Lifestream summary, week ten

This week, what do you see? I’m using some optical illusions to illustrate the Lifestream journey.

It’s not a straighforward journey, but the illusions are in honour of Jeremy Knox’s blog post on ‘Abstracting Learning Analytics’, which has infused a number of Lifestream posts and has informed a lot of my thinking behind them.

Learning analytics can be illusion-inducing…

… and not always clear. Is there a shape there, or not? That was a question within and behind the analysis of the Tweetorial.

Do things inter-relate, or not? And, if so, how – and am I sure?

What am I seeing, exactly, and is that correct – and the only way to see it? Are others seeing something I’m not – and what happens when politics and power (as well as the market) are embroiled in these interpretive steps? [Non-representational art is still bound into contexts of production and consumption.]


Or, alternatively, seeing something when there is nothing there. Or, put another way, seeing something in the nothing, but the ‘nothing’ is important – and is made into a ‘something’? [Even Guardian readers – particularly Guardian readers – have their own filter bubbles, even filter baubles.]

But, in the digital sphere, is it ever creation ‘out of nothing’?

Learning analytics becomes creations (plural) out of something. [And we might not know what we’re creating – cross your fingers, and hope for the best?]

But throw enough data and metadata into the mix, and will anything become something, or something become anything? [Is the art gallery of learning analytics actually a hall of distoring mirrors?]

Learning analytics: perhaps it all depends on what contextual surface you lay it all down…

… and the comparisons you look to draw…

…or draw to look…

…and the scale, scape and perspective from which you stand.

Perhaps, into the twenty-first century, we should expect a bumpy ride ahead?