During my first week of the Education and Digital Culture course, I have spent more time reading and familiarising myself with the process of uploading and engaging with my peers over Twitter than posting. I like to talk (most would say that I love to talk) and see the person I am conversing with but having my words online made me apprehensive and full of reservation. I found myself reflecting in my head more than communicating to my newfound community online. I felt unprepared and the lack of confidence in the subject meant that I preferred individual internalised learning and wasn’t looking forward to the social aspect of the course where I would need to expose my understanding to a group that seemed more competent and knowledgable. Unlike, the statement by knox in his paper ‘Critical education and Digital Cultures’ (2015) I didn’t seem to have a drive for social interaction and was extremely nervous for the first Film Festival. The use of TogetherTube was a new experience for most, and I prepared while on my daily commute to work, by watching a couple of videos prior.
Due to teaching commitments, I had a small window to organise myself for the 8 pm appointment. It felt like a date that I could not miss. I sent my child and our dog to one side of the house as I sat alone. I signed in and made myself physically comfortable if not psychologically.
The group was welcoming, and the humour was enlightening. I felt at ease instantaneously. As we watched the first film, our tutor initiated conversation. However, it took time for this to flow. Some peers have compared the experience to people chatting at the cinema due to the distraction of conversation while trying to watch and comprehend the film. I had seen the first two films, so this didn’t seem to phase me, but I still found myself struggling to comment in an academic or constructive way. Due to a number of people involved in the chat, I found myself pressured to make an appearance via my keyboard but I couldn’t seem to keep up with the conversation. If I wasn’t fast enough, I missed the opportunity to comment as the conversation moved on and I began to realise how much I hesitate to put opinions forward online through fear of being wrong or off tangent.
The next part of the session involved films that I had not watched as the links were not available before the session. The added layer of trying to process film with the conversation meant that I began to panic and as if the computer could sense my emotions it started to malfunction and stop synchronising. The computer and I seemed to be connected, human and machine. Despite my inept contribution, I valued the group’s conversation, and the topics addressed. The process of the session made me acknowledge the importance of group learning and that I will learn more efficiently if I engage and connect rather than retract. I feel that the more I prepare through reading and assessing the film content prior then the more I can embrace conversation. Maybe, I do have the natural human drive for social interaction after all? I look forward to the next Film Festival….
Knox, J. (2015) Critical Education and Digital cultures