If you are wondering as to the lack of updates:
I’ve spent virtually all of my waking hours (approx 2pm-8am, in case you were wondering) at my desk in Montreal finishing the revisions to my MA thesis. Finally, I submitted it last week. I’ll be updating the ending, and hope a chapter or two can be reformatted for a journal publication. In the meanwhile, I may post some fragments and core concepts here.
“Nothing Behind the Mask: An Arendtian Approach to Virtual Worlds and Online Education” argues in favor of recuperating a politicized reading of social identity in the work of Hannah Arendt, and applies this theoretical base to a critique of the political economy of online education. I contend that our Actions are always mediated through the Mask, and hence the avatar of online education should not be automatically disparaged as an inauthentic re-presentation of a discreet human behind the mask. Rather, the mask is not a substitute for another presentation, but an evolving context that makes political action possible. Denying this depoliticizes virtual spaces that should otherwise be protected under the same freedoms afforded other public spaces. I carefully analyze various online learning environments, dividing them into synchronous-online (eg. Second Life), asynchronous-online (eg. Moodle, wiki, forums, etc), blended-traditional (seminar with Moodle) and traditional (increasingly difficult to find.) I do not inherently dismiss any of these over the other, but looks at the potential in any format for fostering critical pedagogy and collaborative World building.
Anyway, I’m finally back home in NY, mostly relaxing. Actually, I’m finishing up my end of year music lists, and working on my first paid journalism assignment. More on those very soon.
I have some material on online “piracy,” the death of Christopher Hitchens, a documentary of Sol LeWitt, and journalism and wikileaks that I’ve been unable to finish writing due to thesis work, but hope to get those up early in the new year.
Until then, I hope everyone is making the best. I’ll leave you with this:
(thanks to Hans-Joachim Roedelius)