EDC Lifestream Blog Summary

Image result for robot at the finishing line
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk

Where to start, where to start? This Education and Digital Cultures course has opened so many doors, traveled so many paths and crossed so many lines of conversation, interaction and thought that’s it almost feels like an injustice simply summarising our rampant and energetic dive in to our world of digital influences, both real and unreal as it now exists into a synchronous set of weeks’ activity.
Our foray into the awakenings of AI and the lessons we (think we) should be heeding was a visual candy shop to kick off our EDC experience. Largely dystopian and seldom encouraging, only time will tell if we are indeed ready to articulate the delicate mandolin that is ever developing artificial intelligence, biomechanics and our inevitable march towards a post humanist and eventual transhuman state of being. Writings from the likes of Miller (2011), Hand (2008) and Hayles (1999) walk the path of either insightful readings of future trends or irrelevant commentary to be hurled on the trash pile of past inaccuracy. Only time will tell. And doubly so, we can only hope that whichever future does manifest, it does so in ways that benefits the human race profoundly more so that it does so currently without us sacrificing too much of our precious human compassion, consideration for our home and our ethical duty to help others. Baynes (2015) criticism of TEL resonated on several occasions where we were called to question the use of the digital medium.
The development of the MOOC for instance is at least one major stab at applying the benefits of a highly connected world to overcome the barriers to education though lack of resources, capabilities or institutional advantages granted by place of birth, race, or another means by which humans can be separated.
The dream of open education, although noble, is not without its challenges as was so deftly demonstrated in our ethnographic studies on the OER phenomenon. Open, as we have come to learn is not as ‘open’ as we imagine and participants in these free learning environments face a series of obvious and sometimes not-so obvious tests to achieving understanding, some of which are created through just being human (self-direction and motivation). EDC, in this case helped push me to consider so many more factors within the MOOC device that I had not even begun to consider before. Not only that, it exposed me to ways of visualising and communicating on these factors in innovative ways too that I believe was of benefit not just to me, but, to my fellow learners as well. And so too did their creative experiences enrich my understanding and achieve the core essence of the community basis of learning.

Lastly, the foray into the structured ,but, at the same time, somewhat manipulative world of the alogarithim and its cousin, learning analytics, aptly dissected by the likes of Siemens (2013) and Knox (2015) as well as Eynon, (2013) to reveal its growing influence in all parts of our lives, indicates that these phenomenon’s must be interrogated at every step for the sake of learners everywhere lest we be led by the proverbial nose down a path of good intentions that could also discriminate and exclude.
Coming to the end of this course on education and digital culture, with its array of immersive and portentive experiences I am drawn to the fact that although it is heavily imbued with layers, flows and currents of existing and future technology, it is human connectedness, feelings and perception that is still at the heart of what good teaching is all about. Even as we go about finding ways of trying to improve those elements across time, distance, culture or language, connecting with others to learn, to share and to experience should be at the heart of every single digital endeavour we embark on.

Article: Prefab homes from Cover are designed by computer algorithms

06 Apr 2017

Specializing in backyard studios

If you’re in the market for a prefab dwelling—either as a full-time home or backyard unitoptions are aplenty. What L.A.-based startup Cover wants to add to the equation is a tech-driven efficiency that makes the whole design and building process a total breeze for the customer.

As detailed in a new profile on the company over on Co.Design, Cover sees itself as more of a tech company than a prefab builder. Indeed, whereas a typical prefab buying process would begin with choosing one of a few model plans and maybe then consulting with architects to tweak the design for specific needs, Cover turns the whole design process over to computer algorithms. Co.Design explains:

Once customers begin the design process, Cover sends them a survey of about 50 to 100 questions to inform the design. It asks about lifestyle–how many people typically cook a meal and what appliances are must-haves?–and structural needs, like should they optimize one view and block another one?

The company also use computer modeling to optimize window placement, cross-ventilation, and natural light, making use of zoning, sun-path, and geospatial data. All of these parameters are then sent to a proprietary computer program that spits out hundreds of designs that satisfy the requirements supplied.

Here are a couple of key things to know about Cover’s prefabs:

  • The company is specializing in the accessory dwelling unit, which is a secondary structure on a property with an existing single-family house. They can serve as guesthouses, in-law units, offices, yoga studios, and potentially a source of rental income.
  • While the computer will churn out a whole bunch of designs, Cover dwellings generally have a minimal modern look with an insulated steel structure, glass walls, and built-in storage.
  • When you order with Cover, the company takes care of the whole process, from coming up with a design, as described above (which takes three business days and $250), to acquiring necessary permits (two to five months, $20,000), to building and installation (12 weeks, final price contingent on the specific design). Some sample costs offered on the website are as follows: $70,000 for a guest room, $130,000 for a studio with a kitchenette, $160,000 for a one-bedroom unit, and $250,000 for a two-bedroom unit.

Via: Co.Design

Tags: #mscedc

April 06, 2017 at 11:40PM