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Week 5: ethnography

Indian Dancer: From an Ethnographic MuseumThis week you should spend really getting into your chosen MOOC, and thinking about how to make sense of it ethnographically, within the constraints of our short timeframe.

It’s very exciting seeing the many different MOOCs people have chosen to investigate:

Ed – Business Transformation (EdX)
Ben – Vocal Recording Technology (EdX)
Katherine – MOOCMOOC: Critical Pedagogy
Clare – Gamification (Coursera)
PJ – Scandinavian TV and Film Culture (Coursera)
Michael – Songwriting (Coursera)
Emlyn – Powerful tools for teaching and learning: Web 2.0 tools (Coursera)
Jin – Metaliteracy (Coursera)
Nick – Programming for Everybody (Coursera)
Miles – Explore Filmmaking (Futurelearn)
Martyn – Better Leader, Richer Life (Coursera)

It’s going to be a very varied and rich group of ethnographies by the time we get to week 7!

We have a couple of hangouts this week – you only need to sign up for ONE of these – whichever best fits your schedule. If you haven’t yet done this, please sign up here on Moodle.

We will spend the hangouts talking about the unfolding ethnographies, so if you could read the Kozinets article in the core reading before coming along, that would be great.

We will also discuss any ethical concerns you have – there have been some comments in the discussion forum and on Twitter about feeling like ‘lurkers’ and ‘voyeurs’ in conducting this task, so it would be interesting to try to unpack that a bit, and think about how we balance observation with participation in this activity.

Look forward to seeing you f2f again! Just come onto G+ at the given time and we’ll invite you into the hangout.

Twitter analytics


Some of you may find this page of free services for analysing Twitter useful, for your work in MOOCs this block – some of these can be really handy for a quick and easy overview of what’s going on on a particular hashtag.

One that isn’t listed is Tweetarchivist, which is also good – you can try it out for free but need to pay to have a stable collection of data.

If you have any other suggestions for handy services for this block’s activities, please add them in a comment here, and/or tweet them!



Film festival tutorial 2: here’s the room

pink flag




Our tutorial this morning will be on Togethertube at this link:

As a reminder, it’s at 10am UK time for about an hour, and we’re going to watch these films:

We only attack ourselves – 3.5 mins
Stop Dave, I’m afraid (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) – 2.5 mins
– 6 mins

Looking forward to chatting shortly!

Week 2: let the film festival continue!


It’s week 2, and the second week of our Education and Digital Cultures film festival! It has been great to see the responses on Twitter so far, including lots of fantastic references, comments and some excellent additional clips. Keep this up, our #mscedc hashtag is proving to be a superb resource for our continued explorations of digital cultures!

Once again, we’ll be hosting a Togethertube tutorial, this time towards the end of the week: Tutorial 2 is on Friday 23rd January, 10am UK time. Link to the films here and see what we have lined up for the tutorial. If you can’t make that time, do try to watch all of the films and respond in your blog or on Twitter.

The lifestream blogs are looking fantastic already, so please do continue adding different feeds this week, and exploring each other’s blog spaces. Commenting on each other’s posts is our primary way of engaging in discussion in this course, so we recommend including this in your weekly routine. Also remember that you need to write a summary of your lifestream content at the end of each week (please give this a subject line like “week 1 summary” or similar), reflecting on how it expresses and builds on the course themes, readings and activities. Unlike your blogs in IDEL, your lifestreams should play with fragments as well as longer text-based entries, and you should be looking to add either a feed item or written post every couple of days.

Have a fantastic week everyone!


week 1 done quiltA quick note on the lifestream-blogs as we come towards the end of our first week. I’ve been really enjoying going over them this week, and it’s great to see that they are pretty much all set up and pulling in interesting feeds.

Some general guidance on the building of the lifestreams that comes to mind:

  1. it’d be good to pull in a range of feeds, so if yours is primarily drawing in tweets, for example, you may want to look at how you can diversify it a bit
  2. it’s also great where people are making substantive blog postings on the course content too – a good strategy at this point is to plan to blog a couple of times a week (even if briefly) and then tweet the link to #mscedc so that others can see your post and comment on it
  3. related to that – if you could take a bit of time during the week to look at other people’s posts and make the odd comment, that would really help build the course community – this can be more of a challenge in a discussion board-free course like this, but when it works, it works really well!

Finally, please remember that part of the assessment requirement for this course is to write an end of week lifestream ‘reflection’ post – quoting from the course guide (page 10):

In addition, we ask you to make a blog posting at the end of every week which makes a statement about the lifestream-blog content for that week. This does not have to be long, and shouldn’t be more than 250 words, but it should itself form part of your WordPress lifestream-blog. Rather than reflecting directly on the course content (as you did in IDEL, for example), the purpose of these weekly postings is to synthesise and review the content of your lifestream. It is expected that each summary post will contain references to the content from that week.

So please make some time to do this before the end of Sunday, and have a great weekend.

Welcome to the first Togethertube tutorial


As part of our block 1 film festival, we’re hosting the first Togethertube tutorial at 8pm UK time.

Join our private film room here:

Remember to sign up for a Togethertube account before hand – this will allow you to choose your own username.

Now showing:
Memory 2.0 – 11 mins
Address is approximate
– 3 mins
Tears in rain (from Bladerunner)
 – 4 mins

Education and digital cultures starts today!

Owl from Blade Runner
Welcome all to EDC. It’s great to see all the twitter activity kicking off already, and to see so many of the lifestream blogs already set up and starting to come to life.

Our hope is that by the end of this course you will have gained an understanding of some of the key aspects of the study of digital culture – its interpretation within popular culture, its re-imagining of community, the rise of algorithmic culture – and to see the links between these and your work in digital education.

We also hope that the course will be fun to study : ) It’s deliberately innovative in its form – being entirely open, and with an emphasis on digital methods of presenting your work. The lifestream-blog, itself a kind of algorithmic mash-up, is intended to represent some of our core themes in its form, as well as operate as a usefully-flexible way of thinking about assessment. In a sense, the course gives you free reign and a wide palette to try stuff out, to play, think and get feedback from tutors and each other on your work.

Start this week with the overview of block 1: Cyberculture: we will be easing into the course via our film festival which gives us a chance to talk about cyberculture and popular culture in our Togethertube tutorials. The first of these is tomorrow (Tuesday 13th Jan) at 8pm.

You should also do the readings and start building content in your lifestream-blog – tweeting, blogging and generally collating thoughts and resources linking to the work you are doing this week. If anything isn’t clear, please contact your course tutor – either Sian or Jeremy – and we’ll help.

We hope you enjoy the course!

Digital Education and Digital Cultures – coming soon!

Start where you are imageThe course starts on January 12th, but take a look before then at the ‘Before semester starts‘ page to see what you need to do to get set up (in particular, setting up Twitter, G+, Togethertube, and your lifestream-blog). Please also get the dates for the real-time tutorials into your diary.

You will receive an email with detail of how to log in to your blog space for this course – please let your tutor know if you don’t have it by 6th January.

Our hashtag is #mscedc so please get tweeting any time in the run up to next semester – looking forward to seeing you online!