Putting together a Lifestream was an interesting project. Most people have a presence on the internet spanning many sites and using a variety of devices. Our network of connections to different sites and people is vast and complex. Can we still rely on adding a list of references to a written essay as being exhaustive in the sources we have used? It took a while for people to work out a way to cite an eBook, but now we may also need to cite a message board, a thread on Twitter, a Sub-Reddit, a Facebook Group, Pinterest Board, chat on Discord, YouTube video, MOOC, Moodle Forum, website or Video Conference on Google Hangouts (to name just a few current possibilities).
How could we capture this rich mix of sources when it comes to showing academic understanding? There are ways to collect a record of the sources engaged with (for example an xAPI “Bookmarklet” (Rustici Software)), but most of these require a pro-active approach from the student deciding what is and isn’t worth recording. This could certainly be where the process of Lifestreaming comes into its own.
For this Lifestream we used a service called IFTTT to set up “recipes” that automatically post to our blog when certain conditions are met. If these recipes are set up in advance of a course, they would then record everything relating to those sites. The process for the student is then reflective – they must decide which posts to keep and why. Without being constrained by a traditional “academic” format, the Lifestream opens up the author’s thought processes and collects more of the steps along the way to the conclusions that they have drawn. The ideas that other forms of digital assessment such as Lifestreams could be the way forward, and that authorship is a process of remixing the content that is studied are covered in chapters 10 and 8 of The Manifesto for Teaching Online (Bayne et al 2019 Draft) respectively.
I’m torn between wanting to keep the things directly related to the EDC course as the only entries and wanting to retain a sense of fun for the reader. This blog is open to anyone with an internet connection and I want any casual visitors to have a positive experience. I would like them to be interested in my posts and the concepts that we have covered, enjoy their time here and engage through the comments sections. That’s why I’ve kept some of the tangential or flat out irrelevant posts. If a casual audience gains something from this blog then we can see a Lifestream as not only an aid for the education of the student putting it together, but also as something providing education for those not directly involved in the course. This seems to me to be more aligned with the goals of Open Education than many MOOCs.
Building the Lifestream has been not only an exercise in studying the three phases discussed by Knox (2015) (Cybercultures, Community Cultures and Algorithmic Cultures) but also in immersing ourselves in these cultures and using them. We have explored new technologies, new ways of interacting with others and new ways of finding information using those systems already deployed in the public arena. In this way my Lifestream is itself an artefact, its message is its medium and vice versa.
TTFN, and remember DNFTT
“Crouchipuss” Matthew Crouch s1896775
Bayne, S., Evans, P., Ewins, R., Knox, J., Lamb, J., Macleod, H., O’Shea, C., Ross, J., Sheail, P., Sinclair, C. (2019 DRAFT). The Manifesto for Teaching Online.
Knox, J 2015, Critical education and digital cultures. in M Peters (ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Springer, pp. 1-6.
Rustici Software xAPI Bookmarklet https://xapi.com/bookmarklet/ last read 15th March 2020