12 Weeks ago I stepped into the world of ‘Digital Cultures’ not really knowing what to expect. However, after travelling through posthumanism ideologies, digital ethnographies, learning analytics and algorithmic cultures, I can safely say as the weeks have gone by my interest has never wavered. Each new week provided a fresh topic (normally something I knew little about to begin with) and as that week developed so did my understanding of the area.
Prior to the course, I had watched many Cyber Punk movies without ever knowing much about the genre, I knew these films were linked in some way so it was great to delve into the topic and discuss some of the connotations and ideologies. In fact, the whole first block of the course had me hooked from the outset as I am a huge sci-fi fan and love speculating about digital futures.
Having participated in a few MOOC courses in the past gave me some understanding of the structure and format I would expect when conducting my digital ethnography, and even though it was peculiar to ‘investigate’ the course from the outside almost, I really enjoyed the challenge of analysing the role of community within the various discussion channels. I also appreciated reviewing other participant’s ethnographies and discussing the different themes that emerged.
The final block of the course gave me an ideal opportunity to discuss ideas around social recommendations and how they ‘magically’ appear on our timelines and front pages. I previously accepted the recommendation without question, I knew there was some kind of formula behind it but I never really considered the implications on our content consumption online. However, by discussing, reading and researching the subject further, I can now see the pros and cons that algorithms can have on our online experience.
I feel that by consolidating my thoughts into the wordpress blog each week was a useful way to reflect on the issues arising, and it was helpful to solidify some of the emerging ideas. I tried to use ‘IFTTT’ as my main sharing facility using #MSCEDC regularly with Tweets filtering into the blog, I did however attempt to use Instagram, Delicious, Youtube, Giphy and even Last fm to share other sorts of rich media. I really liked the way I could use #MSCEDC at any time to see what my classmates were sharing and discussing.
One of the great things about every course I have participated in so far during MSc DigEd is the close knit communities which develop over the weeks. Beginning the course as individual but ending it as part of a group shows how within an actively sharing and responsive community can help harness and support and individuals journey. The ‘Tweetorial’ was a perfect example of how the community came to fruition and the results are there for all to see within ‘Keyhole’.