Steph's E-learning and Digital Cultures Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Blogs’

End of Lifestream Summary

A thoroughly challenging and inspiring few weeks have been spent involved in the course content. When embarking upon this course, two personal concerns were that the content would be irrelevant to my professional practice or the technical aspects too advanced considering my limited experience of e-learning. Fortunately, the course has proven to be relevant and (although frustrating at times) technically achievable. My journey over the past twelve weeks can be compared to walking a path with one foot on the uneven rocks and the other on trudging through mud, knowing too well that if the two paths would combine the journey would become more manageable. One foot followed a path of experiencing the many and varied modes in which the education can be facilitated by digital means. This has been reflected in the weekly summaries. The second path was one of academic learning; exploring intricacies of the ethics and philosophies related to cyberculture, virtual communities and posthumanities. The task at the end of each block provided some even ground as the paths merged and I embarked upon the opportunity to share my understanding course content through a digital activity.
At times it felt like a success or failure situation as I tried to understand the readings and find a way represent this in a way that fed into my lifestream. I can now appreciate that success is not simply an opposite of failure. With a ‘failure’ in using feeds or a bookmarking site came the opportunity to learn, improve and achieve a greater understanding of the place of e-learning and digital cultures within the real world. Likewise, the tasks provided opportunity to integrate a new digital activity into my lifestream. As noted in the weekly summaries, this was time consuming and perhaps not as comprehensive in content as if I had put pen to paper. However, the lessons learnt from the experience of undertaking a digital activity are as invaluable as learning academic arguments when it comes to understanding the uses of e-learning and digital cultures within education.
It became challenging to keep the weekly summaries in sync with the course contents when moving onto a different block of work before all work had been completed for the previous block. I decided that it would be best to keep the summaries chronological aligned with the calendared course content to provide some structure to my lifestream.
My lifestream reflects a hesitation in sharing my knowledge/understanding before I have a comprehensive appreciation of a concept. The comments posted in relation to my work helped me to consider concepts in more depth and from an alternative stance. I well appreciate that peer support and shared thinking facilitates understanding and concept development. This course structure, as with any way of learning, has required testing and practice in order to establish how it works best on an individual level. Therefore, in future I personally would contribute to future blogs and seeks peer engagement more freely and certainly advocate it as an effective educational process.
Having to initiate each account for the first time, for everything that fed into my lifestream is representative of my previous involvement with such modes. Such academic discourse has proved itself to be motivating. The ‘conventional’ expression of knowledge through academic writing is self limiting. Using Prezi, twitter or blogs with links to U-tube for example, allow an expression of complex notions; unrestricted by the constraints of an essay. The experience of e-learning has also raised some interesting ethical considerations that I intend to further explore within the assignment. All in all a very worthwhile journey!

My experience of blogging

My entire working day is spent (in the physical form) with people; observing, listening and speaking.  In any given situation, being receptive/collating information, synthesising and regurgitating information with meaning and ambition to improve understanding of the initial situation is no new concept.  However, sharing a regurgitation in written form, online is new and challenging.  I am caught somewhere in the conflict between…..

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” (Abraham Lincoln taken from Solomon’s Proverbs)

and…. “Everyone talks of changing the world, but no one talks of changing himself” (Leo Tolstoy). 

So that said, I am prepared to risk proving Mr Lincoln right.  Motivated by a vision of improving myself (and perhaps with some good fortune) I hope embark upon producing contributions that may produce a change, however small, in the world.  This greater vision begins with collating my notes/thoughts and publishing some summaries from weeks 1-3.

Hello world!

I am a part time student of MSc Advancing Nursing Practice and full time staff nurse in cardiology.  I am interested in exploring how e-learning and digital culture can be embraced in my profession and hope to gain insight into some of the benefits, challenges and conflicts thats surround e-learning and the digitial culture.  I have a particular interest in the education and support of patients that are not reached by current, conventional practice.