Final review

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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