Posts Tagged ‘lifestream’

welcome to our final week of semester

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Well, this is it – our final week. It’s been a wonderful, colourful journey for Siân and for me, and we hope it’s been rewarding and interesting for you as well.

A few reminders and some information in relation to your lifestream submission and final assignment.

  1. The lifestream is due on Sunday 13 December, and the submission information you need is on this page – . You can skip your weekly summary for week 12 and focus on your 500 word lifestream summary this week.
  2. Your final assignment is due on Sunday 3 January 2010. We’ve now spoken to almost everyone about their topics and formats. If you have yet to liaise with your tutor about this, please do so by this Friday – 11 December – at the latest. A reminder that you are aiming for a word count of approximately 2000. Also, remember that you can nominate up to three of your own assessment criteria in addition to the core criteria which will apply to all assignments. See the course guide for more information about this.

Good luck to all of you on your assignments – we’re looking forward to seeing them. And thanks again for being part of the course this semester – it’s been a real pleasure working with you.

week 10 – can you believe it?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

southerngothic_taylorHello all, and welcome to week 10! Siân and I were saying this morning that we can’t believe how the semester has flown by. Your blog posts, comments and tweets over the past couple of weeks have been extremely thoughtful, interesting and creative.

This week:

This week is our final week of structured content for the course, and we’ll mark it by returning explicitly to the realm of e-learning to look at some of the themes of this block as they relate specifically to teaching and learning online. The core readings were written more than a decade apart, and are relevant not only for their engagement with the themes of uncanniness and cyborg pedagogy, but in how they may fit into Hand’s narratives of promise and threat, and in the stories they tell about their cybercultures, a way of thinking Bell advocated in week 1.

We can discuss these and other issues and questions in the blogs this week, and also, for those who are able to attend the Skype session on Wednesday at 8pm (GMT), in synchronous text chat. We will put the transcript of the chat up on the discussion board as we did last time.


Your lifestream will be due for submission by midnight on Sunday 13 December. We will create a page on the site this week to give explicit instructions about how to submit it, and there is more information in the course handbook about the assessment criteria.

If you haven’t decided, in consultation with your tutor, on your final course assignment topic and format, you will want to start thinking about that in earnest over the next few weeks. As previously noted, you must email your tutor before you start to work on your assignment, to agree your topic and format.

Have a great week, everyone.

Lifestream feedback coming by email this week

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Hi everyone! We’re now about halfway through the semester, and the lifestream creation which will account for half of your final mark for the course. So, your tutor will email each of you individually this week to give you some formative feedback on your lifestream. We know that many of you have not yet ‘filtered’ your lifestream, and that is fine – this is just meant as a general indication of how your lifestream is looking in relation to the assessment criteria (which you can find in the course handbook). It is also an opportunity for you to let us know of any issues, ideas or questions you have about the course in general and the assessment in particular.

I think we have everyone’s up-to-date email address, but if you haven’t heard from your tutor by Friday, let us know.

Lifestream: Curation or Chaos?

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

(a conversation between Jen and Siân)

Jen: I’m finding it useful to think of the lifestream as a process of curation – like a museum curator, whose job it is to collect, combine and contextualise artefacts. Part of what we will be assessing is the extent to which students’ lifestreams as a whole demonstrates something insightful and coherent about their understanding of digital culture, learning and digital technologies, and their engagement with the course content. The choice of items and the end of week and end of course summaries should tell a story of their experience of and contribution to the course.

Siân: I agree with Jen up to a point – the curation metaphor is useful, but again I think it raises the question of agency. ‘Curation’ implies a level of control and choice which is only partially true of the lifestream, which is quite a complex negotiation of the user’s choice and the determinations of the technology. To me, it has something in common with automatic writing in the way in which it mixes-up the sense of where the ’stream’ originates. Personally, I find this quite exciting – I like Poster’s suggestion that in working with these kinds of ideas we (deliberately, productively) introduce an element of ‘chaos to the souls of those online’. : )

Jen: Maybe it depends to an extent on how different students are approaching their lifestreams. For those who are bringing in feeds that they use for other things – their regular Twitter accounts, for example, or Delicious bookmarks – they’ll be dealing with a rushing river of content which may be chaotic and out of control. For others who are creating accounts specifically for the course, there may be quite a lot of control and choice involved at least in the ‘what’ if not the ‘how’ of the lifestream. That’s interesting, maybe – the ‘how’ is much less under control for everyone, since so much is decided in the interface between the feed and the lifestream. Like being a curator in a fun-house – one with all those funny mirrors and angles.

Siân: Nice metaphor, which makes me think that different analogies are going to apply to everyone’s use of (or by) the lifestream. I guess the point is that everyone should feel they have enough control to choose where on the chaos-structure continuum they’d like their stream to be. I hope everyone feels they can work the environment in this way (if not, help is at hand…).