Block 1: Cyber Cultures
This was an interesting if not overwhelming block to introduce the course. I found myself lost in virtual space and trying to make sense whether my feelings of cyber culture fell into a dystopian or utopian point of view. I felt intimidated by my peers which enabled me to self-handicap my learning. I begged for help on several occasions as I could not seem to make sense of any technical instructions found online. My idea of a cyborg was one that belonged in movies, yet the Bayne (2014), Miller (2011) and Haraway (2007) readings allowed me to open my mind to a world where cyborgs, dualism, and technological learning already exists. We were then asked to produce a digital visual artefact that explored an element of the cyber cultures course in a creative way.
Block 2: Community Cultures
In this part of the block we were to take part in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and our task was to research the learning environment by creating a micro-ethnography that evolved into an autoethnography. I found my xMOOC isolating compared to the Kozinet’s (2010) and Stewart’s (2013) descriptions of online learning communities. The cMOOC has a focus on social learning while the addition of an xMOOC has a focus on the pedagogy.
Block 3: Algorithmic Cultures
This block explored how algorithms and Learning Analytics affect our daily life. I focused on two aspects which were emoticons and a clothing line ‘Fabletics.‘ I also explored how they can influence individuals, communities, work environments and education. The thing that was of most interest for me was the connection to how we understand and perceive something and our understanding of that knowledge. I found this block particularly stressful due to work commitments, and I now have a full blown appreciation for bloggers. When researching Learning Analytics, I wasn’t sure how the data could support my field or how I would generate findings and analyse the data. To support my knowledge and understanding of Learning Analytics I created my own Infographic. Although I predominantly used Twitter throughout my lifestream, I ironically struggled to participate in the EDC course Tweetorial. I managed to contribute at the last minute but felt disheartened at my lack of conversation and the impact on the Tweetorial Data. However, I produced an analysis on the Tweetorial Archive.
It seems impossible until it is done.
Although daunting coming into a new area of education I appear to have made my way through the course, if I’m honest, there were times where I was coasting, but I should probably label it as ‘lurking.’ I found my posts sparse and confused until given specific readings or tasks that helped anchor my thoughts. It was apparent that I did not display technical literacy at the beginning of the course but through IFTTT and lots of persistence, I became not only confident about my critical thinking but also my digital literacy skills. Throughout the EDC community, there was always someone there to inspire, motivate and challenge my thought process. I did it one day at a time, 353 posts to be exact.
Bayne, S. (2014) What’s the matter with ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’? Learning, Media, and Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2014.915851 (journal article)
Haraway, Donna (2007) A cyborg manifesto from Bell, David; Kennedy, Barbara M (eds), The cybercultures reader pp.34-65, London: Routledge. (e-reserve, pdf)
Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage. pp. 21-40.
Miller, V. (2011) Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology, in Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage. (e-reserve, pdf)
Stewart, B., (2013). Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation? MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Technology, 9(2), pp.228–238.