Since this blog is freely available I thought it might be worthwhile posting some information about me, and about the course that it was created for (along with some links to the MSc Digital Education course from Edinburgh University as well, since it really is rather good and I’d thoroughly recommend that anyone working in the field does this).
I work for the NHS developing training packages that are used across the North West of England (and some that are used further afield). I love finding ways to explore new technology and ideas such as Virtual Reality and xAPI. Basically I mess about with pieces of technology that I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near.
Outside of work I’m a massive nerd. My hobbies include a love of comic books, movies and music. I also enjoy role playing games (like Dungeons and Dragons) and computer games like Minecraft and Lord of the Rings Online (I even picked up a liking for World of Warcraft thanks to the Introduction to Digital Game Based Learning course, even though I once swore that I would never play that or Magic The Gathering) .
I live just north of Liverpool, in Crosby, with my wife (Beckie) and our son (Rhydian). Rhydian is three. This is why I look permanently frazzled and don’t get enough sleep. Rhydian also loves Minecraft, but not as much as he loves Paw Patrol, Transformers or dinosaurs (Triceratops is his favourite one).
About the Education and Digital Cultures course
This is one of the courses that can make up part of the MSC in Digital Education from Edinburgh University. If you follow this link you can see the up to date information on what this course covers and when it is running.
I was interested in doing this particular option for a number of reasons. The content is right up my street. I love sci-fi and the focus in Block 1 on AI, Cyborgs, Robots and Cyberpunk fits well with my interests. The second block on Community Cultures, looking particularly at MOOCs was interesting to me professionally. The organisation that I work for treats digital education as a very solitary process, so anything that I could use to show that bringing an element of community to it would help me to make improvements. Even though I collected evidence for this during the Course Design for Digital Environments course, making change is like pushing lorry through treacle. The Algorithmic Cultures section has less immediate interest, but once the ball is rolling I’m sure the connections will make sense, and anyway it’s always good to look at something you’ve never thought about. Another reason I was drawn to this course was the format. Having a course where the medium reflects the message and where we set up something interesting like a Lifestream was very appealing. I’m also very interested in the assessment methods used. Before starting on the MSc I have never taken part in a course requiring academic writing and I find it quite difficult. Being able to show scholarly writing in a different way seems like a great way to level this playing field.