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Week 8 Review: Lifestream Summary

This week’s readings were indeed challenging and I find myself still working through Haraway’s “Cyborg Pedagogy” and Hayles’ “Embedded Virtuality” with great enthusiasm, but perhaps with less comprehension. I am making progress in articulating what I feel to be the difference between posthuman and cyborg and will hopefully be able to articulate that in my Lifestream quite soon. As it stands, I am circling it without exactly discerning it. All the hallmarks of the learning process of grappling with a hefty, significant set of texts.

My Lifestream for this week was much more textually based, which perhaps speaks to the complexity of the topic. I suspect when grappling with conceptually challenging logic, we revert to communication channels perceived as being less ambiguous. Interesting phenomena, but one perhaps avoids the daunting cognitive load involved in tackling novel ideas with a novel presentation. Those processes run parallel, but they are unique to be taxing. Hence, the gravitation towards text (and perhaps a lazy nod to it’s authority?).

Also of interest is the fact that all my Lifestream summaries, a summary about a particularly multimodal construct, are in text form. It is as if I am a house divided onto myself. I embrace the challenge of multimodal representation, but not of analysis of that representation.

Those are secondary phenomena; the real focus of this week was the cyborg and posthuman thread, one I look forward to continuing in the next week. I am especially interested in wearable technology and even using the human body as an input device for technology as I believe that represents the natural (not necessarily sensible) progression down that path of merged human and technological possibilities. The following video is just a fun diversion down a dystopian path of dichotomy between humans and technology.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGoi1MSGu64[/youtube]

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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