#EDCMOOC Continuing the Journey

I’m going to have to change my profile page and the About Me section in this blog.
EDCMOOC journey tagxedo
My journey, learning, and experiences throughout this course E-Learning and Digital Cultures, my first MOOC from the University of Edinburgh, has been a truly amazing one. My primary goal was to learn new tools to enhance learning for my students. I know that I have only sampled a few of the wonderful applications available, but I’m on my way! I also learned that I’m not alone in this endeavor to be a better teacher, a better student, a better world citizen. I’ve learned about technological determinism, Utopias and Dystopias, Connectivist Learning Theory, Social Constuctivism, what it means to be human, transhumanism, posthumanism and a myriad of things along the way that I just stumbled upon. What I want to point out here in this blog, is that the quality of my experience in this course could not, would not have happened were it not for the connections that I’ve made, my Fraingers, Friends/Strangers, a word coined by my fellow Moocmate, Ary

This core group of “peeps” as Laurie calls us in her blog, Broadening the Base,http://lsniestrath.wordpress.com/,has provided valuable insight, encouraged and inspired me in this five week journey. I could have done it without them, but the experience would have been lackluster. I haven’t had this much fun and learned so much in all my 30+ years of teaching.I learned many valuable things to improve my craft, but most of all, I learned something about myself and the process of learning. If our goal as educators is to instill a love of learning and civic responsibility to the young minds entrusted to us, then I suggest we use every tool imaginable to accomplish this task. Connectivist Theory and Social Constructivism seem the appropriate means to that end. With all the possibilities that this digital world of ours provide, we as educators should embrace new technology and teach students how to search, filter, analyze, critique,and create from this sea of information. If we are successful in passing on the skills needed, WE will have created that well informed, rational and moral generation who will boldly go and build a better future. My Final assignment for this course is presented here – My Digital Artefact,

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This work by Willa Ryerson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


Pandora’s laptop

Well fraingers, peeps and other course members I have viewed the film clips and have a tenuous hold on the concept of technological determinism. Here are some thoughts about Bendito Machine III.

This delightful little dystopian clip suggests that worship/reliance on technology for technology’s sake will lead to an Apocalyptic ecological, social and cultural ruin. The film’s characters are mesmerized by the inane images on the television screen. Characters have no choice but to obey his/technology’s commands or suffer the consequences. Look what happens when the non conformist ice cream eater gets kicked out-of-the-way, while everyone else is exercising. NO work is done, no buildings built, just the ever-present machine spewing forth propaganda, silly jingles, and products to buy.When one machine out lives it’s usefulness, it’s carted to the edge of the cliff and dumped into the village landfill.At one point, one villager/Moses climbs the mountain to plead for more technology. This bigger and better machine is equipped with weapons. At one point, one of the machines seems to blast sirens as search lights travel over the community, suggesting the village is a prisoner to the technology. The film clip ends as the god/machine falls from heaven crushing them all. The theory of technological determinism is exemplified in Bendito Machine III.The technology in this film clip did drive the development of its social structure and culture. It drove it into the ground. Because of the community’s worship of the machine, nothing was built, there was no growth, no betterment.One small part of the clip that was interesting to me, was when the automobile ran over the villager,suggesting that all technology, not just the media type communication, will bring doom to civilization.

The second clip, Inbox, appears to be a feel good Boy meets Girl love story.

I believe that technology is not the only factor that brings about a happy outcome in this story. I think technology was the tool used to get the young man and women to finally meet. The shy man is reluctant to approach a prospective love interest in the flesh. The young woman looks with disdain and skepticism at the young men in the boutique. She turns to technology but loses faith even in that. When she is on her computer in a chat room , a too personal “hello dear” appears on her screen, so she slams her computer shut in disgust.In this instance, technology was a hindrance. However, the slow communication and somehow magical post-it notes that appear in her red boutique bag ease the woman’s fears and she begins to connect with her new friend. Their means of communication breaks down just before they set a meeting place.Human nature and hope seem to be the drive here and not technology. For the two young people go back to the boutique where they found their magic red bags.The store is closed and both young people are sad and discouraged but make a connection when they see each other carrying a red bag.If it wasn’t for the human need to make personal connections, the couple wouldn’t have tried to find each other.

I believe The film clip, Thursday, emphasizes the theory that technology is neutral.

Technology co exists with other factors that shape the development of society and cultural values. Yes, technology seems to have an adverse effect on nature when the street sweeper sweeps away the bird’s food. But the bird, thinking that a critical wire in a building’s circuitry is a worm or something to build its nest with, completely shuts down the high-rise and workers are bored with nothing to do because technology has failed. The bird uses a cell tower instead of a tree for nest-building, suggesting that even with the ever-present technology, ecological systems will survive. Another interesting part of the clip was when the man and woman meet for a date. They meet in a tiny park in that huge city. Instead of strolling through the park enjoying nature, they choose an elevator ride to gaze at the city light from high above.Technology and it’s uses are seen throughout the film clip. When the bird flies into the glass window,the man is surprised. The bird and man stare at each other acknowledging each others existence. At first the bird falls down as if dead, but then flies up to the high building to its nest. I believe this suggest that technology will not necessarily determine ecological ruin. This film suggests that nature will survive despite technological advancement.

The last film clip, New Media is blatantly dystopian.

The eerie music is reminiscent of a suspense or horror movie. The clip is filled with images of how the world has fallen into disrepair. Cars and buildings are old and vine-covered. Conduits and cables slither over streets and highways. The image of War of the World type machines roaming over empty city streets with towers of black smoke as a backdrop evoke feelings of desolation and ruin. An image of a man connected to one of those electrical conduits is disturbing indeed. This is a dystopian look at a future where The Machine has won the war.
Well fraingers, peeps, and other course members this is my first blog assignment for the eagerly awaited for E-Learning and Digital Cultures.
Sooooooo…..What do you think?