Yesterday at 5 pm (GMT) we had our first hangout with our lecturers of the E-Learning and Digital Cultures ( edcmooc ). In my view it was very successful. I chose to watch it via YouTube so I could participate in the flow of comments. At the beginning we all said “Hi from…” and it was truly a worldwide audience. It was delightful. The video below has the introductions then a snippet of the live feed. It was live chat while the lecturers were talking. I picked up a few points :

One commentator said :

Philosophy Now July/August 2013 – Black Mirror Reflections- Terri Murray illustrates Marcuse’s critique of technologised society using an episode of Black Mirror—we must read it ( Ref : I created a pdf of the article.

In One Dimensional Man (1964) and Repressive Tolerance (1965), German philosopher and political theorist Herbert Marcuse claimed that developing technology institutes new, more effective, and more pleasant forms of social control and social cohesion, making totalitarian control through terrorisation unnecessary. Rather, ‘advanced industrial society’ creates false needs which integrate individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media, advertising, and industrial management. ‘15 Million Merits’, the second episode of British TV series Black Mirror (Channel 4, 2011), co-written by Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq, presents a perfect platform for exploring some of Marcuse’s most prophetic observations.

I watched the Black Mirror episode  (you can watch it here) concerned and it shows a dystopia that is manipulative :the revolutionary is subsumed into the existing climate of control. ( ha a metaphor for next week).

This is an example of the type of comments we had. One of the lecturers Sian Bayne recommended Gert Biesta and his Manifesto For Education is available for download from the library.

The hangout gave us a chance to become a class. Our lecturers gave feedback from the discussion forums. It was very real. They have decided to do a weekly hangout which is great. Below is the introduction by the lecturers followed by a video snippet of the discussion.

Thoughts on the future of learning? I see no reason why a complete degree course couldn’t be handled in this manner. I will investigate. Learning at a distance has great potential.



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