Category Archives: Lifestream

Week 9 Summary

facebook_conn_image_976x462Facebook map of the world from

Looking at the use of algorithms and the danger they pose by placing you in a ‘filter bubble’, has been greatly engaging this week. The idea that there are algorithms in place in all areas of online interaction that are working to build up a profile of us as users is also interesting, there seems to be two tensions here.

One is the consumer profile and making sure that we are exposed to specific adverts that we may be interested in, and the second is, as above, the idea of the ‘filter bubble’, there is a chance we may not be exposed to a particular political point of view, a piece of important news, or new discovery.

Another interesting issue is how can algorithms be used in education? How can we harness the power of the algorithm in order to improve courses/content that appeals to online learners.

A great tool for looking at your #Twitter #activity in story form. #MSCEDC

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 2.42.26 PM

This report was interesting as I had never seen my activity on Twitter as described above. To be honest, it didn’t highlight anything I didn’t know already (apart from perhaps my interest in politics). This Twitter account was originally created to tweet homework to my first grade students and their parents. I have another private Twitter account and I hope to compare the QuillConnect report from that one with this one over the following week.



The Addiction Algorithm: An interview with Natasha Dow Schüll via @ethnomatters

Article on creating addictive tendencies and the algorithms that make people come back for more and more… How can we make education more addictive… Intelligent algorithms know what we want… The danger of Pavlov’s dogs.

A Plunge and Squish View of the Mind

This article caught my eye as it goes back to the first unit, looking at memory and the human mind. We are still investigating/researching how the mind and memory fully works, here we see the mind setting up general rules, slightly similar to algorithms, programming and the rules on IFTTT. The plunge and squish theory is something I will be investigating over the Summer when I get to read a bit more by David Gelertner. via @farnamstreet from


MOOC Content

The MOOC content is really very engaging, I have greatly enjoyed the course so far, the information is delivered in a direct, simple manner, via video lectures. This tweet reflects how I started engaging with the material.

Anyone struggling with a work/life balance should reconfigure their idea of this concept. @Wharton @StewFriedman #FourWayWins #MSCEDC



And so it begins… MOOC ethnography

I just signed up for…

Better Leader, Richer Life

… and to be honest, it seems like a really interesting/engaging course. I’m looking forward to interacting with my peers on the course and I just had one of my tweets favourite by the course instructor.



Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.34.22 AMI’m looking forward to our hangout tomorrow in order to get tooled up in ethnographic approaches to the MOOC, meanwhile, I’ll continue to investigate and dig deeper in the forums.

You haven’t lived until you’ve died in a MUD

MUD1 screenshot – MUD – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

from Martyn Peters

“You haven’t lived until you’ve died in a MUD”

This quote caught my eye from one of the readings, and it’s incredible that only 40 years on, the interactive online world has transformed so much. If we compare the original Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) to the World of Warcraft today we can see a world of difference. The MUD originated at the University of Essex in the 70s, funnily enough the same university I studied my BA in American Studies at.

I guess this is relevant to the course as the complexity/engagement of online interactions that is now possible allows us to be so much more enveloped and present. It also raises questions for me when looking at the MOOC I am involved in. How can we harness the type of engagement Second Life/World of Warcraft offers and inject it into MOOCs. I feel like the fandom/levels of engagement are what is perhaps lacking in the delivery of MOOCs, their slickness, high quality videos, and professional sheen are all wonderful, yet they lack something in their engagement. The real and most interesting interaction is going on in the forums, especially the Spanish speaking one.