"Algorithm 02" by Dimitris Ladopoulos is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
“Algorithm 02” by Dimitris Ladopoulos is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

This block will look at the ways in which large quantities of digital data, and the algorithms that operate across it, are informing contemporary culture within and beyond educational contexts. Ted Striphas defines ‘algorithmic culture’ as: ‘the ways in which computers, running complex mathematical formulae, engage in what’s often considered to be the traditional work of culture: the sorting, classifying, and hierarchizing of people, places, objects, and ideas.’

The general plan of work for the coming three weeks is as follows:

week 8: playing with algorithms (2nd – 8th March)
We begin with some introductory reading on algorithmic cultures and education, and our ‘playing with algorithms’ task. This week will help you to understand and debate how algorithms inform and shape our everyday learning lives.

week 9: complete and share your ‘algorithmic play’ artefact (9th – 15th March)
Spend this week rounding up your algorithmic play, and finalising your artefact. Before the end of the week, and add your artefact to your lifestream share it with the group for comments. Also try to comment on as many of the other artefacts as you can.

week 10: algorithms and the lifestream (16th – 22nd March)
This is the final taught week of the course! Use this time to continue commenting on ‘algorithmic play’ artefacts, and to write your final lifestream summary (500 words). Note that this should make some reference to the ways in which your lifestream, and your surrounding activity, have been influenced by ‘algorithmic culture’. We will also have our final Hangout tutorials – see Moodle for the sign-ups.

By the end of this week, you will need to submit your lifestream for assessmentsee here for the details.