Week 3

Activity 2- In this activity we were asked to read “On two metaphors for learning ” Sfard http://learn.open.ac.uk/file.php/4473/block1/H800_Week3b_OnTwoMetaphorsforLearning_Sfard.pdf

Sfard describes the acquisition metaphor of learning as knowladge being something which is aquired and then fills the mind. She describes the participation metaphor as learning being a constant activity which occours as part of a community.

Activity 3

In this activity we were asked to read Deceit, desire and control: the identities of learners and teachers in cyberspace by Siân Bayne from her book Education in Cyberspace (Land and Bayne, 2005). This passage revies the role of personal identity in an online environment and relates it to the myth of the metamorphosis of Arachne. The passage includes quotes from students who see the acquastion of multiple, un-real online personalities as dangerous and dishonst “I think I could get too much into a character which is not yourself, and you kind of lose the division between the character and yourself.” Although there is a danger in extreme cases of false online identies, such as peadophiles grooming children, I find the arguments against multiple online indenties a weak knee jerk reaction to the unknown. Most people have slighty different personalities depending on their environment and who they are with. Multiple online personalities is a natural extention of this. I am also curous about what they classify as identities whach are not “a direct representation of the single, embodied identity presented in the face to face classroom.” Does this mean that someone who had an obvious physical disability should go out of their way to ensure any online representation has the same disability, or someone who is unhappy with some part of their apperance should include it in an avatar, or someone with a speach imparement should make sure everone knows about it? What about a transgender individual, are they allowed to choose the sex of their avatar? Does it only refer to characteristics which can be seen or heard when meeting face to face? what about charateristics which may be less obvious such as sexualty, religion, previous life experiences? One part of the passage which i did find valid was the discussion about how the perceprion of the tutor changes between online and face to face environments. Having been a tutor and student in this envirinment I can see how the tutors self perception within an online environment can be one of being a “stuffy old prig”, when i was an online tutor i felt i didn’t have confidence and control of the environment and felt I had compensated by being over controling, however feedback from students within the group said they thought I did fine and natuarlly moved the session along.

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