Category Archives: Weekly Welcomes

Week 10: educational implications of the posthuman

Good day, everyone, and welcome to week 10 – our final week of structured course activities! This week we will focus on the educational implications of the ideas about posthumanism that you’ve been reading, tweeting and tumblogging about over the past week. There have been many great posts and comments that show you are grappling with these very challenging ideas and readings with energy, insight and curiosity – this is exactly what we want to see, so keep up the good work.

Tonight (Monday) at 7:30pm UK time we are meeting in Skype for a text-chat tutorial. Sian has invited your suggestions about topics and questions you’d like to cover. We’ll also make some time to answer questions about the tumblog submission and the final assignment. And, if you’re not able to attend, we’ll post up a transcript afterwards.

Speaking of which – this week would be a good time for you to reach out to your tutor by email with some ideas about your final assignment topic, format and additional assessment criteria. Even if they’re not yet fully developed, we’d welcome hearing from you so we know roughly what you are planning. Remember, your assignment can focus and build on any aspect of the course, so you might start by considering what has grabbed or intrigued you most over the past 10 weeks, and go from there.

Hope to see you this evening – and have a great week!

posthumanism is about skin

“Posthumanism is about Skin”, by reticulatrix/George.

Week 8: publishing & discussing the ethnographies

Hello everyone, and welcome to week 8! This is our last week of block 2, when we’ll be publishing and discussing the micro-ethnographies you’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks.

A few of these have now been published, and we will keep adding to the list this week on the “all the ethnographies in one place” page – you can add a comment there when yours is ready for an audience!

Sian and I are very excited to see the range of projects you’re undertaking – there is so much to discuss, and your approaches to the concept of community are varied and interesting. Try to make some time this week to visit and comment on others’ work, as well as completing your own.

We’ve also noticed a lot of good work happening in the tumblogs – responses to this block’s readings, ethnographic musings, and much more. This is great to see – keep it up! And remember to keep publishing your weekly tumblog summaries.

Looking forward to another fabulous #ededc week.

“On Academic Publishing”, by Dr Emergency –

Week 6, Block 2, and a change of direction

Well, perhaps not entirely a change of direction, as many of you have been considering, problematising and representing “community” in relation to your work on the MOOC responses. That may provide a helpful bridge into our second block of work on the course.

So, welcome to week six, when we turn our attention from “popular cybercultures” to exploring “virtual communities”.

Along with reading and tumblogging, your task over these three weeks is to identify a community online, and do a piece of micro-research on it, drawing on the principles of virtual ethnography. The readings will support you in this, and we also invite you to brainstorm, ask questions, and discuss your plans in the Hub Forum (ps – you need to join the EDC January 2013 Hub group to post to this forum). Remember that this forum, like the rest of the course environments, is public, so you can link to it from tumblog entries if you wish.

Speaking of tumblogs, you should all have received your mid-tumblog feedback via email last week – if you haven’t received this, or have any questions, please contact your tutor.

Have a great week, everyone!

Diary of a teaching machine, an EDCMOOC image by [ Ed ], cc:by-nc-sa,

Week 4 – it’s #edcmooc week!

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 4 of the course – semester is really flying by, isn’t it?

‘flying crane’, by origamiwolf.

Week 3 was a great mix of twitter discussion and tumblogging about the readings, and dipping our toes into the brave new world of #edcmooc. The tumblogs are really starting to take shape – Sian and I will be sending some mid-point feedback next week, where we’ll make a few comments about how each of your tumblogs is meeting the assessment criteria. If you have any questions in the meantime, you can feel free to email us, though.

The launch of #edcmooc last week was exciting, and I know many of you have been in and started to explore. If you haven’t got access to the MOOC site yet, email your tutor. Special thanks to three of our group – Amy because it’s her job to help all the Edinburgh MOOC organisers get things going, and she’s doing a great job; and Phil and Chantelle for responding to my email** asking for help with the first live video chat, held on Friday evening. They made it possible to bring questions and comments from MOOC participants into the Hangout, and that was really appreciated by those who attended. We couldn’t have done it without them. I’ll be requesting help again next week for the next live on Friday 15th (5pm GMT), so if you fancy a rather mind-boggling hour sifting through text chat, let me know!

This week, your task is to create a digital artefact that responds to some aspect of the #edcmooc that you find interesting. This could be related to the content (utopias and dystopias) or the MOOC itself – these strands converge this week as we discuss the future of education and what the significance of the MOOC might be. You can play with metaphors, images, mashups of content, and more. Once you’ve made your artefact (by Friday at the latest, please!), post a link to it in your  Tumblog, and on the week 4 page. We’ll be sharing your artefacts with the MOOC participants, so if you can put it somewhere that accepts comments, that would be great. We will set up a Coursera site thread in a few days where you can also put a link to your artefact – and we’ll send out an announcement to participants when they are all available.

If you know that you won’t have your artefact ready by Friday, let one of us know so that we aren’t waiting for you. But please try to do it if you can – it will be great for the MOOC participants to see your responses, and they will also help them to think about their own digital artefact assignment in a few weeks’ time. This is not an assessed activity for you, but it is a great opportunity to experiment with some of the practices of multimodal literacy that we have been reading and thinking about. This artefact is also something we will be looking for when we mark your tumblog at the end of the course.

You should also feel free to join in with the MOOC discussions this week. If you want to post in the forums and have a ‘teaching assistant’ flag by your name, you should update something (doesn’t matter what) in your Coursera profile – apparently this triggers the TA flag to appear.

Let us know if you have any questions, issues or comments! And have fun.

**If you didn’t get that MOOC help request email, please note this bit of ‘housekeeping’ – it seems that not everyone has yet set up their new student email accounts, which launched on 14 January. If you haven’t, it means you will be missing email from the programme and from the University. Visit for instructions about activating your new service, and setting up a forward.

Week 2: the film festival continues

It’s week 2, and the second of our three film festival themes begins today – “other worlds”. We will host a Synchtube chat this afternoon at 2pm, and hope to see you there if you’re free. In any case, make sure to spend time in Twitter this week, tweeting and discussing your responses to the readings and films, and nominating new films.

Everyone has now made a start on their tumblogs – well done! Remember that you need to write a summary of your tumblog content at the end of each week (please give this a subject line like “week 1 summary”), reflecting on how it expresses and builds on the course themes, readings and activities. And keep on posting – this week, try experimenting with a format you haven’t used yet (sound, video, links and so on). A post doesn’t have to be long – unlike your blogs in IDEL, these tumblogs should play with fragments as well as longer, text-based entries, and you should aim to add something to the tumblog every few days at least.

Have a great week, everyone!

Orientation Week begins!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the course! You should now be able to access your account on this site – details are in your student email accounts. This week is our orientation week, and a chance to do some preparation in advance of the formal start of semester, next Monday, 14 January. Apart from familiarising yourself with the course and this site, there are a few activities for you to engage in on the ‘before semester starts‘ page.

You can visit the ‘who’s my tutor‘ page to see who will be your personal tutor this semester. If you have any questions or problems, please contact your personal tutor in the first instance.

We are really looking forward to working with you – have a great semester!