22 Mar

On living on the other side of the world: Final reflection


IMG_1634It’s autumn here. Warm during the day, cooler in the evenings. We are just beginning our academic year. We have not yet ‘fallen back’ out of daylight savings time. Scotland is a long way away.

To be ‘with’ the class synchronously, I need to get up very early, or stay up late. But my job requires me to get up early, and stay up late at this time of year.


On Thursday, instead of being at the Hangout, I was trying to complete the tutorial timetable, interview and place new tutors, and do spot checks to check all the classes were running smoothly.



On Friday, instead of being at the Hangout, I was teaching at ArtsWrite, an intensive doctoral writing weekend at the University of Melbourne. (This is a picture of the stamps to reward attendees for meeting their goals).

I wonder if my embodied reality here on the other side of the world is too different, too far away, too out of synch with Edinburgh. I wonder if digital learning can overcome those distances and disjuncts. I wonder if it should.

This year, my job has little to do with online learning. This year, the questions I find raised by the readings make me more critical of the university, rather than more hopeful. This year, the sun is shining, and I am inside on my computer. I wonder if I’ve got that wrong.





One thought on “On living on the other side of the world: Final reflection

  1. The reflection here is poignant – and I think you raise some really important questions about time and distance. A PhD student of mine, and colleague on the programme – Phil Sheail – has just finished her thesis on time and distance learning. She discusses and provides some wonderful insights on how the spatial focus of online education (the distance in distance learning) means that we often tend to underplay temporal distancing. Phil’s critique of ‘anytime’ learning is partly that it hides the inequalities and challenges of temporal disjuncture under a facade of ‘flexibility': it meshes really interestingly with what you say here, and I’d be really intrigued to hear more of your thoughts on it. Could this, temporality, be an interesting focus for your final assignment?

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