Tweet! Just a random thought as I took photos

I try to spend my lunch break practicing my photography skills I am learning on my MOOC course, today I was taking photos of a lecture theatre at work which was empty (it was lunch time after all) and it made me consider the impact of digital education and the question of…

Is digital education an enhancement to current practices or is it the realisation of the MOOC hyperbole of 2012?

This came to mind as I know that there is an imbalance between some of the student body and some of the faculty of UoE, where students are asking that lectures are recorded to be used as study aids, and some faculty are reluctant to do this, with one reason being a fear that it would lead to a drop in numbers in the actual lecture.

I understand these worries, after all, if your lecture is consistently half empty, it could be mistakenly thought that your class is not popular.  However is this not a similar chain of thought to the one saying that students aren’t attending the lecture if they are not in the lecture hall as deliver the lecture?  Instead, could we say that recorded lectures, in fact  extend that lecture period, that the learning can now be happening way past the close of the live lecture and into time perods where the student can be more productive? That maybe students may actually be more present in a lecture and making better use of it if they can participate at times when they know they will take the most on board?

Digital education is such a varied and huge topic, but I also believe it’s more than an enhancement of current methods, I believe it’s a philosophy of encompassing the whole.  A chance to experiment and learn, to change for the better or discard that which doesn’t work, a chance to make use of new tools and technologies where appropriate and more importantly an opportunity to raise the bar rather than follow a path.

Tweet! My photography learning for my chosen MOOC and #MSCEDC are coming together

#MSCEDC is represented by some of the books I have read over my studies.

I enjoyed the MOOC from block 2 so much that I carried on learning from it in the little bit of spare time I have (aside from work, masters study, family life, my blog, my youtube channel and sleep). This week I had an assignment of taking a self-portrait BUT I couldn’t be in the picture.

It was a really fun assignment which meant I had to do a lot of thought about what would represent me in a photograph. My usual gardening, cooking and cycling were evident, as was my brewing, but right up there was also my studies in MSCDE. The study, Moray House and now the University have all become so much an important part of who I am that I couldn’t possibly leave them out. A very big change from the very first blog post I wrote as part of IDEL where I spoke about how I didn’t feel like I was part of the university. now I find myself thinking about, using and talking about my studies as part of my job, I feel like I have a much better understanding of what I do as a learning technologist, and more importantly what I could do.

MSCDE has changed me, for the better.

Tweet! Just a chat

It has been really interesting to hear about the various assessment methods being used in the MOOCs this week with multiple choice quizzes seeming to be the most prolific.

My MOOC: Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR
from Michigan State University does have its share of multiple choice quizzes but it is one of the new styles of MOOCs where you can pay a small fee and participate in peer review assignments and a portfolio assignment at the end of the 5 courses to gain a certificate from Michigan.

I’m finding the peer review process both strange, as I’ve never participated in one before, and really helpful. I’m getting lots of great feedback on my photos which is genuinely helping me to create better photos.

I do get a feeling of a much richer experience on the MOOC for it.

The man from coursera he say YES!

The man from coursera, he say YES!


I finally got the OK to conduct my netnography on my MOOC.

I was a bit worried as it was taking so long but the lecturer in charge of the course seems to be really keen and has sent me a few emails since wishing me luck with it and hoping I’ll share any pertinent results.


Thought I should share some MOOC creativity #mscedc

via Instagram

I realised today that I have been sharing my MOOC participation with everyone except my classmates, who probably understand it the most.

I chose to try out Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialisation from Michigan university.  I have never studied photography before but had decided to give it a try before our MOOC weeks started and had even signed up for a local class. I thought this would be a great way to compare on and off-line courses.

I really had no expectations for this MOOC and had thought I’d just lurk and see what was what, but very quickly found myself being drawn in.  I think I may be falling into the label of devotee from Kozinet’s writing (2010).
I have actively taken part in all the peer review assignments and tried to take on board the teachings from each video lecture. I have to be honest as well and say my photos are getting better 🙂
Just for fun, here is a selection of the ones I have taken so far.

A gallery of my photos taken since the start of my MOOC choice.

You can keep up to date with my photos on my Instagram feed:


Kozinets, R.V., 2010. Understanding Culture Online. In Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage, pp. 21–40. Available at:

Chosen a photography MOOC for my ethnography study. #mscedc

My desk at work. Screen shows my mooc choice and the camera is a hint.
via Instagram

Carrying on with our thoughts on MOOCs and ethnography, I have decided to go with one of the courses on coursera, on photography. This is something I have no previous knowledge of and so can participate as part of the community as a proper new learner. I am also taking a course in real life on photography during this block so I thought it could be a very interesting contrast so see the community choosing to learn in a real life course which they have to pay for as opposed to a free MOOC.