Steph's E-learning and Digital Cultures site http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh Sun, 07 Apr 2013 19:05:32 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.1 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.1 Final review http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/07/final-review/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/07/final-review/#comments Sun, 07 Apr 2013 19:05:32 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=392 Posted in Uncategorized

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To coin a phrase, ‘this tumblog is a thing, a gathering around a matter of concern’ the phrase taken and respectfully, though unapologetically, infiltrated and reiterated from Edwards (2010 p.5). It does not represent my knowledge, it is the practice of my entanglements; the human, fleshy entanglements with technology and other materiality. It includes entanglements [...]

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To coin a phrase, ‘this tumblog is a thing, a gathering around a matter of concern’ the phrase taken and respectfully, though unapologetically, infiltrated and reiterated from Edwards (2010 p.5). It does not represent my knowledge, it is the practice of my entanglements; the human, fleshy entanglements with technology and other materiality. It includes entanglements with human and non-human assemblages seemingly ‘outside’ of this object but which have actually been silent but real agents in the becoming of it.

The whirling ball of networks, connections, inclusions and exclusions (Fenwick 2011) started with stories of utopia and dystopia; the introduction of suspect binaries which would surface time and again throughout the course. I experimented with sound, imagery and other aspects of multimodality; alongside pulling in fragments from my research around the topics. I questioned the relevance of some of my inclusions, but looking back, the practice of aggregating all of my entries has helped to perform meanings around what some aspects of digital cultures are; how far they stretch; whether they are ‘fact’ or ‘fiction’ or whether this latter binary is another to be blurred.

The next block sucked into the assemblage was around virtual communities, and this was to become my greatest challenge. Taking a concept that is commonly ‘understood’ and widely used, deconstructing it, poking and prodding it, having doubts about it, all resonate strongly with the aims of the course and are practices which I relish. Yet I feel my experimentations here didn’t succeed, perhaps this is the ‘fallibility’ which Edwards (2010) posits. Perhaps it was partly the agency of other things and networks which got in the way: work, time, technology. Or perhaps it’s just something which needs revisiting at another time.

The final block of the course was around posthumanities. Here the practices of scattering, accepting as incongruous yet still pulling together, including and excluding, became ‘real’ and made sense of earlier work. It appears that there is not always a coherent narrative, and that’s fine. Boundaries are blurred, and that’s fine. The ground is unstable and that’s fine too. But there are always possibilities that some sort of hybrid performance will create a thing that matters.

I started this course with ‘emancipatory ignorance’ (Edwards 2010 p.13) albeit tinged with fear. I had no firm idea where I was going and how I was going to get there. But along the way, I have shared my unfiltered thoughts with classmates and others; commented on others’ work; experimented with multimodality; and published an artefact on a MOOC! Scary stuff, so thank goodness for early ignorance. Life has got in the way at times, but the anticipation of colleagues’ posts, a comment or a tweet has always been a welcome enticement back into the experience. The trajectories which we have all taken have been refreshing, challenging and different; the rhizomatic experience I was looking for. I’m still not exactly sure where I am, but for me, that is absolutely right. And getting here has been amazing!

 

Edwards, R., 2010. The end of lifelong learning : A post-human condition? Studies in the Education of Adults, 42(1), pp.5–17.

Fenwick, T, Edwards, R and Sawchuk, P (2011) ‘Emerging Approaches to Educational Research: Tracing the sociomaterial.’ Abingdon, Routledge

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Week twelve – review http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/07/week-twelve-review/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/07/week-twelve-review/#comments Sun, 07 Apr 2013 11:55:56 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=378 Posted in Uncategorized

I feel sad that I am writing this last weekly review because that means the course is coming rapidly to an end. And there is still so much that I want to do, experiment with, read about and discuss. This week, I have discovered Camtasia which I downloaded as an attempt to stabilise my ethnography. [...]

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I feel sad that I am writing this last weekly review because that means the course is coming rapidly to an end. And there is still so much that I want to do, experiment with, read about and discuss.

This week, I have discovered Camtasia which I downloaded as an attempt to stabilise my ethnography. It worked, and now as well as having a *slightly* less annoying presentation, I also have another 26 days remaining of a free trial with a software that is not only useful, but very easy to use. And I have lots of tumblog ideas for it, alas a little too late.

I have also begun my reading in earnest for my assignment. The Crang and Graham article is fascinating, and I allowed myself a moment of ‘threat’, which felt somehow satisfying, like I had come a full circle within the course. Returning to the binaries of promises and threats; utopia and dystopia. The fact that this article was written in 2007 was really interesting because much of the mobile technology we have now was in its infancy then, so this prompted some further reading around the subject. And fortunately it appears that the ‘threat’ of ‘omniscience’ has not come to fruition (Or has it? And how would we know either way?). Linked to this was a quick post of an image on thinking cities. Probably, each thought bubble would only have ones and zeros in it, but it’s good to muse. And it would have been nice to invite my classmates to muse too, on a collaborative artefact of some kind.

I tried to examine the British Library’s digital archiving quest through a posthuman lens. I suggested that not knowing in advance what the collection is for, and what it will become to mean, is perhaps a good thing. And that’s how I feel about this tumblog, but more of that later in the final review.

Finally, I have spent time responding to some of the comments that my classmates have posted to my entries. In many cases that’s been been truly belated, but I feel that I have a responsibility, and a desire, to say thanks, or to acknowledge in some other way their contributions to my learning.

 

 

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Archiving http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/06/archiving/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/06/archiving/#comments Sat, 06 Apr 2013 16:45:20 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=353 Posted in Uncategorized

http://www.bl.uk/100websites/top100.html

The British Library are deciding, and asking the crowd to decide, which digital artefacts to archive; which is clearly a task as important as deciding upon what one should include/exclude in one’s #ededc tumblog The following questions which are asked in the covering article are very deep: ‘But how will researchers be using this resource in [...]

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http://www.bl.uk/100websites/top100.html

The British Library are deciding, and asking the crowd to decide, which digital artefacts to archive; which is clearly a task as important as deciding upon what one should include/exclude in one’s #ededc tumblog :-)

The following questions which are asked in the covering article are very deep:

‘But how will researchers be using this resource in 100, 200 or 1000 years time? And what will it say about who we are in 2013?’

But do these questions really matter? Is this not a case of ‘gathering matters of concern/things’ (Edwards 2010 p.15); is this not a fallible experimentation in which this current entanglement of human and non human things could, with entanglements of future humans and non-human things and their subjectivities (Edwards 2010), matter, or maybe not?.

Of course, our 2013 subjectivities are at play here in deciding what matters of concern will be gathered into a big matter of concern. To date there are artefacts based on locations, communities, history and archives, food and drink, leisure pursuits, data and technology, institutions (BBC, Met Office, NHS, the Old Bailey), religion, sport, arts and crafts and of course shopping and money. A vast array of potentially unstable assemblages which together might just enact a bit of the world in 2013.

 

Edwards, R., 2010. The end of lifelong learning : A post-human condition? Studies in the Education of Adults, 42(1), pp.5–17.

 

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Statistical persons http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/05/sentient-cities/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/05/sentient-cities/#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 19:14:51 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=348 Posted in Uncategorized

I’m currently reading ‘SENTIENT CITIES Ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space’ in preparation for my assignment. It’s a rather fascinating discussion of embedded information and processing within the cityscape, where buildings think about us; where some people are tracked and judged via data, while others are invisible and mute; and where the city [...]

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I’m currently reading ‘SENTIENT CITIES Ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space’ in preparation for my assignment. It’s a rather fascinating discussion of embedded information and processing within the cityscape, where buildings think about us; where some people are tracked and judged via data, while others are invisible and mute; and where the city becomes a big hiding place that conversely is utterly transparent.

Great stuff, if a little disconcerting at times, so please allow me a short dystopian moment. Amongst the more *eye-opening* elements, Crang and Graham write about how the US DSB (Defense Science Board) called in 2004 for an ambient intelligence tracking programme in the quest for security within cities. The proposed scheme was to be focussed on finding nefarious targets by using very localised and continual data analysis. In other words, the vision was that potential terrorists would be tracked minute by minute via various identification methods. This data would be fed into databases and analysed against trends and norms – the ‘memories’ of people, places, interactions and happenings. Eventually, via a series of calculations this surveillance would produce intelligence on those who were anticipated terrorists or ‘statistical persons’ according to Mark Seltzer and quoted by Crang and Graham (p.799-804). Fortunately, according to Buscher et al. ‘To our knowledge the DSB’s suggestions have not been implemented’ (2013 p.2). Which is good because presumably to be able to create a norm from which to deviate there’d have to be a lot of data in the databases from non-nefarious targets – so we’d all be in there. And we’d have to hope the maths were good!

In all, this reading has sparked off some serious thoughts about my assignment. I’m very interested in the metaphorical and literal ‘hiding’ places within the cities, and how/if they expand through the suburbs and into the countryside. I think that this will be tied up with sociomateriality to some degree, because I think it will be about choice and agency and blending and in-between spaces. But still a lot of reading to do before I can pin the assignment down precisely.

 

Buscher, M., Sanches, P., Bylund, M., Wood, L., Ramirez, L., & Augustin, S. (2013). A New Manhattan Project ? Interoperability and Ethics in Emergency Response Systems of Systems. Proceedings of the 10th International ISCRAM Conference – Baden-Baden, Germany.

Crang, M., & Graham, S. (2007). SENTIENT CITIES Ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space. Information, Communication & Society, 10(6), 789–817. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691180701750991

Images:

According to our data found at http://static.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/1339086475310_8495507.png

Digital persons found at http:www.netconsent.com

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Virtual Ethnography on video http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/04/virtual-ethnography-on-video/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/04/virtual-ethnography-on-video/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 17:18:00 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/04/virtual-ethnography-on-video/ Posted in Uncategorized

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To combat the technical issues with the Slidespeech presentation, I have transferred it to video. Hopefully this is a more robust artefact now.

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To combat the technical issues with the Slidespeech presentation, I have transferred it to video. Hopefully this is a more robust artefact now.

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Thinking cities http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/04/thinking-cities/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/04/thinking-cities/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 14:55:00 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/04/thinking-cities/ Posted in Uncategorized

Crang and Graham say ‘[this] is a world where we not only think of cities, but cities think of us..’ (2007 p.789). I wonder what they are thinking…   Mike Crang & Stephen Graham (2007): SENTIENT CITIES Ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space, Information, Communication & Society, 10:6, 789-817 Image found at: http://blog.fabric.ch/index.php?/plugin/tag/automation [...]

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Crang and Graham say ‘[this] is a world where we not only think of cities, but cities think of us..’ (2007 p.789).

I wonder what they are thinking…

 

Mike Crang & Stephen Graham (2007): SENTIENT CITIES Ambient
intelligence and the politics of urban space, Information, Communication & Society,
10:6, 789-817

Image found at:

http://blog.fabric.ch/index.php?/plugin/tag/automation

 

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Week 11 – review http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/02/week-11-review/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/02/week-11-review/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 18:57:51 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=338 Posted in Uncategorized

This week has been mainly, and finally, translating my thoughts about posthumanism. I returned to Thinglink as a tried and tested method to collate ideas, quotes and themes, but I didn’t really attempt to make a consistent or coherent story of my understanding, because I don’t think I have one. And perhaps that’s not concerning [...]

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This week has been mainly, and finally, translating my thoughts about posthumanism. I returned to Thinglink as a tried and tested method to collate ideas, quotes and themes, but I didn’t really attempt to make a consistent or coherent story of my understanding, because I don’t think I have one. And perhaps that’s not concerning given the heterogeneity of the concept and the ‘groundless ground’ on which it is based. I chose an image of human veins for two reasons, firstly because it represented a living, moving, fluid bodily network. Secondly, there was no skin, the bodily network was open to the elements and to other networks interweaving, blending and blurring.

I also made a return to my critique of Gee and his writings on identity, something which I covered within my IDEL assignment and blog. I decided to tackle this plainly, without crossing boundaries of literacies. It was satisfying producing a traditional written response, and it got me thinking as to whether I have yet achieved a degree of scholarliness via non-written methods. I’m not sure if I have, or if I have yet to fully understand a new type of scholarliness in this world of dis-aggregation and re-aggregation.

The first episode of Dr Who was particularly apposite for my current thinking of the ubiquity of hidden networks, something which I am reading more about for my assignment. And I used this example to try and answer one of the discussion questions on post humanism. And continuing the BBC theme I returned to a photo taken surreptitiously during a recent trip to BBC Television centre during which I was surprised and somewhat delighted to learn that the font of all knowledge and news crowdsources.

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Platform for assignment http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/02/platform-for-assignment/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/02/platform-for-assignment/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 12:36:50 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=334 Posted in Uncategorized

I’ve decided to play it safe (but with room for edgy edges) by using a Weebly website. My experiences with Slide Speech taught me a lesson about the importance of the stability of platforms, and another one about balancing content and format. It looks like Weebly  is fairly secure and might allow me (and readers/viewers) [...]

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I’ve decided to play it safe (but with room for edgy edges) by using a Weebly website. My experiences with Slide Speech taught me a lesson about the importance of the stability of platforms, and another one about balancing content and format. It looks like Weebly  is fairly secure and might allow me (and readers/viewers) a certain amount of flexibility in creativity, freedom and not to forget tradition. If I want to create and insert images, sound or video that’s fine. If a reader/viewer wants to pick at little bits every so often, that’s fine. If either of us want to start at the beginning, go through a middle, on to an end, that might well be possible too. So, it’s registered at http://stephededc.weebly.com and it’s now officially a work in progress, although I do think I’ll unpublish it when work starts proper.

Final note. I did feel a tiny bit nauseous following the extra-sickly confirmation email. Stop with the anthropomorphism already!!

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Posthuman response to Gee http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/01/posthuman-response-to-gee/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/04/01/posthuman-response-to-gee/#comments Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:21:26 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=313 Posted in Uncategorized

During IDEL I was troubled by aspects of James Paul Gee’s assertions on identity. I critiqued both What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (2003) and Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research in Education (2000) the latter by looking at it through the sociomaterial cloud of Actor Network Theory as part of my [...]

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During IDEL I was troubled by aspects of James Paul Gee’s assertions on identity. I critiqued both What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (2003) and Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research in Education (2000) the latter by looking at it through the sociomaterial cloud of Actor Network Theory as part of my final assignment. As part of my feedback, Sian suggested that posthumanism could be a useful extension of the critique especially when questioning the essentialism of some of Gee’s claims. So I have decided to revisit, briefly, the texts and will attempt to tie in some of my new learning, with Gee’s claims about ‘core identity’ which he mentions in both texts.

Gee suggests that each individual has a central identity which connects to all of its performed social identities, and which evolves over time. As he puts it, ‘We have this core identity thanks to being in one and the same body over time and thanks to being able to tell ourselves a reasonably (but only reasonably) coherent life story in which we are the “hero” (or, at least, central character).’ (Gee 2003 p.4). If we take the initial assumption that we are ‘in one and the same body’ as the starting point of this discussion, it is arguable that this statement is already troublesome according to posthumanist thinking. Haraway’s cyborg myth suggests that ‘we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism’ (Haraway 2000 p.35), which suggests a manifestation of life which is far from the stable body Gee talks about. And whilst Hayles argues that the body or the flesh is indeed a crucial part of the posthuman jigsaw, she also suggests that human life is embedded in a material world of ‘great complexity’ (Hayles 1999 p.5) not, then, a simple bounded human body. The second part of Gee’s sentence suggests a narrative identity. The first problem for post humanist thinking here would be that Gee is privileging the human both within this story, ‘we’ are the “hero”, and in the making of this story, we ‘tell ourselves’ the story. In fact, Gee goes on to say that the evolution of this narrative, that is the development of our core identity, is made ‘socially through participation with others in various groups’ (Gee 2003 p.4), suggesting a degree of humanism which would be incompatible with posthumanist thinking. Haraway problematises this humanism describing the ‘the tradition of reproduction of the self from the reflection of the other’ as an unproductive, bounded ‘war’.  (Haraway 200o p.35). Secondly, this narrative,which would necessarily have a start, a middle and an end in order to be even ‘reasonably…coherent’, and would likely be based on a traditional Oedipal development process which Haraway describes as ‘An origin story in the ‘Western’, humanist sense [which] depends on the myth of original unity, fullness, bliss and terror, represented by the phallic mother from whom all humans must separate, the task of individual development and of history…’ (ibid). And this story, Haraway’s cyborg would gleefully ‘skip’! (ibid)

 

Gee, James Paul (2003) What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy, Palgrave Macmillan, New York”

Gee, James Paul (2000) ‘Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research in Education’ Review of Research in Education, Vol. 25 (2000 – 2001) pp.99-125

Haraway, D. (2000). A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late 20th Century. in D Bell and A Kennedy, The Cybercultures Reader. Routledge.

Hayles, N.K. (1999). Toward embodied virtuality, chapter 1 of How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature and informatics. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. pp1-25

 

 

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BBC television centre http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/03/31/bbc-television-centre/ http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/2013/03/31/bbc-television-centre/#comments Sun, 31 Mar 2013 20:21:39 +0000 Steph Carr http://edc13.education.ed.ac.uk/stephaniec/?p=323 Posted in Uncategorized

This is the very last day of occupancy of the iconic BBC Television Centre in West London. I was lucky enough to go for a tour of the building just a few weeks ago and amongst a myriad of fascinating elements (Pauline Fowler’s laundrette tabard included) was the news room. In the middle of the [...]

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This is the very last day of occupancy of the iconic BBC Television Centre in West London. I was lucky enough to go for a tour of the building just a few weeks ago and amongst a myriad of fascinating elements (Pauline Fowler’s laundrette tabard included) was the news room. In the middle of the photo you will just be able to make out a wall of TV screens. This was described as the centre of BBC news. It showed images from a ‘satellite’ farm which keeps an up to date eye on current happenings around the world, and provides subjects for the writers within the ‘tri-media’ service of, radio, TV, and internet, to write about. In addition, one of the teams working within this room was tasked with scouring social media, and in particular Twitter, for images to use on the news channels as this is seen as a legitimate, quick and cheap way of reporting.

This, I think, is an example of how transliteracy has developed over the years. Images, rather than words, are central to the dissemination of information; whether or not they are subsequently translated into verbal copy, the nexus of power is within the image. Also, the BBC, long seen as an, or even the, authority now crowdsources the news. Progress indeed.

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