Sunday, 3 February 2013

#edcmooc Twitter chat #2: Stargate

A round up of this week's Twitter chat and some themes that came out of it. We answered questions and had 84 participants & 1274 tweets.A TAGS analysis,archive is available at (thanks Andy Mitchell for this). My strategy was to favourite any tweet I found interesting. Then look back through my favourites to pick out some themes.

Firstly, this is the image I had in my mind during the chat:

It's Dr David Bowman entering the Star Gate in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey". There's a clip here . All those Tweets streaming in and zomming past every second left me a bit wild eyed. My imagination can get the better of me, so I liked Natalie's tweet here which was a much calmer way of looking at it:

That also leads onto the first of 5 themes I picked out of this chat. 

1. The experience of a real time Twitter chat

This can be really motivating. The flow of information is so rapid that it can be difficult to keep up, but it is exhilarating and you can get many ideas and points of view in a very short space of time. I especially like when you get a particular moment in time captured:

 Maddie expressed what a lot of people thought, but it also led into theme number two:

2. The problem of information overload on a MOOC

This is definitely a problem. If you miss a few days you can feel so far behind as there is so much to take in. This has been talked about a lot already, so what are the solutions? Aliya commented:

It's an interesting question. Perhaps the idea of a MOOC is to give people access to a course of study, but then these people need to form smaller groups in order to study effectively. And whose responsibility is that - teacher or student? (your ideas here please) Cristina, one of our 4 moderators, expressed what many people see as a huge benefit of MOOC's, that they can give people access to learning who might not have had access beforehand

Angela meanwhile has admirably embraced everything on offer:

This leads on to point three:

3. The benefits of social media

So, we were talking about this voluntarily on a social media site so you might expect us all to be giving a positive impression of social media. Nevertheless there were some very salient points made. Amy expressed one of the benefits, that an idea you put out there can grow & develop with other people's input. Natalie agreed.

Then there were the large numbers of people who are trying some of these tools for the first time. These two tweeters expressed how they had gained confidence and empowerment through trying new tools through the course. It was a thought shared by many who may have not been au fait with  social media a a month, a week, or a day ago.

Andy expressed it very succinctly too. I think this maybe got the most retweets of the evening

How we use social media or technology also cropped up in the discussion which leads to theme four.

4. Is technology a good or bad thing in our lives?

Peter pointed out how technology solves problems:

This is true, but it also raised the question of whether we have control over technology, or whether it controls us.

You can make a case for either view point. I personally think the technology we have available now is bringing up so many options we are still taking it all in. Pat's comment above is an interesting one - how might our increased use of the digital affect how we actually communicate with each other, and even in the long term how our brains or bodies work? We are mentally evolving, but what about physically? 

How we see ourselves now in relation to technology leads onto theme 5. These didn't really fit into any category, but were interesting and imaginative ideas of themselves

5. Things that make you go hmmmmm

Finally, should we just take a leaf out of Asbjørn's book and like Digitial Vikings carry on our quest for knowledge:

The Digitial Viking metaphor is a fine one. and was Amy's idea. Read more here
There was also another fun metaphor of pirates and pirate's treasure that cropped up this week. What is the treasure we are looking for?! (Thanks for this Willa)
And for a 60 second overview of the Twitter chat, Andy made a video here

If you want to try moderating the chat next week you should have a go. Thanks to Kelsey, Rick, Natascha and Cristina for organising it this week. As Kelsey says:


  1. Thank you Chrisswift for your reference from one of my tweets in the Saturday Tweetchat in your blog above.

    We are asked 'what do we leave in the past' but I think mainly I am anticipating the future; what shall we create, how do we hold and capture that idea? Its all so formative at the moment. I cannot quite see what or how my digital artefact will be.

    Perhaps I need to start something now to give myself the space and time to build, add and modify.

    The #EDCMOOC 2013 legacy for the future will be the myriad of the artefacts. A taxonomy will be needed to categorise, not necessarily by application used but by topic of response. Not only a glossary but a classification system of nature of the creative responses.

    1. Thanks for your comment Martell. I hadn't really thought about how the artefacts will be classified, but it's a good point. It should have some structure to it. I liked your Tweet just from an imaginative point of view as well. Where will all this digital activity be in 100, or 500 years? Will it be being "dug up" by future generations?

  2. Thanks for this great summary Chris. As a moderator I had a great time reading two computers simultaneously, but I felt I missed some of the posts. And seeing this summary here, I now know I definitely did! I appreciate the opportunity to see some of the themes come through.
    Great discussion and I'm looking forward to the next one (as a participant).

    1. Thanks Rick. You did a great job moderating. It's much calmer as a participant! Well, sort of calmer ;)

  3. This blogpost is so useful to me. I often find it difficult to do this sort of analysis so quickly. I tend to dwell on individual tweets or jump all over the place without sitting down and reflecting on what people are saying. Thanks Chris :)

    1. Thanks Andy, I did one last week and it took me about an hour. This one ended up being really labour intensive though, and took me about 5 hours! There was so much good stuff to sift through. I was actually going to abandon it half way through as I didn't think it was a good use of time. Glad it's been useful though.

  4. Really interesting analysis of the #edcmchat here Chris, thanks. I missed that chat, but caught a few of the tweets later. Your summary was really useful, also it seems as an review of the first week.

    I particularly liked the ‘things that make you go hmmm’. Really interesting perspective from Martell, which made me think about the value of some kind of synchronicity (perhaps evident in the #edcmchat and the Hangout), as well as the difficulty of ‘piecing together’ these events in any future analysis. Is our digital presence only a tracing, or a footprint, of the wider ‘learning’ taking place?

    Great posthuman question from patlockley too, who should enjoy the weeks to come. When we try to think beyond our peculiarly human obsessions, do we perhaps arrive at a less cluttered view of the world, or is it merely a sterile and debasing one? Great food for thought here!

    1. Thanks for your comment Jeremy. There were some interesting viewpoints I agree.

      With so much activity happening on the web right now, it will be fascinating to see where we are in 50 years, or even 5 for that matter.

      And on a more practical level, how is it technology affecting and helping people right now? I'm interested in that too, to see how it is being applied to help people or improve lives

  5. I missed that one due to private plans (can you imagine that!), all the more I am thankful to read about it here. Next weekend I will join yoou again, there was something essential missing this weekend.

    1. Hi Diane. Yes, there was something missing - we felt it. See you next time :)

  6. Neat job you've done Chris of giving a flavour of the #edcmchat Twitter chat. Looking at one of the themes that you picked out: "The problem of information overload on a MOOC", according to Clay Shirky, it's not a question of "information overload" rather it's a matter of "filter failure". It seems to me that partaking in a MOOC requires some serious filtering!!
    Here is link to Sharky's talk.

    1. Thanks for the comment Helen. That seems a much better definition and thanks for sharing. As someone else has pointed out elsewhere, the course content is actually pretty light. So, why the overload? It's because of all networks, but none are compulsory, so this notion appeals to me - we need to be smarter about our studies! Will watch the video later, thanks for the link.