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I have thoroughly enjoyed the Education and Digital Cultures course and learnt so much at so many levels.
I love the way the course was designed and how we were able to dance our own dance to the music being played. I also liked the ‘flow’ of the course – the Twitter stream and the tumblog itself and being able to read each other’s lifestreams. It was very interesting how everyone brought something very different and unique to the course and how we analysed the materials and approached the assignments through different frameworks and lenses. It was fascinating to see the loop input effect of studying online community as an online community and seeing how ours developed over the weeks.
Looking back over the lifestream posts made me appreciate how much we have covered and how the different themes of the course have interwoven and intertwined. What struck me in particular was how we have come full circle from looking at what it means to be human and transcending human limitations to the limitations of big data and learning analytics and the need for a qualitative humanistic sense-making approach to overcome their inherent limitations. I am now starting to appreciate and better understand the importance of big data and analytics and the impact they have on both us and the environment – from the ‘you loop’ effect to blasting holes in mountains to install cables through which data can pass at high speed. I am intrigued by algorithms and learning analytics but at the same time very wary of the ‘flattening’ effect they have and will look at the implications for learning in higher education in my final assignment.
I enjoyed creating the artefact and was curious to see how we all responded so differently to the readings and materials – both in content and presentation. The micro ethnography assignment was also very interesting and helped better understand the process of carrying out ethnographic research as a participant and observer, and how changing your research aim also means being flexible in your methods. I am still really disappointed that I didn’t conclude my ethnography with a focus on community and that I had assumed that Storify would be a quick case of copying and pasting, which it wasn’t and consequently meant the assignment wasn’t presented as I would have wished. I feel there was potential to do more with the assignment but at least I was able to address several of the issues in the blog comments. I have certainly learnt several very important lessons from this experience, which will hopefully make me a better ethnographer in the future.
And lastly I would like to say how much I’ve appreciated the support and feedback of both our group and the tutors – so a big thank you to Jin, Katherine, PJ, Ed, Nick, Miles, Martyn, Ben, Mihael, Emlyn, – and a very big thank you to Sian and Jeremy for making it such an inspiring and enjoyable course. Hope to see you again in September.