Lifestream Summary

The lifestream is intended to:

  1. Map (and demonstrate) the path of learning.
  2. Collate the ‘chaos’ of the course.

1) was stated in the course outline.

2) became obvious only once we began the week 10 reading. The design of the course structure was to disorientate us to facilitate a deeper engagement with our own learning. However balance must be maintained between order and chaos – and this is the second (though not secondary) role of the lifestream.

One of the decisions I had to make is how the lifestream should appear. How authentic do I want it? For example, many early items demonstrated a tussle with technology:

Am struggling with twitter and delicious. have added them to my lifestream. doesn’t show reply tweets or any tagged pages. ideas? 22nd September Twitter.

However, I decided they should remain because they demonstrated what we later called the ‘uncanny’ nature of the digital experience. They show the struggles as well as the successes, and we must demonstrate the whole of the journey, not just the highlights where we stopped and took a virtual photograph of the local sights!

I have managed to provide “evidence of new material every day or so” but only at a considerable amount of stress. The problem has been to maintain the quality of material, as well as quantity. When editing the lifestream I have removed many entries not pertinent to the course, deciding if a ‘full’ day with tenuous entries was preferable to a ‘sparse’ day with pertinent content.

The ‘live’ state of the lifestream effectively removed the power to ‘catch up’ and the readings could take a week to complete, so comments I made were often at the end of that week. To manage that I wrote ‘initial thoughts’ entries without having finished the reading, sometimes meaning I was commenting on incomplete understanding, and I was not able to satisfactorily comment on Haraway and cyborgs until I had read the core and secondary reading, but not to remark  would create a definite gap. Conversely, reading back it is interesting to watch my developing understanding at various stages of the reading. For example, the cyborg reading was quite difficult for me:

finding Haraway so frustrating! is it just me or is she a bit ‘whiney’? 11th November Twitter

Nonetheless this is the topic that I posted the most blog entries and comments about. In this case my lifestream truly demonstrates my (sometimes erratic) path of learning.

The lifestream has also acted as a consolidating tool in that it has successfully brought together and maintained all my sources and the differing technologies. As a learner not used to using VLEs, the concept of studying without one was daunting;

Studying without a vle feels like tightrope walking without a safety net! 22nd September Twitter

However, the lifestream meant that I could easily maintain and then re-engage all of the sources I collected as I journeyed through the course.

Without the lifestream this course would not be possible.

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