Name: Andrew Moore
andryn@iafrica.com
I work closely with
academics in African
Higher Education
institutions and support
t...
Take that Apple
fan boys!
Chandler’sTechnologicalDeterminism
Dahlberg
Dahlberg would categorise my Tech
perspective as fal...
Utopias & Dystopias: Future
Loved Shirky’s provocative posturing and
side with Thrun that MOOCs are still
experimental and...
Being Human: Reasserting
Professionally I’m a Humanist. I want the
best for those students I come across in
the disadvanta...
Being Human: Redefining
Roll on the Trans-humanists Cant wait to
be ‘enhanced’. Think I’ll lose the glasses
first! The vid...
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Moore EDC MOOC Submission

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This was my submission posted as part of the e-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC run by the University of Edinburgh during 2013. It was peer assessed as part of the course.

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  • My digital artefact is a conventional presentation wherein I’ll identify course resources that have had some influence on me and will, I hope, impact positively on my work. I support African academics make the transition from a lecture based model of teaching to an online mode. I’m interested in how this course has changed my perceptions of, and perhaps approaches to, e-learning.
  • I was a history teacher who taught historiography so appreciated the approach of unpacking literary perspectives as a first step! It makes sense to do this here as views on technology are so often polarised. Chandler’s focus on Technological Determinism was useful but I was aware of this perspective. I’ve heard too many over zealous tech vendors in the past. However, it was with Lincoln Dahlberg’s ‘Tracings’ paper that a personal chord was struck. I did not realise it previously but according to him my tech perspective fell into what he calls ‘Uses Determinism’… to quote,“the technological artefact tends to be seen as a neutral tool able to satisfy the purposes of agents employing it.” The implication of course is that I’ve always played down the technological as well as the social influences. This awareness has opened up a whole new way of looking at the relationship between use(rs), social and technological components in the institutions where I work.
  • I got a kick out of Johannesburg, my home town, being featured in the Productivity Future Vision (2011) video and also the fact that the young girl bakes a melktert! But the real gems in week two were the Shirky / Bady debate about MOOCs and Campbell’s Ecology of Yearning lecture. Shirky’s perspective I had read previously so it was good to hear an eloquent counter argument. However, I feel Bady’s alternative is not a viable option. The old state college system he puts so much faith in cannot be resurrected in a country that is facing economic hardship and enormous government debt. Also his views are insular, thinking only of education in the USA and not of benefits for global education, something I’m passionate about working in under resourced intuitions across this continent. But it’s Campbell’s reading of Bateson and his call for trans-contextual learning that has got me fired up.
  • Professionally I am a Humanist, I guess. I want the best for those students I come across in the disadvantaged institutions I work. But of concern was Fuller’s assertion that there is a movement within the perspective that advocates ‘Humanity is Not Good for All.” that identifies the duplicity in some of the motives and even questions the viability of universal access. This I’ve seen in my work and sometimes wondered about. More broadly, however, I have I often considered the humanist perspectives rather … ‘lame’…. Made obvious to me by the discussion, ‘Are we closer to ‘God’ or ‘Apes’?’ Neither! What a bizarre continuum to have to choose from. Maybe its because I’ve a History background and am aware that what we consider human, or at least Modern Man, is something quite new in terms of our development. Values and social mores change with the each era. I don’t think we will lose the fundamental characteristics that separate us from animals but I believe we have evolved and changed in the past and will in the future. I’m torn in two then between my personal beliefs and those appropriate to my work and am not sure how to resolve this schism. At least its out in the open now, rather than inferred, waiting for me to investigate further.The best part of this whole section though was the video They’re Made out of Meat. Excellently filmed where even I felt nauseated by the teenagers ‘swopping spit’!
  • Bostrom’s article blew me away. I marked up my copy with numerous references to characters from Science Fiction novels and films: Dr Manhattan fits right in here! Cant wait to be ‘enhanced’. Think I’ll lose the glasses first! The video, True Skin, was stunning. Want to know if he does get his Memories back wholesale! Of significance though was my reading of the TEL report. It highlights that while the Developed world is way ahead of many of the Developing nations in terms of access to technology they still have not really exploited it properly in the area of Education. Many of the themes that structure the report are the type of things I’m trying to encourage with those I work. Admittedly our attempts are modest but it looks like we are on the right track.So there you have it! Those components of the course that have got me reflecting on my own practices!
  • Moore EDC MOOC Submission

    1. 1. Name: Andrew Moore andryn@iafrica.com I work closely with academics in African Higher Education institutions and support them to develop online versions of their courses. Technology is important but I’ve always championed sound pedagogy. Johannesburg, S outh Africa
    2. 2. Take that Apple fan boys! Chandler’sTechnologicalDeterminism Dahlberg Dahlberg would categorise my Tech perspective as falling into the ‘Uses Determinism’ camp. The implication is that I’ve always played down the technological as well as the social influences by emphasising the user’s control and agency. Awareness of this has opened up a whole new way of looking at the relationship between the three components and identification of potential barriers to success. Personal Discovery Utopias & Dystopias: Past
    3. 3. Utopias & Dystopias: Future Loved Shirky’s provocative posturing and side with Thrun that MOOCs are still experimental and will need to be fine tuned over time. Critical of Bady’s belief that the old state college system can be resurrected in a country that is facing economic hardship and enormous government debt. Also for me his alternative is insular and does not benefit global education. But it’s Campbell’s reading of Bateson and his call for trans-contextual learning that has got me fired up. Personal Discovery Campbell
    4. 4. Being Human: Reasserting Professionally I’m a Humanist. I want the best for those students I come across in the disadvantaged institutions I work. But then Fuller identifies a movement that believes ‘Humanity Not Good for All’ that identifies the duplicity in some of the motives and even questions viability of universal access. As an individual I’m NOT a Humanist at heart and find the approach reactionary and conservative. I’m torn in two and not sure how to resolve this schism. At least its out in the open now waiting for me to investigate further. Personal Discovery MEAT Fukuyama Post Humanism gon’na kill us off but that’s OK ‘cos History is dead!
    5. 5. Being Human: Redefining Roll on the Trans-humanists Cant wait to be ‘enhanced’. Think I’ll lose the glasses first! The video, True Skin, was stunning. Of significance though was my reading of the TEL report. It highlights that while Developed countries are way ahead of many of the Developing nations in terms of access to technology they still have not really exploited it properly in the area of Education. Many of the themes that structure the report are the type of things I’m trying to encourage with those I work. Admittedly our attempts are modest but it looks like we are on the right track. Personal Discovery Bostrom ELC

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