At the start of the semester, the Education and Digital Cultures (EDC) course was not even on my radar. To be honest, it would probably have been one of the last courses I took on route to the MSc. The main reason being that I did not fully understand the concept or the topics to be discussed. My first choice course got cancelled and EDC was suggested to me. I am so glad that it was. Once I started to unpack the themes and delve deeper into their meanings, I really enjoyed them. I now look back at the lifestream blog and discover how much I have actually developed and grown through the course.
We started off by looking at cyberculture and the connection it has to techonology enhanced learning. The ideas of transhumanism and posthumanism definitely opened my eyes to the way I interact with technology in my day to day life as well as the dependence I have on it. These ideas have transcended in many forms of media which seem to depict that a technological singularity event could be inevitable. The first theme was actually what got me hooked on EDC. It truly captured my imagination and expanded into a divergent way of thinking. Theme one whet my appetite for more and what came next thoroughly engrossed me.
Theme two was about exploring digital cultures. Now, I am no sociologist and don’t have the first clue on how to analyse and critique on individuals in a social group. I will admit though that I have always had a keen interest in anthropology. I like to travel to different countries and learn about the culture of the people. Theme two took this idea and brought it to an online space, specifically to a MOOC. It was fascinating to learn about the different types of individuals who interact in the community and the ways in which their interaction affects the dynamic of the group. The digital ethnography study we conducted was a lot of fun and was very interesting especially when looking at the specific typologies within the communities. The activity also acted as a reflection of my own interaction within online spaces and communities. The study did put into perspective the importance of the online communities role within online education. The study was both enjoyable and frustrating at the same time which I would have loved to spend more time on (perhaps in the final assignment).
The algorithmic cultures section was a great note to end the course on. This particular topic allowed me to test a particular algorithm and get some quantifiable results. I am a frequent user of YouTube and decided to play around with their Watch Time algorithm. The research was enjoyable and quite conclusive to the inner workings of this piece of code. Again, it felt like more could of been done with this assignment on my part and I hope to venture back to this topic in the future.
I would like to thank the course tutors Dr Jeremy Knox and Dr. Sian Bayne for their diligence and support for the participants on the course. It is clear to see that they love what they do and are passionate about teaching. They have presented an intriguing and thought provoking course which I would now definitely recommend to future students. Also a large thanks must be sent out to my colleagues, who engaged with each other and me given constant and constructive feedback throughout the course. I wish them all the best of luck for their upcoming courses and hope to see them online soon.
In the immortal words of one of the greatest Sci-Fi characters…” Live long and prosper”
P.S. This post is dedicated to Leonard Nimoy.