#becomingeducational W8 blog: Get Digital!!

So, in January 2013, started this MOOC – life changed!
Check out: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/edcmooc-elearning-and-digital-cultures.html

The class had 44,000 students spread around the world. We watched open source videos. We read open source texts. We had to produce a digital artefact that captured our learning.

You are joking? Produce a digital artefact – me?!

Oh yes.
We had to.
We did!

Each artefact had to combine at least text and images… It had to be peer reviewed. We had to peer review other people as part of *our* assessment.

It was scarey – it was challenging – and it was fun! Moreover – because we were finally forced to get digital – we did – and found that we could enjoy that too…

And lo – the #becomingeducational Develop a Digital Me project was born!!

We learned so much by being encouraged (okay – forced?!) to actually engage with some of these technologies… AND we want you to have some of that fun – that play – that engagement with technology. Because unless you make some time to PLAY with it – you will never master it.

So – have a look at some of the artefacts that our #edcmooc colleagues produced – see if anything inspires you – grabs your eye – makes you think, “Ummm okay – may be…” – and have a go.

We want you produce something a bit digital – and to produce a Conference Poster outlining what you did – why – and what you learned – for a Poster Exhibition W12.

What to do???!!!
Some of you are already thinking about alternative blog projects – some of you have spoken about enrolling on a free Coursera MOOC – some of you may still be stuck about what to do…

 have a play with some of the tools used in the artefacts below
 see what you enjoy
 may be – think if any of those tools could be used to set alternative assessments (not an essay – but a Voice Thread???)

#EDCMOOC – here’s our short artefact that our mate Andy helped us to make in GoAnimate:

And here are some cool examples from #edcmooc classmates:
Angela’s thinglink: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/360982057624535042#tlsite

Fran Monaghan’s VoiceThread: beautiful, gentle and a low-tech, high-tech:

David Hopkins’ Prezi – brilliant images – excellently chosen clips! http://prezi.com/e9y6ipsovanb/digital-artefact-edcmooc/

(And his whole blog on the topic: http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/elearning/digital-artefact-for-edcmooc-wk-5/ )

And Ess Garland’s timeline – and now for something completely different!

Theo Kuechel’s PinBoard – if an ‘essay’ is a form of curation about the learning on a course –this is a very different form of curation:

Kevin Eagan’s unique take – an annotated blog… http://digitalmarginalia.tumblr.com/post/44112018112/why-digital-marginalia-matters

AND – if you really want to go for it:
Terry Elliot’s Zeega:
Or our Collaborative poem:

OR – if you are a frustrated movie maker – try:
Ary’s stunner – but it is nearly 5 mins long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=II_1nwaTZBQht

And June B’s blog plus vimeo artefact – film of avatar discussing the course – bit long – but full of potential:

#CCOURSES – and Shukie’s important question:

TIP: If you make a movie for us – it should be ABOUT ONE MINUTE LONG – AND DEFINITELY NO LONGER THAN TWO MINUTES!!!

#becomingeducational W4: Feel the fear – and do it anyway

It’s a bit weird when you envy post-apocalypse survivors struggling to re-build their world!

Emerging from those bunkers all those people know that they are valuable, needed, necessary. They are part of the world – they are vital to making the world.
Compare that the thoughts and feelings of those living where work is scarce – but blame is high; where the mines, the factories and the fishing industries have all closed down.
Where the only representation you see of ‘people like you’ are on ‘Benefits Street’?

The only way is ethics
This week we looked at self-efficacy and ethical teaching (try saying that when you are tired!). That is – to be ethical teachers we need to build the self-confidence, the self-esteem and the self-valuing of our students (the self-efficacy). We need to help them find voice and power in a world where typically the odds are stacked against them.
According to Bandura self-efficacy is vital to successful learning (http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/self_efficacy.htm) – and according to Tom – many of our school experiences seem designed to knock the efficacy right out of us!
Wonder why?
Our discussion point was to consider how we might build self-efficacy in our imaginary post-apocalypse communities – and in our real schools.
One tip was to look at programmes like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘Master Chef’, ‘The Voice, ‘The Choir’: how do they teach? How and why do their ‘students’ learn? What can we take from that into our own practice?
And if you have any doubts as to why this is really, really important – check out this brief feedback from the South Oxhey community on what it felt like to have, to be in and to listen to their own choir: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004htz2
For us, this is what all teaching should be about – and if it isn’t about that – then *why* is it?

Following on from this discussion, we carried on textmapping the two articles:
Giroux’s article on lessons to be learned from Freire:
And Thornburg on metaphors of learning spaces: http://tcpd.org/Thornburg/Handouts/Campfires.pdf
… making collages out of the information… to build on and use in our Poster Presentations.

Why collages?
According to our good friend Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage)
• Is … an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
• newspaper clippings, ribbons, coloured or handmade papers, bits of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas.
• Goes back hundreds of years … but
• Made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century.
• Derives from the French “coller” meaning “glue”.[1] viz. Georges Braque andPablo Picasso
• = modern art.[2]

And according to us – collage is a great way for translating meaning from one mode (written) to another (visual) – which in the process requires thought, analysis and understanding. This ‘transliteration’ requires communicating in analogous forms – which is great for notemaking, learning, presenting and developing multimedia: it is a great preparation for the Poster Presentations we will be delivering in W7 – and for the Digital Projects you are embarking upon.

Sandra’s recent collages can be seen here:

Peer Mentoring – getting digitally savvy
It’s never too soon to think about the Develop a Digital Me project – that you can set yourself – that you can do along with the Peer Mentors – and that you all will be presenting on in W12. Some tips from us:
• Explore http://ds106.us/
• Extend yourself with https://www.coursera.org/courses
• Use Zeega.com to make a great artefact – check out Terry Elliot’s one on learning: http://zeega.com/162387
• Produce a student guide on how to search the Web for information or how to use a blog as part of your reflective learning
• Set up a FaceBook study group/use FaceBook as a Reading Dossier – and tell others how…
• Find educationalists on Twitter – follow their posts – read their websites – help other students to do the same

And finally: W5: Study Week – research the University
As exploratory field work for your Research Project, singly, in pairs or in small groups – explore the University as ‘participant observers’ (look this phrase up and think about it) – for Poster Presentation W7 … AND Sandra and Tom will be happy to have a chat about anything at all – in Enricos – between 11.00-13.00, Wednesday 29th October. Be there or be square!

In the Beginning

In the beginning


Was the Word

And the word was a metaphor

And that was good.

And the metaphor begat culture

And culture begat man


And that was good.

And the metaphor was the sea


And the sea was the womb

And that metaphor was good.

And the sea begat monsters


And the monsters begat man…


Who begat superman


And that metaphor is a lens


And that is education

Which is E-learning and Digital Cultures.


And that metaphor is good.

Week 8: Analytical and Critical Thinking

Becoming an Educationalist is designed to get you exploring what it means to be an emancipatory, creative and inspiring educationalist for the 21st Century

An educationalist:

  • Helps you think for yourself
  • We are becoming… educationalists (see Deleuze).

This week

  • Simulations: 25 Moral dilemmas: read; draw; resolve; digitise
  • Notes: what, why, how
  • Academic writing: what, why, how
  • Practical writing – answering the mini-question
  • Peer mentor led activity

Embodied learning: Simulation#25 moral dilemmas: http://psychopixi.com/misc/25-moral-dilemmas/

Simulations and role plays invite whole-body learning. For this week’s simulation we shared out some of the 25 moral dilemmas collected by the Team.  We were asked to read our dilemma – then think it through via a drawing first and then discussion. We were also given links to various open source online resources so that we could represent our problem and our solution via an animation or some other more visual – or more audio – representation:

Voicethread: http://voicethread.com
Storify: http://storify.com/
Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/
Pixton: http://pixton.com/uk/
Issuu: http://issuu.com/
Storybird: http://storybird.com/
Weebly: http://www.weebly.com/
Animoto: http://animoto.com/
Prezi: http://prezi.com
GoAnimate: http://goanimate.com/
More ideas: ‘50+ web 2.0 ways to tell a story’: http://50ways.wikispaces.com/

We were shown one of Sandra’s Go-Animates as an example. This is a reflective ‘log’ on #edcmooc: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfx1_fVZbyI


One pair were brave enough to show their drawings and discuss their dilemma in the de-brief:

In 1842, a ship struck an iceberg and more than 30 survivors were crowded into a lifeboat intended to hold 7. As a storm threatened, it became obvious that the lifeboat would have to be lightened if anyone were to survive. The captain reasoned that the right thing to do in this situation was to force some individuals to go over the side and drown. Such an action, he reasoned, was not unjust to those thrown overboard, for they would have drowned anyway. If he did nothing, however, he would be responsible for the deaths of those whom he could have saved. Some people opposed the captain’s decision. They claimed that if nothing were done and everyone died as a result, no one would be responsible for these deaths. On the other hand, if the captain attempted to save some, he could do so only by killing others and their deaths would be his responsibility; this would be worse than doing nothing and letting all die. The captain rejected this reasoning. Since the only possibility for rescue required great efforts of rowing, the captain decided that the weakest would have to be sacrificed. In this situation it would be absurd, he thought, to decide by drawing lots who should be thrown overboard. As it turned out, after days of hard rowing, the survivors were rescued and the captain was tried for his action.

If you had been on the jury, how would you have decided?

They decided that the captain and the remaining crew were guilty of murder – not least because the captain had a duty of care to *all* his passengers and crew… It was interesting that discussing this allowed us to explore to what extent our solutions were context-dependent, and typically influenced by our emotions as well as our values; and how far they are dependent on our over-arching moral or ethical codes, and thus are more philosophical and independent of context.


This relates back to issues that we discussed W2: Kant and the moral imperative and Bentham and Utilitarianism. It also seeded thoughts about how far our perceived understanding of our ‘role’ in particular situations legitimises actions that in other circumstances would be counter to ourselves as *human* beings. For example, the prison guard and the prisoner, those that torture suspected terrorists… And given that we are becoming educationalists – how do we see ourselves in an educational role? This led on to discussion of the behaviour experiments of the late 20Cth:  Rosenthal and Jacobson and the self-fulfilling prophecy; the blue eye/brown eye class room experiment; the electric shock experiment…

In the Workshop

The workshops diverged slightly this week – one at least went on to continue discussing the moral dilemmas in  detail – and linking that to the way we need to use argument and evidence in our academic writing.

The others seems to have spent some time looking at active notemaking – and how that also prepares us to engage with ideas: to have a dialogue with the theories, concepts and case studies that we study – and come to our own conclusions…  See: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/note.html Much was made of just how active we have to be to make our ideas memorable.

The workshops all covered Academic writing in a more formal way than in our first introductory Writing Workshop – that introduced us to free writing – and to Winnicott (1971)!!

The Essay: What; Why; How

…  with real writing:

To what extent is the response to the moral dilemma a question of values? To what extent does it rely on analytical and critical thinking?

We looked at the essay as the formal, discursive and more theoretical form of academic writing. It is the space where we wrestle with ideas – and struggle with them – and write to learn – as we organise our own thoughts – and discover what we think. See: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/writing.html

We did think that essays were about finding our own voice – but obviously there is the dark side of academic writing! We write and it is measured, assessed and judged. Philosophically we may accept that any system that offers certification will measure and stamp progress… But awareness of being judged can inhibit our thinking and engagement.

We also thought of different ways to assess – by presentation and by the production of digital artefacts that ‘reflect’ on a part of a course. In #edcmooc (E-learning and Digital Cultures), assessment includes the production of a digital artefact PLUS the peer review of three other artefacts.

Here’s a Prezi Poster Presentation on Academic writing – critiquing institutional over-emphasis on ‘skills’ rather than ideas and knowledge-construction: http://prezi.com/essebcrx47jr/not-a-key-thought/

Talking of – #edcmooc: Just for the heck of it…

Here are a couple of blogpost reflections on learning from fellow students of ours from #edcmooc:

Glidden’s post reflecting on learning itself: http://morethanjustcontent.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/what-does-my-learning-look-like-octel/

And another on what it is to be human – which relates to our early discussions on our values and ethical behaviour: http://morethanjustcontent.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/what-is-a-human-edcmooc/