E-learning and Digital Cultures 2011

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

E-learning and Digital Cultures 2011

visual excellence!

The visual artefacts that have come in so far are really great – remember to take a look and give some feedback, and also to try to get your own up over the next few days, if you haven’t already. They are all collected handily on the page:

All the visual artefacts in one place

so please do drop by and add to the discussion which is already growing around these excellent pieces of work!

see what you think in week 4

This week the main activity will be creating and discussing visual artefacts which help draw out themes, issues or ideas from across Block 1 of the course.

There are no “rules” as such, but a few suggestions. One is that while you aren’t required to go completely text free, we suggest that you try to push the boundaries of this for yourself. Make us think about issues of text, image and representation as you use your artefact to explore the block’s themes. This week is all about experimentation, so go for it.

The second is that you want your artefact to appear in your lifestream, and for us to have somewhere to discuss it, so if you aren’t using a web-based tool with an RSS feed, you’ll probably want to put your artefact in a post in your blog. That has the advantage of having an inbuilt place for comments as well.

Try to leave yourself time to engage in discussion about your own and other people’s artefacts. In addition to the core readings, some of the secondary readings for weeks 3 and 4 may be helpful as you come to discuss the artefacts – especially Rose and Spalter & van Dam.

Once you’ve posted your artefact, please post a comment here to give us a link to it, and tell us (if it isn’t obvious) where you want comments.

Finally, just a heads up that next week (Week 5), your tutor will be emailing you individually with some mid-point formative feedback on your lifestream. The purpose of this is to let you know how we think your lifestream is so far meeting the assessment criteria for the assignment (which are described in detail in your handbook).

That’s all for now – have fun this week!

tonight’s transcript

Really enjoyable chat tonight – thanks all. Here’s the transcript.

Delicious and the lifestream

hi again, everyone!

As you probably know, Delicious changed hands last week, and the default lifestream feed for the site is no longer working.

I’ve solved this for my lifestream in the following way (full instructions for customising the new delicious feeds are at http://www.delicious.com/help/feeds ):

Go to your blog dashboard and to the lifestream section. Click “Generic” to add a new basic RSS feed.

Enter the feed like this:

http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/username/tag (replace “username” with your Delicious username, and “tag” with whatever tag you want to restrict your bookmarks to. The tag restriction is optional).

Change the title of the feed to something like “New Delicious” or whatever you like.

If you want to keep the Delicious icon, you can use the one at http://edc11.education.ed.ac.uk/wp-content/plugins/lifestream/extensions/delicious/icon.png

This will only get you the last 10 bookmarks by default, so you may want to keep your old delicious feed as well.

Comment here if you have any problems or questions!


It’s week three – do you read me?

Hi all, and welcome to week 3!

The lifestreams are really starting to pick up steam now, fed by the excellent tweets and blog posts from the past two weeks and your other content that is either rushing or trickling in. Your tutor will be giving you some mid-way lifestream feedback in week 5, but feel free to get in touch with us before that if you have any questions about how it’s going.

So, on to the activities, readings and themes for the next fortnight. From today, we shift focus from popular cyberculture to one aspect of its emergence in education: multimodality, visuality and other ‘new literacies’. The readings for this week and next will explore some of these themes as the course in general takes a ‘visual turn’. We’ll be looking at the theory and at the same time everyone will have a chance to represent their own ideas visually, through construction of a visual artefact for the end of next week.

Discussion this week is going to be via Skype text chat. This will be held on Wednesday 5th October, 8pm (BST), and will last about an hour. Please make your tutors Skype contacts before the event:


We will focus on the core readings for this chat session: Bayne, Kress and Thomas et al. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these!

Please also continue to tweet course-related material to #ededc, which is becoming a really lively stream of course conversation. And remember you can access all the blog postings here if you want to see what others are writing about in longer form.

Have a great week. :-)

Last night’s synchtube transcript



Here it is. Thanks everyone for an interesting hour’s chat.

tech update

hello all! Just a few brief points about various course technology related stuff.

beautiful decay ~ the rainbow Alley area of Glasgow1. Logging in: you may have noticed at the start of the course that the ‘login’ links on your own blogs weren’t working properly – they should be now. So if you are not already logged in via EASE when you arrive at the site, you now have the choice of logging in via the main course page (ie: this page) or from your own blog’s “login” link. Let me know if you have any issues with logging in.

2. Spam: if you were getting lots of spam comments on your blog up til yesterday, this should now reduce significantly – apologies for any inconvenience.

3. Time zones: Austin noticed that the time stamps on comments were an hour out from Edinburgh time – I’ve adjusted this on the main blog, but if you want to change the time zone on your own blog (to whatever you like!), you can do this in the “Settings” on your dashboard.

4. Duplicate lifestreams: If your blog has two lifestream pages, you can delete one of these. KEEP the one that is called “My Lifestream” (which organises content by date) and DELETE the one that is just called “Lifestream”.

5. Tags: you might notice on the home page of the site that there is a section in the righthand column called “Tags” – these are keywords pulled from all posts across the site. So, if you write a new blog post, consider adding a few keywords in the “Post Tags” box beside the main blog window, and these will be added to the tag cloud for the site.

Happy tweeting, blogging and lifestreaming!

Creative Commons License photo credit: indigo_girl

Welcome to Week 2!

Week 1 has been very active ,and it is great to see the blogs and lifestreams starting to take shape – congratulations to everyone who’s been able to get their heads round the various course environments! The Synchtube screening was super, and the film festival twittorial has raised some insightful ideas and suggestions. It is fantastic to see people commenting on each others blogs, and it would be great to see this culture of discussion continue and grow as the weeks progress. For those who are still getting started with the course – don’t worry! there’s lots going on, but lots of help on hand as well. Be sure to contact your tutor if you want to discuss any aspect of the course or your participation.

This week we turn to two more film festival themes. From today until Wednesday we are looking at films and clips on the theme of ‘other worlds’.  From Thursday til Sunday, the theme is ‘being human’.  Join us on Thursday night at 8pm UK time for a short Synchtube tutorial if you are free – we will watch and discuss ‘World Builder‘ and ‘The Poetic Holodeck‘ together.

As for your lifestreams, once you’re confident that your initial feeds (posts, comments and twitter) are working as they should, try adding a new feed or two this week – Jen’s fantastic screencast will give some guidance, and you might also visit the pages of other course participants to get some ideas. Also, a reminder that you need to write a short lifestream summary in your blog each week – see page 10 of the course handbook for all the details.

Have a great week, everyone.

Ironman/Twitter update
Creative Commons License photo credit: Undertow851
Creative Commons License photo credit: Undertow851

Film nominations!

I’m trying to pull together the suggestions for additional movies as they come through on twitter – let me know if I’ve missed any, and keep them coming : )

Carol suggests: Inception (great for the ‘worlds’ theme too); Metropolis; the opening of Westworld on cyborg holidays (another good ‘worlds’ one)

Neil posts Gattaca (post-humanism and genetic tinkering)

And on visual culture – Geraldine posted:

Off Book: Visual Culture Online

Daniel proposes “‘The Visions of Students Today’ 2011: Remix One” as a metaphor for how digital culture = joining the conversation.

Austin on “other worlds”: Watch the World machinimaGhost in the Shell music scenes; Pandora discovered (“documentary” about the other world from Avatar)

Neil suggests the possibly “camp” but evocative song “Oh Industry” from the film Beaches, “Night Flight to Venus” video from Boney M, and “Power of the Daleks” Dr Who clip.




Chat transcript

Here’s the transcript from Tuesday evening’s chat. Thanks to everyone who came along and made it so enjoyable – next one is Thursday 29th at 8pm. Remember the ‘twittorial’ continues until Sunday, so do keep tweeting thoughts on all this week’s movies and the dystopia theme.

synchtube session 1