Archive for the ‘Weekly Welcomes’ Category

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.

welcome to week 8 (and our final block)

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Welcome to week 8, and to block 3 of the course!

Firstly, you have obviously been working extremely hard on your micro-ethnographies over the past few weeks, and these are varied, exciting and rich – well done! As with the visual artefacts, let’s take a few more days to comment on these at the same time as we get started with week 8’s readings and activities.

Secondly, this week’s readings are to be found at . The core readings by Donna Haraway and N Katherine Hayles are both pretty full on, so do make sure to give yourself space and time to engage with these. We’ve posted up some discusson questions you may want to consider as you think and blog about these pieces. We’ve also got a Wallwisher activity set up for the next two weeks – please contribute to our collaborative Wallwisher story of being posthuman, drawing on the core (and secondary) readings and attempting to answer for yourself “in what ways am I posthuman”?

Thirdly, as we enter this final block, you should start (or continue) to think about a topic and format for your final assignment for the course. If you want to you can blog about this, and/or use the ‘assignment discussion’ area in the discussion board to share ideas. Either way, before you start work on it, be sure to email your tutor to agree your topic and medium.

Finally, a warm welcome to the friends and colleagues who are joining us over the next few weeks – we are really happy to have you. Please feel free to comment on blogs on this site, to use our twitter hashtag #ededc for discussion and to alert us to blog posts you write , and to participate in the wallwisher activity.

Have a great week, everyone!

Welcome to week 6 (still Block 2)

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Hi everyone – welcome to week six. For the next two weeks you should be conducting your micro-ethnography and reporting on it using an online medium of your choice. As with the visual artefacts in block 1, try to leave enough time next week to engage in discussion about your own and others’ work. Please post a comment on the “building your ethnography” page to let us know where to find your work.

There have been lots of good ideas flying around the discussion board. Online communities identified so far include: Meme meisters, Education Ning community, ‘Is Elvis still alive?’, Sage Methodspace, ELGG board, scotedutweets twibe, Steelmen online, 9/11 conspiracy theorists, Body Adornment Community, LGBT Community, Torchwood Twitter Community, 2009 Undergraduates online, Influential Tweeters, Re-dubbings of Downfall, The Death of Irony, Star Trek fan site, Second Life, E-learning and digital cultures community, Sleeping Cats on Flickr, Greek interpreters, Irish musicians online, and quilting community online.

A number of course participants have suggested that they would be willing for someone (or more than one person) from the course to use our EDC community as their ethnographic site. If this is problematic for anyone, please email me or Sian directly, or post something in the discussion board in the next day or two to let us know. Otherwise, if you’re still looking for a community, you might consider looking at our course.

In addition to the suggestions in the course handbook and here, if you have good ideas for presenting the ethnography that you’re willing to pass on, please add them to the discussion board thread that Sibylle started yesterday.

Have a great week!

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(building stonehenge is nothing… try building a virtual ethnography!)

Onward to block 2

Monday, October 19th, 2009

The visual artefacts have been fantastic – I had real trouble tearing myself away from them this weekend, there’s so much to say about each one. It makes no sense to try to summarise such rich diversity of  thinking and expression. However it does seem to me that a few themes have tended to dominate: the utopia/dystopia opposition; the question of text/image and the ways in which meaning emerges differently across different media; the nature of identity and the way we manage our digital existences across multiple nodes of the network; and – perhaps more subtly – the implications of all this for the digital ‘classroom’.

I think we should extend the commenting period for a few days, while also turning attention to the next block of study – it’s going to be interesting to see how these themes extend into the next few weeks. This is where you conduct a piece of ethnographic micro-research in an attempt to think through the notion of online ‘community’. The plan is that this week we will discuss ideas for communities that you’d like to look at, and share thoughts on media you might use for presenting your ethnography, while also doing the readings. We’ll kick off discussion in the – until now barely used! – discussion board and see how it goes. I imagine ideas will migrate from there to blogs and to Twitter.

After this week, you’ll be working largely alone in conducting and presenting your ethnography, though in week 7 we should have some good exchanges going on around the ethnographic representations as they start appearing. This seemed to work really well for the visual artefacts.

Thanks everyone for the work you’ve put in over the last few weeks – it’s been really terrific.

Exploring the visual – welcome to week 4

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 4! This week our main activity will be creating and discussing visual artefacts which help draw out themes, issues or ideas from across Block 1 of the course.

Remember that you want your artefact to appear in your lifestream, and for us to have somewhere to discuss it, so if you aren’t using a web-based tool with an RSS feed, you’ll probably want to put your artefact in a blog post. That has the advantage of having an inbuilt place for comments as well.

Make sure you leave yourself time to engage in discussion about your own and other people’s artefacts. In addition to the core readings, some of the secondary readings for weeks 3 and 4 may be helpful as you come to discuss the artefacts – especially Rose and Spalter & van Dam.

Once you’ve put your artefact up, please post a comment here to give us a link to it.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Week 2 begins

Monday, September 28th, 2009

After a really interesting first week, we’re starting to discuss our second film cluster today, with the Twitter hashtag #mscworlds. This will run til Thursday, when we’ll move on to our final cluster, #mschuman. We’ll continue to explore these films in light of the weeks 1 and 2 readings.

There is now a link to the set of all our group blog posts in the sidebar under course environments. The “older entries” link seems not to be quite right, but you can use the tag cloud or the calendar to see older entries til we sort it out.

A reminder that as part of your assessed lifestream at the end of semester, you should be writing a brief post at the end of each week summarising your lifestream activity for the week. See the course guide for more about this.

Looking forward to another lively week!

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(tweet tweet tweet)

Semester starts today

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

It’s our official start day today – welcome all to the new academic year.

There’s been a lot of activity here already, with most people having set up their blogs and lifestreams, and a good bit of Twitter action going on already. If you haven’t got the lifestream set up yet, or are struggling with anything on the tech side, please don’t struggle alone – contact Jen and I and we will help sort it.

The tutorial sessions in Twitter start tomorrow, when we’ll be tweeting on Popular Cybercultures by bringing together the film festival with the core readings – first off is #mscdystopia which runs til Sunday. It’s likely to be a gentle start as people take time to work through the readings and the films….

Remember also that the discussion board is there if there is private stuff you want to bring up with the rest of the group, for social chat in a private space or for tech queries and activity follow-ups.

Best of luck with all that comes your way this semester, looking forward to your tweets : )