Friday, 8 April 2016

The End

image by Speg of the Pigs, used under Creative Commons license

The assignments are in, the modules complete, and (par for the course) I’m rushing towards deadline; the final deadline in which I pause and reflect about my COMM 555 experience.

So what did I learn?

The real answer to the question of “What did I learn?” will occur in the months ahead (and further) when I see what sticks and what falls away. Right now, emerging in a daze from the fog of readings, posts, and assignments I can kind of empathize with this:

(language warning; spoiler warning)

Like I said, it will take a while for me to make sense of this all. What I am more certain of is that I am grateful for the opportunities and challenges this course presented me with and for having the good fortune of sharing this experience with this particular group. I appreciated and benefited from everyone’s perspective so thanks for sharing.

I’m old enough to be set in my ways so the opportunity for radical change is slim. I am beset by my own biases and prejudices. That said, I can still be nudged along. As much as I wanted to be snob about capital-‘C’ Curation, Sean made me rethink my overly rigid position. My cynicism and skepticism of online petitions was countered by Jean-Philippe’s exquisite and authentic entry. I wish I could replicate Jennifer’s open inquisitiveness, I am sure I would benefit from that skill. 

Of the course itself, some scattershot takeaways:
  • Biophilia/Technobiophilia were new to me and seem to be things worth knowing
  • Selfies can be beneficial when used responsibly. I could probably benefit from taking more selfies. The development of identity should trump the fear of narcissism.
  • I’ve never made a podcast before. That was neat.
  • Learning means being vulnerable. It’s hard enough to be vulnerable in front of your (learned) peers, it’s even moreso in a public and permanent environment. A hybrid approach to this course might be beneficial (i.e. some blog posts are public-and-forever while other course discussion is sandboxed within the confines of eClass; this may inspire/invite more and more-spirited participation/interaction). 
In the largest sense, part of this course kind of depressed me: the overarching narrative of the collapse of historical professions (writers, photographers, journalists, research, etc.) to amateur, crowd-sourced production. We are witnessing the death of an old world. On the other hand, the challenges we face going forward (the limits of growth to solve economic problems, climate change, peak everything, etc.) demand new solutions. Gaming literacy, as dumb as it sounds, can provide a gateway to understanding complex systems and correlations/regressions which will be useful to solving problems of the aggregate.

Lastly it will be odd closing out my ‘burner’ COMM-555 Twitter account (or leaving it to linger aimlessly).

I have enjoyed the class and this group. Nothing fake about this group, certified:

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

~ ~ ~  THE END  ~ ~ ~

…or is it?



Coen, J., & Coen, E. (Directors), Coen, J., & Coen, E. (Producers), & Coen, J., & Coen, E. (Writers)(2008). Burn after reading [Motion picture]. United States: Focus Features.

(bonus Wordle: all the student-generated blog posts of nmn2016 minus references and comments)

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