Week 7: commenting on ethnographies

bricolageThis week, the main activity is to get your final ethnographic ‘snapshot’ posted up online, and to spend some time looking at each other’s work and commenting on it. We’ll be posting all the complete ethnographies here:

Jin’s and Ed’s are already up and looking good – I don’t *think* there are any others at this point (10am on Monday morning) but please let us know if we’ve missed yours! Just a reminder – please tweet the link to the final ethnography to #mscedc, and if you don’t see it appear on the page above pretty promptly, just drop Jeremy or I an email.

Please keep comments on the ethnographies on the blogs rather than in Storify/YouTube/etc – that way we can keep a fairly clear comment thread on each of the artefacts.

We’re really looking forward to seeing the snapshots coming in – I know everyone’s been working really hard on this over the last few weeks, so I think we’re going to have a really nice final gallery of work.

Week 6: the Ethnography continues

robot homework

Welcome to week 6 and the second half of block 2! It’s been great to see such a diverse range of MOOCs being studied, and some super ideas taking shape with your micro-ethnographies. Thanks to those who shared their progress in the Hangout tutorials last week.

If last week was about exploring the various facets of your chosen MOOC, this week you should be concerned with gaining some focus on the particular area(s) you’d like to document for the micro-ethnography task. Remember the *micro* here: you’re not expected to examine the entire MOOC community; rather you should find one specific event or aspect of *community* that you’d like to study in detail.

Also remember that you are not alone! Use the Hub forum or Twitter (#mscedc) to share ideas and ask for feedback from the group. Blogging about your burgeoning ethnography and asking our own EDC community to comment is also a great way to build ideas and focus your study. There are no Hangouts this week (the next is week 10), so use these discussion spaces to voice any concerns you have.

As well as refining your ethnographic explorations this week, it will be good to start thinking about collecting data from your chosen areas, if you haven’t been doing this already. Next week will be our final stage of the block 2 ethnographies, and we’ll be moving towards using that data to present our findings.

By now, you should have received mid-course feedback on your lifestream blog from your tutor. As we transition into the second half of the course, this will be a crucial guide to developing your blog towards the assessment criteria. Do follow up this feedback with your tutor if you’d like more clarification or have any other queries.

Have a great week everyone!

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!



Block 2 and week 4 of EDC


Thanks for a thoroughly stimulating exploration of cybercultures everyone! This brings block 1 and our film festival to a close, but there is still time to add your visual artefacts and comment on everyone’s fabulous work. See all the visual artefacts here. If yours isn’t on the list yet, just send Sian or Jeremy the link and we’ll add it.

This week we move into the second block of EDC, and begin to examine ‘community cultures’. We’ll be focussed on education from the start, as our main aim of the block will be to participate and document a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). As such, we’ll also be considering digital ethnographic methods, and how we might go about gathering and presenting data from this experience.

We also begin with a new set of core and secondary readings, providing you with some important perspectives on communities, online ethnographies and MOOCs.

This week is about reading and exploration; preparing yourself for undertaking your ethnography in weeks 5, 6 and 7. Your tasks this week are:

  1. read the core literature
  2. begin exploring the world of MOOCs
  3. discuss some of your burgeoning ideas in our Hub discussion space.

You can link to the Hub discussion space below, however you need to be logged into ease before-hand. You will also need to accept Jeremy’s friend request in the Hub so that he can add you to the group, if you haven’t done so already:

Have a super week everyone!

EDC tutorials – sign up in Moodle!

We’ve now re-worked the Google Hangout tutorial sign-ups in Moodle, so please go ahead and choose which times would suit you best. You need to attend three tutorials in total, one in each of the following weeks:

week 3
week 5
week 10

We are offering morning and evening sessions in each week to try to fit as many timezones as possible, so hopefully you can find a time that suits.

If you haven’t already done so, please make sure you email Jeremy and Sian a link to your G+ profile page, so that we can get you linked into the hangout session that you’ve chosen (;

Week 3 dawns: our last of block 1

Week 3 in sugarWe’re coming towards the end of our first block of study now, before we move onto the MOOC ethnography work next week. A few things to take note of at this point:

Hangout signups Please sign up for a tutorial hangout in each of weeks 3, 5 and 10 using the Moodle polls here:

week 3
week 5
week 10

Just to make it clear: you need to sign up for 3 tutorials in total – one for each block of study. We are offering morning and evening ones in each week to try to fit as many timezones as possible.

Digital artefact At the end of this week (by Sunday) you should have created an online representation of one or more of the themes covered during this block,  using visual methods only. This might be in the form of a composite image, a YouTube video, a Flickr photostream or some other medium of your own invention. This artefact should be reviewable by peers and must feed into your lifestream-blog. Take a look at the information here to get a sense of what needs to be done, and to link to some previous examples.

This week’s tutorial In the hangout tutorials this week we’ll discuss the ideas we’ve been working with in the film festival, and focus on applying them specifically to our field of digital education. Please make sure you email Jeremy and Sian a link to your G+ profile page, so that we can get you linked into the hangout session that you’ve chosen (; Hangouts this week are offered at either Thursday 29th January: 8pm or Friday 30 Jan: 10am – sign up using the Moodle poll above.

Week 2 is swiftly drawing to a close…


…but there is still plenty of time to continue with the film festival, and suggest further clips through your blog or on Twitter (#mscedc). Thanks to everyone who came along to our Togethertube synchronous sessions, and contributed such fantastic readings of our selected scenes.

As we transition into week 3, it will be a good idea to try and gather your thoughts and interpretations from the films, and start to build further feeds and blog posts around these topics. How might the three themes ‘memory’, ‘machine sentience’ and ‘almost human’ relate to cyberculture more generally, as discussed in the Miller (2011) chapter, and crucially digital education itself, as discussed in Bayne (2014)?

In week 3 we will host our first Google Hangout, where we can get together and discuss the block 1 themes. Please go to the Moodle poll and choose which hangouts you would prefer to attend. There are two options in each of the hangout weeks (3, 5 and 10), so you only need to choose one for each of those weeks. Link to the poll here.

The lifestreams are looking great, keep it up! Your feeds should serve as a record of your activity across multiple social media spaces, so don’t just rely on the Twitter feed. Use IFTTT to set up multiple feeds from the different spaces you visit; for example YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Delicious bookmarking. There is a lot you can do with IFTTT – get in touch with Jeremy if you need a few pointers or help with feeds.

Remember to round up week 2 with a lifestream summary blog post. This should be a summary of your lifestream content, rather than a general summary of the week. We’re looking for reflections on the specific feed items you have added, what motivated you to add them, why they might be relevant to the course themes, and how they have contributed to your understanding of cybercultures and digital education.

Have a great weekend!

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!