Aug 14

Learning on a local and global scale

This is the first week of a new MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) on coursera.org, E-learning and Digital Cultures (edcmooc) organised by the team who run the MSc on E-learning and distance education at the University of Edinburgh. So far the experience has been stimulating, exciting and just a little overwhelming. Continue reading

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Jan 26

Plumbing, Pedagogy, Policy, Personalised Learning and ePortfolios

Calman Learning Centre, Durham
Calman Learning Centre, Durham

Earlier this month I attended (and presented at) the Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference. This was my fourth time to attend the conference, which is always a very valuable event, particularly at the start of the new year. This year’s event was no exception. Continue reading

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Dec 23

A Tale Of Two MOOCs #edcmooc

My romance with MOOCs started some months ago, when I stumbled upon a TED video featuring Daphne Koller, the co-founder of Coursera. Should you desire to know more details about this, you can click here to read about it. However, the point of today’s post is not to go into the reasons of my exploring […]

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Dec 08

Fraingers in the Night #edcmooc – Sunset Observer #23…by Whitney Farmer – Un Pop Culture | @MDWorld

It wasn’t a diplomatic crisis, but technically it was an international incident.

The last live hangout for the online class “E-Learning and Digital Cultures” had to be scheduled to start at 10 a.m. instead of at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate graduation ceremonies. But since the class is being given by the University of Edinburgh which is located Greenwich Mean Time and not Pacific Standard Time, this meant a start time of 2:00 a.m. for me. On Friday. With Thanksgiving turkey still in my belly.

I stayed quiet throughout the session because of being intoxicated by tryptophan. For a brief moment, I dozed. But I woke up in time to hear a discussion of a new word that had been coined by Ary Aranguiz, a MOOC Community Teaching Assistant.

The word was a combination of identities that arguably all who spend an appreciable amount of time communicating online will understand. We are ‘strangers’ and yet we become ‘friends’. We could be sitting next to someone in a coffee shop who we have instant messaged the choicest details of our lives, and yet we don’t even recognize them unless their avatar is a really accurate photo. But no one posts accurate photos.

The next day after the sun arose, I incorporated the word ‘franger’ into my academic communications. I am determined to be an early adopter and to not settle for being roadkill on the information highway. And I wanted to be part of a global effort to change the English language in the same way that ‘humongous’ and ‘gnarly’ have.

Within a couple of hours, I received a message from Angela Towndrow, another CTA who is based in Australia. Angela gently let me know that I was spelling the newly minted word incorrectly. She said that the way I was spelling it meant something quite different in Australia. Almost simultaneously, I was messaged by Ary as well.

Ary wrote that it was meant to be FRAINGER, not FRANGER as I had been calling everyone on two hemispheres. In Australia, the word ‘franger’ means ‘condom’.

Out of 23,000 people who are registered in this class, I have been noticed. Fairly soon after that, I finally got more followers on Twitter than my bird Mia.

I sent out the mea culpa into cyberspace and was glad to hear that I was already being given grace, including by Andy Mitchell. From Andy I had learned that clubs not only refer to mosh pits and green rooms but also to certain sports wherein grown men wear knee highs.

One difference between being humbled – a good thing – and being humiliated – a bad thing – is laughter. I got skooled, to use our vernacular, and my laughter keeps bubbling up and improving parts of my day that have no connection to my midnightly academic adventures. An important hope in my life is that I will always have the power to learn, and part of this is to be wary of allowing pride to enter into my decisions and close the door to new paths in my promised land. If I am convinced that my way or former ways are best, learning dies. And soon afterwards, creativity follows the slide into the grave. Being humble allows us the capacity to learn…which conveys flexibility…which accelerates the efficiency of transmissions between our dendrites…which ignites creativity in a beneficial viral geometric progression…which leads to increased skill acquisition…which leads to the time when things get fun.

This was something that I saw first at the Club – the one with moshpits and no knee-highs. One night we had a sold-out show with a huge backup at the front door because the type of music that night required additional security procedures. Our procedure had been to have Will Call pickup at the box office window and then the security line. From what I could see, it would take an hour…Wanting to keep people happy, I shouted to the crowd for anyone who had ticket confirmations to hold them up. My plan was to walk through the crowd, check IDs, distribute Will Call tickets, and then direct them to the security line. Expecting sheets of paper to be waved at me, I was surprised to see the glow of smartphones being held up like flowers blooming up from a Goth landscape. 15 seconds later, I had gotten skooled. I walked through the crowd, incorporating the new technology in order to improve our operations. It hadn’t been my idea, but it was a good idea.

Everyone walks like a toddler into new territory. But the more we walk, the more balance and strength come to us. And seemingly without hope, success can follow.

Remember the design contest for the class that I wrote about in the last blog? With 22,000 people enrolled, I was one of five winners. I won an art contest…Able to draw only Batman stick figure renditions, by God I am learning how to click buttons.

Now as I am finishing up my coursework, I am awaiting the delivery of my Major Award for the contest with the pensive passion of Ralphie’s dad in “A Christmas Story”.

It will be fra-GEE-lay, from Scotland and not Italy, but not, “…electric sex in the window…” as Ralphie described his dad’s lamp when it finally arrived. It’s a Christmas ornament.

As such, it will dangle beneath the conifer.

NEXT TIME: Ummm…Hmmm

Photo courtesy of Bob Stepno via tweet from #bobstep to Dr. Hamish Macleod of University of Edinburgh who retweeted it to his #edcmooc followers.

NOTE: The following is a link to my final project – a digital artefact/artifact – that will be part of my class assessment. I have also included below the description of my method from the “About” section on the link. Comic book cognizanti, be nice if at all possible, but I want so much to hear your assessment:

http://farmerwhitney.wordpress.com/

This 12-panel graphic story is designed – rather than to reflect on e-learning and digital cultures – to demonstrate the concepts and methods that have been introduced to the #edcmooc class by launching a real project.

The Gypsy students and community in Le Gua who are referenced in the story have invited our team over the last four years to come alongside them in providing education. Our shared goal is to provide alternate ways to learn for a nomadic people who through various reasons have not enjoyed sustained access to the traditional education structure.

Despite a high rate of illiteracy, digital technology – perhaps because of its successful use of icons – is enthusiastically adopted, (see Lili Rose using a smartphone on Page 8). I selected images sizes that are best suited to smartphone scrolling, their most common form of content delivery.

Animals were incorporated into the story anthropomorphically as a method of observing both the emergent digital culture and the ancient Gypsy/Roma culture simultaneously with the eyes trained through different cultures(s).

Pictures of the camp were processed digitally as a basis for the images to hopefully create compelling enthusiasm for these young ones to engage in reading. A comics-based format was used because of the established success of this method that blends visual and textual content to enhance literacy acquisition.

The term ‘Gypsy’ is used intentionally. It is what they asked me to call them and what they call themselves. To this group, it is not pejorative but a term of honor. As such, I capitalize this always.

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Dec 08

#EDCMOOC Artifact: Tackling the Digital Divide via my Smartphone

We are already living in a Knowledge Economy and technology is advancing at a rate few can keep up with. No one can truly predict how today’s technology will change the future for our children.  There is a digital divide…and it is up to us to decide which side of it our children and grandchildren […]

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Dec 07

Crowdsourcing the PhD search…

Since I have a captive, in a sense, audience, I thought I would use the power of the crowd to help me identify a suitable PhD program for myself :)

Now, over the years I’ve been thinking about pursuing a PhD, but a sage mentor once told me that I should take at least a year break from school before making any decisions.  Essentially clear the head out, think about what I like to do, and then think about what PhD program might be most appropriate for me.  Well, it’s been four years, and I’ve already made a few excel spreadsheets with potential programs, but they all fall short in some way shape or form, usually the main issue is financial ;-)  So, I thought I would tap into the wisdom of the crowds on the web, on #edcmooc, and people following the Sloan Consortium to see what you all think about my (potentially unreasonable) conditions for the “perfect” PhD program; it can be an EdD too – PhD is just short-hand for the purposes of this post. Continue reading

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Dec 07

MOOC Participants who liked this post, also found this useful….

Jeeves will point you to the right discussion forum

A couple of years ago when I was putting pen to paper and I was working on my Academic Check-ins paper I was doing some more research into recommender systems, you know the systems like the ones that they have on Amazon.com and Netflix whereby if you rate a certain product in a certain way, or if you view certain products, more recommendations come up based on your usage pattern of the system.

Now, those systems aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they can serve as ways of finding some diamond in the rough that you didn’t know exist. Continue reading

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Dec 05

artefact_ago #edcmooc

This artefact is another one attempt of my final assignment to the E-learning and Digital Cultures course ( coursera.org )
Not so perfect result (i would call it terrible)). It's better to keep the first simple version – just static slides: http://www. Continue reading
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Dec 04

#edcmooc Communication technology (the artefact)

I found it really difficult to create my digital artifact  I’ve been blown away by the whole edcmooc things. There have been many interesting themes, running through the course “E-learning and Digital Cultures”. The important thing for me is writing blogs, because I’ve never done it before. Continue reading
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Dec 04

Converting Powerpoint To Video #edcmooc

A post on the #EDCMOOC Facebook book had caught my attention this morning, whereby a member had asked a question concerning Powerpoint. More specifically, the question was about converting a Powerpoint presentation to video, and what tools can be used for doing so. Since I have been using Powerpoint for several years, and have used […]

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Dec 04

Summary: utopias and dystopias, part one. #EDCMOOC

This is the first episode in a short series I'll present on utopias and dystopias. I'm not an "expert" and am simply synthesising materials from webcasts and readings the Electronic and Digital Culture MOOC at the University of Edinburgh has supported.

In addition, a friend recommended I try a course on "Webscience" launched by the University of Southampton through another platform. This sounded like an excellent idea and the second, more traditional format is providing the context I need to make better sense of web "culture" at large.

I hope you enjoy the following tongue-in-cheek article. Please feel free to chip in!

ID-10073491.jpg

Utopias' fictional origins
The opposite, but related concepts, “utopia” and “dystopia” keep cropping up in relation to online learning, and are often applied to the medium of the internet in general. Why is …

[ Continued ]

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Dec 04

Utopia – the fictional/factual exchange (op-ed), part 2 #EDCMOOC

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Image courtesy of Maya Picture from freedigitalphotos.net

Below is the second instalment in a week of discussions about utopia and dystopia.

So far, conceptualisations of these two oppositional, but related forces have been foundational to the idea of electronic and digital culture and mass education using its media.

I thought it might be relevant to spend some time thinking about why these descriptors are important before moving on to more difficult course themes. If you feel confused please double back to part one.

Fictional origins
The use of the word “utopia”, derived from Moore’s novel, was related to the growing social-political consciousness of that era. Writing during the English Renaissance, he was a leading intellectual. Literary genres have since picked up his utopic brand of philosophy for pleasure. Science ficti…

[ Continued ]

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Dec 04

Subjective dystopias (concluding thoughts), part three #EDCMOOC

This is the last of three posts about utopia and dystopia and what they can teach us with regard to the web. If you missed the others, click back and don't mind me starting in the middle!

Sorry if this seems a little heavy. I've been giving a lot of thought to this topic and have had some "interesting" subjective experiences through the internet myself.

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(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net)

Dystopias
Fictional accounts of dystopia scrutinize technology and arose as a contrast to imaginary visions of utopian paradise. Dystopias marginalize the role of human choice. They tend to showcase what could happen if humans’ conquest of technology were to advance in power beyond any significant limits able to be placed on it.

Dystopias can be thrilling entertainments, plotting events we hope we'll never h…

[ Continued ]

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Dec 04

Final web composite web artefact

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(Egg image courtesy of rakratchada torsap @ freedigitalphotos.net)

My final artefact consists of two parts. The first is a webcomic, the second is an audio file offering a commentary on how the comic relates to the course themes of the Electronic and Digital Culture MOOC hosted by the University of Edinburgh and Coursera.

Please click on both links to review my project:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2jwtv6il4p0a1 … atches.pdf

https://soundcloud.com/courseraproject/edcmoocaudio

It's not necessary, but if you'd like to read about the life behind the comic, you can do so here:
blog.php?u=713&b=627

[ Continued ]

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Dec 04

Week 5 Final Assignment: CyTech Digital Artefact #edcmooc

Firstly, woah, pat on backs all round. This has truly been a wonderful start to my adventures in the MOOC world. While I have been overwhelmed at times, I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to experience the community of a MOOC and the great discussions from such an interesting course. Continue reading

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Dec 04

#edcmooc MY DIGITAL ARTEFACT!

This is it: http://mrl.li/18BApoR

I know I did not use any video edition or did not create a complex digital artefact but I thought that everyone would do such a thing so I decided to use another device: a digital wallpaper. In this kind of device, people can add comments and create a common poster sharing ideas and knowledge. Continue reading

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Dec 03

Missing In Action #edcmooc

Several days have gone by without my having written a single meaningful post on the course material of this week. Not because of lack of inclination but because of paucity of time. As we draw closer to the end of the course, and with the deadline of the artefact looming large, this week I have […]

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Dec 03

Technology In Education – My Digital Artefact For #edcmooc

A few days ago, I posted an article titled The Spinning Coin on this blog, wherein I had shared my view that whether one takes a Utopian view or a Dystopian view of technology, it is a matter of one’s individual perception. My digital artefact for this course is based on the same article. It […]

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Dec 03

Being Natural #edcmooc

At first visuals I thought, I don’t even like tattoos on my body. And to imagine that, to look cool, people would be drawing glowing tattoos freaked me out.
The predictive and remainder gadgets shown are just outstanding. Continue reading
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Dec 03

Reflection on a course E-learning and Digital Culture. #edcmooc

This course gave me a different prospective to think about technology and their future development and implementation. New approach of thinking that I have gotten through this course amazed me, because previously I only was familiar with presentation of  positive aspects in using technology for progress in society.
The structure of the course is excellent. Continue reading

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Dec 03

It’s about time.

There’s a convent in front of my house and they’ve had a charity pre-school for years.

Every now and then since it was put up, I’ve always told myself “I should be volunteering myself in this charity school… duh.. Continue reading

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Dec 03

Week 2 #edcmooc Looking to the Future

The 2 videos “A Day made of Glass” and “Bridging our Future” were intriguing.  Firstly I wondered how these videos were created? How real are they? is this really something happening out there right now – partly or fully? The fx were very convincing to the point of convincing me that this is the “now”.  We know that there are some schools that are using interactive “white boards”, teacher controlled online class delivery, 3d printers, and schools providing every student with an ipad. Wireless throughout the school inside and out, and beyond. There are some spaces in the university I work in that are moving towards this kind of technology driven classroom. But definitely not all spaces and it will be a long time before they are all converted – and the academic teaching staff trained to deliver in this way.  But what about the minority of schools and universities that cannot afford this kind of technology. The schools that have no books, no power – just slates and chalk.  A colleague recently returned from Madagascar, sent boxes of chalk over to her contact there to give to the school near where she was staying.  This was their form of written communication.  So if this is the future, there are going to be many who miss out. The “haves” and “have nots” is definitely reality.

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Dec 03

#edcmooc F2F survival

Just coming in to the final week of this MOOC now and I reflect on how I actually got this far! I had hoped I would finish the course, but was realistic too that it may not happen. In the last 4 weeks – time has flown with an all consuming full time job, family activities and attending a Wagner Ring Cycle (15+hours of opera over 4 performance), plus all the the crazy end of year activities. How have I got this far…

A collegial network. Two other colleagues in my team decided to enrol as well.  We made a pact to meet once a week face to face to discuss the viewing and reading activities.  We allocated these out, so we only had to watch 1 video and read 1 article each.  The hour allocated was adhered to – no-one pulled out.  There was a considered commitment to the “project”. Stimulating discussion and sharing over lunch – away from the office – was productive and effective.  

Thanks fellow MOOCers – you know who you are!

And I can’t wait to share our artifacts this week. Ideas have flowed, but we are working individually on these, so it will be fascinating to see the resulting product.

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Dec 03

Summary: utopias and dystopias, part one. #EDCMOOC

This is the first episode in a short series I'll present on utopias and dystopias. I'm not an "expert" and am simply synthesising materials from webcasts and readings the Electronic and Digital Culture MOOC at the University of Edinburgh has supported.

In addition, a friend recommended I try a course on "Webscience" launched by the University of Portsmouth through another platform. This sounded like an excellent idea and the second, more traditional format is providing the context I need to make better sense of web "culture" at large.

I hope you enjoy the following tongue-in-cheek article. Please feel free to chip in!

ID-10073491.jpg

Utopias' fictional origins
The opposite, but related concepts, “utopia” and “dystopia” keep cropping up in relation to online learning, and are often applied to the medium of the internet in general. Why is …

[ Continued ]

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Dec 03

Utopia – the fictional/factual exchange (op-ed),part 2 #EDCMOOC

ID-100173228.jpg

Below is the second instalment in a week of discussions about utopia and dystopia.

So far, conceptualisations of these two oppositional, but related forces have been foundational to the idea of electronic and digital culture and mass education using its media.

I thought it might be relevant to spend some time thinking about why these descriptors are important before moving on to more difficult course themes. If you feel confused please double back to part one.

Fictional origins
The use of the word “utopia” as it was derived from Moore’s novel was related to the growing social-political consciousness of that era. Writing during the English Renaissance, he was a leading intellectual. Literary genres have since picked up his utopic brand of philosophy for pleasure. Science fiction, for example, is a family of books and films through which the idea of ut…

[ Continued ]

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Dec 03

Graduation and meeting in Second Life

This is a moment of procrastination in my participation in edcmooc. I should plan my digital artefact – all other participants have already done theirs, but I have not even begun mine. So I have to do something else, it’s logical. The impulse to this blog post was Andy Mitchell’s tweet about Edinburgh University’s graduation in the Second Life (SL). Our facilitators, or some of them were going to that graduation yesterday. Here is the link to the YouTube video named School of Education virtual graduation in SL.

SL is similar to  authentic life experiences. Choosing and building an avatar is a touching and important moment. Your personality transfers to your avatar and everything that happens to her, happens to you. I had a long break in my visits to SL, but in honour of this transhumanism week I decided to check if my avatar is still alive and working. So I found myself in eduFinland and flew around there. Then I went to the discussion forums (general discussions> meeting in SL) to write down the landmarks of the Edinburgh University (SL search gave too many possibilities). I transported myself to the given place and began to fly in order to see better. And I saw an avatar walking in a street. I had to stop flying and descend on the ground.

SLedinburghThe avatar was a handsome young man and because I have a ring which shows me the names of avatars in the neighbourhood, I saw that his name was Esko Levee. It was easy to remember that his real name is Esko Lius and he is a participant of edcmooc. I am not sure if we have met f2f in Finland but we knew each other virtually from many Finnish forums.

It felt like a real meeting on the street in Edinburgh University’s SL. When I watched the video of the graduation, I recognised this place there. I have been there! We had a chat discussion in Finnish , my mike is broken and it’s often  better to write in SL, because voice can disturb other avatars. It was night or late evening as you can see.

My appearance in SL comes from the autumn 2007. The avatar is a Japanese young girl and I have not changed it much. I added green hair and I like it. Some T-shirts I’ve got while visiting in different places. I am lazy when it comes to taking care of my appearance and I have forgotten how to do it in the SL. I should do something to my careless appearance but I am not sure if I want to use my time on clothes or hairdressing. I don’t mind such things in real life nor in augmented realities. But there is something in the SL which I love or the little child inside me loves. I love flying and transporting from place to another. This was a nice meeting and the graduation is worth seeing.

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Dec 02

From Being Robotic To Being Human #edcmooc

Read This AT Your Own Risk ! Do you ever feel that you are being controlled by external forces and go through life almost mechanically… working with robotic precision on tasks at hand, without being able to spare much thought on what you are doing ? Two extremely hectic, whirlwind weeks during which I felt […]

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Dec 02

My #edcmooc digital artifact

First of all, let me start by putting it out there that both “artifact” and “artefact” are acceptable forms of the word. As someone who lives in the USA, it seems like “artifact” is the most common form we use, and will stick to it for this whole post.

Continue reading

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Dec 02

#edcmooc Psychological Posthumanism

The many definitions of “posthumanism” are a bit challenging to work with when trying to relate them to educational strategies..  Unrelated to the idea of “enhanced humans” through one means or another, the Badmington paper refers to Freud witnessing “…the waning of humanism… Continue reading

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Dec 02

EDC MOOC assignment – the end of things #edcmooc

This is my final post and final assignment for EDC MOOC. The final visual product is here, the title is

5 Rules for being human in a MOOC

If you haven’t just clicked on the Prezi above then you may want to read this explanation. The idea and text for the assignment is based on this blog, if you want to you can read past posts, but it isn’t essential. Continue reading

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Nov 30

End of Course Reflections #edcmooc

After four weeks of reading, watching, listening, blogging, tweeting, commenting, learning and all round enjoyment I want to get my thoughts in order to start creating my artefact. So with gut instinct I quickly entered all the words that came to mind into Wordle and now I think I am more panicked than before I started but hopefully it will start to clarify in the next couple of days.

wordle

View on Wordle

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Nov 30

Things to come: Epiphanies? (Op-ed) #EDCMOOC

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Introduction
In this post I’d like to address what is lost and what is gained through online learning. Although I wrote the opinion with reference to Massive Online Open Courses, which are huge distance learning programs taught mostly by video lecture, that rely heavily on the idea of the “flipped classroom” and students making connections between readings and educational themes in their own time using peer assessment evaluations and discussion fora, I think the ideas expressed here could apply to any social learning environment.

This includes online iterations of church and other forms of horizontal open religious expression, like blog replies and twitter posts, and other goal motivated social arenas such as online gaming platforms.

Community goals
I tend to believe online activity is goal orientated. The p…

[ Continued ]

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Nov 29

E-Learning and Digital Culture. #edcmooc

       “Digital learning in transition” course at North Carolina MOOCS, intrigued me by a new concept of transformation to the concept of changing many approaches of work and studying to use of technology and I was very interested to continue discussing about these ideas through the course “E-learning and Digital cultures” at the University of Edinburgh.
This course fully attracted my attention and thoughts during wonderful five weeks through communication on-line and discussion the topics about Technology in the past, in the future, the role of Humanity and Post humanism. Following this chronological timeline from an ancient time to the future, I was shocked that technology influences our life in the modern world  tremendously and  our work and studying depends in this years on computers, Internet, mobile phone, satellite, e-library, and e-learning. Continue reading
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Nov 29

Thinking about humanity #edcmooc

On the course E-learning and Digital Cultures we discuss a lot about the humanity and what is it to be a human. We read texts and watched videos and now I see my position starts to be not so firm..

It’s well known that human is someone belonging to socium and having arrangements, conceptions and so on common for all humans. But the question (my question) is if human must be a biological individuum or not? Neil Badmington’s discourse involves ideas that humans are those who have souls and have relation to the conception of life. But at this point we meet other dilemmas associated with transhumanistic ideas, the problem of cybernetic organisms and probably future possibility of saving individual consciousness.

So this is my position: the question of belonging to humans is still open and discussable, but a real human being must have at least 1) individual personality; 2) individual DNA code, even it is saved not in biological data carrier.

In this occasion with some genetic engineering operations we potentially can make from this set a readily nice human being in any conditions enabling )

Some analysis on practical materials is in my blogspot

 

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Nov 29

We got more than a course in edcmooc

This time I want enjoy and share my happy feelings around the edcmooc course. The heading is taken from a YouTube video, which JinShenHuang has implemented as her digital artefact. I think that her message completes my conceptual writings about our course. Peer to peer learning and sharing is the point, and it is well conveyed using visualising and short sentences. Jin’s video goes from heart to heart, thanks. And thanks to our technical miracle Andy Mitchell, who tweeted that source (and many others). I’ll embed the video to the end of this post.

My second thanks goes to Ping LW from New Zealand, who shares her image (from our Flickr competition) with Creative Commons, so I could choose her image to be the header of this blog. The next two weeks we will be enjoying images and digital artefacts in edcmooc. Not bad at all :)

 

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Nov 29

Destruction of individuality in “Evangelion” #edcmooc

The_End_of_Evangelion_23It is 2015. An organization called NERV, dependent on the UN, protects citizens of Tokyo-3 from the attacks by a strange beings called “Angels”; to combat these creatures, NERV developed a biomechanical giants called Decisive Combat Weapon of General Purpose Human-Artificial Evangelion (EVA, for short), which can only be piloted by teenagers.

Continue reading

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Nov 28

A MESSAGE FOR ALL OF HUMANITY Charlie Chaplin #edcmooc

This is a powerful and inspirational message of what humanities potentials could be if they only knew they were loved.  I found myself taken aback, and thought of the e-learning and digital cultures course in so many ways. Clearly that what started out as a very dystopian view, has become the phenomenon of absolute utopia in which we are able to live as an entire species, and it is my hope that we understand that we are the link between our organic environments and our technological advancements. Continue reading

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Nov 28

They’re made out of meat #edcmooc

They’re Made out of Meat:

This dark, film noir, short tackles the subject of an alien culture which comes to our planet in order to discover more about us…. only to find out that ‘we’ are meat!!!

The irony obviously lies in the fact that the Machine-Alien-Culture questions our ability to communicate based on our being, not on our abilities. Continue reading

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Nov 28

World Builder #edcmooc

World Builder - “I think therefore I am” – Rene Descartes

While watching this short this humanistic slogan kept running through my mind. Who’s reality is this? If the man has created this entire world, why wouldn’t he be able to create the woman too? Continue reading

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Nov 28

Being human in today’s digital age #edcmooc

To be human in any era means we have values and moral responsibility to create, imagine and evolve. Being human we also take responsibility to differentiate between good and evil (utopia or dystopia). It has always been and remains to be human duty to choose actions that correspond to our values and deliver good to the fellow beings and creatures. Continue reading

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Nov 28

Exciting models of democracy like…#edcmooc

In reference to the question of whether Google is making us stupid, I note firstly the deterministic implications of the phrase and move quickly to Plato and Phaedra and writing and memory and all of that sort of thing.  Now I am no scholar of Plato or philosophy, so don’t hesitate to contradict me, this is just musing (happily without the muses) but Plato saw writing as limiting because the written word could not ‘teach the truth’ and I think that this is really relevant, both to this discussion and to how the wider questions about determinism and humanism raised in this course relate to education.  As i see it Plato was not concerned on the influence on writing on the individual, but on more social/political implications. Continue reading

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Nov 27

Hey ! Let’s Meat Up ! #edcmooc

The piece of meat that makes up my brain must be teeming with life of some kind in order to provoke these reactions in me that I am now sharing with you here. Who am I and what am I made of is the question that has been troubling me ever since I watched this […]

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Nov 27

Robbie #edcmooc

Day 23

The first of this week’s films is a thought-provoking account of the ‘dying thoughts’ of a self-aware robot. Robbie estimates that he has been floating in space for 6000 years. Continue reading

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Nov 27

The Spinning Coin #edcmooc

The battle royale between Utopia and Dystopia has been raging for centuries, but what is surprising is that neither side seems to be winning or losing. And at the same time, it also symbolizes the age-old co-existence of opposites. Something like the good co-existing with the bad, believers with non-believers, heroes with villains. Continue reading

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Nov 27

Questions about What it is to be Human #edcmooc

I really like the media for week 3, but was actually drawn back to some old movies like “I, Robot” and AI. I would like to focus on thought that came up while I was watching I, Robot for the second time, but this time with all of the questions we have been contemplating within the digital cultures spectrum.  Unbelievable, I didn’t remember the movie at all, which is refreshing. Continue reading

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Nov 27

The Learning Commons Approach #EDCMOOC why MOOC discussion forums are a pot of gold

Reading the forum discussions of my Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students Mooc, I encountered one thread that mentioned the “learning commons approach” and referencing it to a link about learning commons (http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7071. Continue reading

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Nov 27

Things to come? (An analysis of the film "New Media") #EDCMooc

ID-100521.jpg

Image of a bridge courtesy of James Barker/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

It's taken me a while to write my response because I found this film a tiny bit depressing. If you read my article I hope I leave you feeling positive! Apparently the destructive metaphors we use to describe technology are pervasive and interlock with more complementary and "progressive" ideologies about digitization, that it brings Enlightenment etc., so please don't conclude I'm a techno-phobe as nothing could be further from the truth!

I've written an op-ed style counter opinion to this piece which will appear later this week. I present to you "New Media", a short film representing digital culture provocatively. I've been liberal in the scope of my answer to the questions below. If you're lost, it may help to refer back to my…

[ Continued ]

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Nov 27

Video: Avatar Days #edcmooc

What does the final section of this film in particular reveal about the relationship between player and avatar, between the human and the simulation? What versions of the human are opened up here, and which are closed down?

The end is very surprising. Along the film the roles are inverted, avatars live like humans, occupying the same spaces, doing the same things as humans and humans are so  used to them that they don’t seem to notice or to be surprised.

In my opinion the film illustrates how avatars (symbolizing technology and a kind of second personality) are present in our lives. The different approach of the film is that they are in the same social position as humans. When I watched the end I felt very surprised because I noticed that the avatars were the representation of humans, each person’s avatar. Instead of being restricted to the computer and virtual world, they were exposed in real life.


I just imagine if such situation could really ever happen and how it would reveal each of  us since our avatars are a relevant representation of our personalities, wishes, dreams, ideology and character. As representation of our step and virtual self. 

For me, one themessages of this film is that avatars (and technology) will be more and more present in our world, in our lives to the point that virtual will mix up with real, as it already happens to many technologically influenced people.
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Nov 27

Video: Robbie – A Short Film By Neil Harvey #edcmooc

Robbie – A Short Film By Neil Harvey from Neil Harvey on Vimeo.

In particular, you might want to think about the final scene of the movie in which another core sci-fi fantasy – memory backup – is drawn on. What does this notion say about the nature of mind, memory and learning, and the ways in which technological mediation is positioned in relation to it?

The film brings a special and “grounded” foresee of our near future. We know how difficult and inaccurate is trying to predict the future nowadays, but the film, in my opinion, is quite realistic in terms of what might happen within the following decades.

Concerning the human and emotional characteristics of the robot, I do think that it’s possible to be achieved, but such characteristics must be programed and input, I really cannot believe that a robot may feel since it’s doesn’t have human biological structure.


I think that robots can ‘think’, but in different way of humans, but in a programmed and mechanical way. I really don’t know If someday in the future we will have enough technology to input biological human thinking into robots, providing them with human-like capacity to choose, feel and even memory. If it happens, I do hope that it can create good results and not Frankensteins.
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Nov 27

Video: Gumdrop #edcmooc

She’s so cute! Just like in ‘Avatar Days’ film, the robot occupies  human role and presents human-like feelings, behavior and even insecurity. A point that I’d like to highlight is the language domain, the robot sounds like a proficient speaker and was able to change her accent when reading the script.

I guess one of the messages of the film is to show  how close we are from the time when robots will be part of our lives as other humans do, occupying the same social status and role of humans.
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Nov 26

World Builder – A “Touchy” Issue #edcmooc

My imagination was set afire after watching this video and I was sorely tempted to write another satire on this one as well, but considering that I have been travelling for work most of this week and have a lot of catching up to do with this week’s resources, I shall spare you, my dear […]

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Nov 26

The marshmallow test, Mark 2! #edcmooc

Interesting link to a new take on the marshmallow test. What happens when the “impatient” kid is just someone who’s been lied to before and sin’t gonna let it happen again…
The relationship between previous experience and the “marshmallow test” from week 1
https://rochester. Continue reading

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Nov 26

#edcmooc – Week 3: Reasserting the human

Week 3: Reasserting the human


I was travelling and without Internet, so the delay in this post… but here are my week 3 considerations:


The technology challenges own notion of human being. Humanistic ideas such as equality, freedom and autonomy – that define some of our ways of understanding human nature – are not quite so clear criteria when technology becomes part of our routine and can, for example, extend and simulate human interactions.
The humanist project until now has not been reached, the idea of ​​gender equality, race and class – that seems to distance himself with the spread of technology – also helps to undermine the foundations of the idea of ​​human being. Continue reading

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