Kultz, T., 2008. The Buzz for “EDUPUNK.” The New York Times. Available at:

TEDx Talks, 2012. TEDxNYED – April 28, 2012 – Jim Groom, Youtube. Available at:

Wikipedia contributors, 2017. Punk subculture. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at:

Wikipedia contributors, 2017.EDUPUNK. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at: 

Tweet! Twitter bomb, light the tape and run

Twitter had been a bit quiet this week, so knowing some of my classmates, I threw a tweet bomb and ran 🙂

It didn’t wake twitter up quite as much as I had thought it would, but then I forget that we all work in different areas and so this maybe wasn’t as relevant to everyone as I had originally thought.

Always a fun topic though and one I enjoy the debate on.  Do UG students get the best out of lectures? Or is it time for a change in our educational practises?

Tweet! Feminist perspective on sci-fi fiction

Interesting article about the feminist perspective of sci-fi fiction shared by a colleague from New College which reminded me of Harraway’s (2007) approach to highlighting the need for a feminist perspective to a field which is dominated by research and writing by men.

Harraway (2007) took a really interesting approach to using the cyborg as a metaphor for bridging gaps and ignoring boundaries, not male or female but evolved and with reduced biology allowing the possibility of eliminating male versus female. This is quite different from other feminist perspectives which accentuate the need for a balance of male and female views in research and academic writing as either will see things differently and be influenced by society differently. The perspective of a woman on sci-fi versus a man’s view on sci-fi was the main idea behind this article.


Hawaray, D. (2007) ‘A cyborg manifesto: Science, technology and social feminist in the late twentieth century’, BELL, D; KENNEDY, B (eds). The Cybercultures reader. London: Routledge, pp. 34-65.