I started the course considering myself in tune with digital culture, but now have come to realize there is so much more than I had imagined. A topic as deceptively simple as what is a cyborg and its relation to the post-human has been the focus of my learning for weeks. While I have made strides in my understanding, I now know that I have only just scratched the surface of the depth of the various topics.
Creating a visual artifact was a challenging yet rewarding experience. It was interesting to have so much feedback on aspects of my artifact that I had not thought of. Doing a micro-ethnography caused me to question my idea of virtual community, as until that point I had just accepted the terms for their purely literal definitions. In exploring the topic I forced myself to challenge the definition and came to realize that I don’t quite agree that true communities can exist completely in the virtual. Finally in writing about a posthuman pedagogy I realized that learning cannot be a standardized static experience. It must be fluid, adaptable, and transforming to the needs of the learner, or as Edwards (2010) says should be positioned “as a gathering of the human and non-human in responsible experimentation to establish matters of concern.”
One of the main aspects of this course has been this blog and the lifestream. I had no idea what a lifestream was when I started, and although I understood that it was to be a track of my personal development through the course, it was clear that I didn’t know where it would take me. When I initially set it up, I added feeds from Twitter, Delicious and Tumblr. The Delicious feeds never worked for me, even after I deleted and reimported the feeds several times to no avail. I played with Tumblr for the novelty of it, but I honestly felt that it was just another place to upload information, and I could serve the same purpose through a blog post. The lifestream was also supposed to pull in my commentary on my classmate’s blog postings, but that aspect of it also is not working. I liked having the Twitter feed being pulled in, but even then I found I sometimes struggled with what to tweet. I have learned that I like posting full commentary to a blog more so than random limited length musings.
So what have I learned from the lifestream process? I learned that I prefer to collect my thoughts and organize them into longer prose rather than provide a disaggregated look into my exploration of the web. Did I miss the point? Should I have challenged myself to work more outside of my comfort level? Has my lack of inclination to post every step in my exploration hindered my learning? In hindsight I would have shared more for the benefit of my classmates as I found that I gained valuable insights from their postings. I spent time reading, and contemplating, and then eventually posting my collected thoughts. The digital record of my learning may have seemed sporadic but I’d like to think that I gained just as much as others on the course, and it has been a truly novel and enjoyable experience.