part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh

Lifestream Reflections – Week 4

There are still connections in this week’s lifestream with the dystopian/utopian theme exemplified by the juxtaposition of Future Shock which clearly shows that techno-paranoia is not a recent phenomena and Nancy Messieh blog post “How our online connectivity is making us better human beings” which adopts a comfortingly utopian view.

I was pleased with the way my visual artefact turned out this week, the positive feedback from tutors and other participants on the course was a real motivator! To begin with I chose to publish my artefact on Flickr because it provided a better quality view of the image but comments were closed to those who didn’t have a Flickr account so I included a link in my blog too. Working on my visual artefact in tandem with trying to make sense of Sian’s uncanny pedagogies was a mutually supportive activity.

I began to explore the differences between text and visual modalities (Kress, 2005 ) in my blog post of 12th October. I became interested in how ambiguity was conveyed in these different modalities as this seemed to highlight the differences between reading a textual and visual text. It was clear from the comments on all the visual artefact submissions that we each read the same artefact quite differently. I was also struck by the way each visual artefact engaged the emotions. An interesting question was raised about the status of a text made visual e.g. a wordcloud. If we are inviting the audience to read it as an image does the source of the text need to be cited? Does a poem in the shape of an image need to acknowledge the image source if the intention is that it is read as a text.

This week I noticed an interesting paper (Bell, 2011) critiquing Siemens’ connectivism as a theory of learning. Although the theory of connectivism is widely cited and discussed in the blogosphere their are few scholarly publications about it so I was interested to know more. Using four scenarios of learning in a digital age the author illustrates that a variety of theories may be brought to bear for explanatory purposes concluding that connectivism fails to contribute anything further. Rather connectivism is seen as relevant to practitioners in developing their personal theories of learning in a networked environment that includes non-human appliances.
Bell, F. (2011) Connectivism Its place in Theory Informed Research and Innovation. IRODL 12(3)
Kress, G (2005) Gains and losses: new forms of texts, knowledge and learning. Computers and Composition. 22(1), 5-22.

Posted by Geraldine May Jones on December 5th, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

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