Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Beyond Twitter: welcome to week 3

Monday, October 5th, 2009

The last couple of weeks have been enjoyably frenetic – the Twitter exchanges have been rich, chaotic, frustrating and fun in perhaps equal measure. I hope we can continue to de-brief and exchange thoughts on this in the discussion board, and the blogs. Jen has seeded a post on this in the DB this morning.

But now we also look beyond the film festival to week 3, and a shift in focus from popular cyberculture to one possible dimension of its emergence in education – engagement with the multimodal, with the visual and new associated literacies. The readings for the next couple of weeks aim to explore some of these themes. The course in general is in fact taking a bit of a ‘visual turn’ over the next couple of weeks, as we reflect on the theory and also put into practice ways of exploring ideas visually, through construction of the visual artefact for the end of next week.

Discussion this week is going to be via Skype text chat – I have a hunch this may seem scholarly and stately after Twitter : ) Almost everyone’s committed to a time now:

Wednesday 8pm:
Sarah T

Thursday 10am:
Sarah P

We’ll split into two for the wednesday night session. Just log in at the set time and Jen or I will invite you in to the chat. Remember to make us contacts first if you haven’t already – sianbayne1 and jross28. I suggest we focus on the core readings for these chat sessions.

Please continue to tweet course-related material to #ededc – my sense is that this is working really well, and remember you can access the aggregation of blog postings at – the material going up in the blogs is just excellent.

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…).

course aggregated blog updated

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Today has brought a change of theme and more functionality to our aggregated blog at – you can now search, and the ‘older entries’ links at the bottom of the page work. The theme – atahualpa – is really customisable, and quite complicated!

skype chat tutorials next week

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

chat03Can I just remind everyone that there will be two real time chats in Skype next week to talk about the next set of readings and activities. These are scheduled for:

wednesday 7 october, 8pm
thursday 8 october, 10am

Please can you post a comment at: to let us know which one you plan to check in for?

So far, Bill is the only one who has committed himself – thanks Bill! : )

Lots and lots of blog posts

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

I’ve found a way to collate all of the blog postings that people are making on the site – you can see it here:

The title of each post links through to the blogs themselves, where you can comment if you want to. And the tag cloud on the right gives a sense of the sorts of things being discussed.

Sian and I both think this is pretty useful and a nice way to engage with the course community’s blogging, but if anyone has any questions or concerns about being aggregated in this way, please do let us know – we’re happy to discuss.