© 2013 ellathompson


HELLO THERE. Week two it is. Another entertaining lecture, as usual. My favourite bit being when Adrian began vaguely muttering to himself and listing a variety of Australian animals, went alarmingly quiet in deep thought, and then pointed accusingly at a student and shouted, “POSSUMS!” Ahhh. Joy.

I was sceptical when everyone was asked to close their laptops and put away their phones. How will they take notes? Isn’t this course about being connected to the online world? Pfft, what kind of request is this?! At the same time, I felt smug. Being pretty much the only sad, laptop-less student in the Media and Communication program, I’m used to envying those with the privilege of being able to type their notes. BUT THIS WAS MY MOMENT. I pulled out the old-skool notebook and pen while everyone else sat there helplessly. AHH. TRIUMPH.

We were invited to enter into a “contract” with Adrian: we must inform him beforehand if and why we ever decide to skip a lecture. This is because he is willing to change the way the course is run to suit our way of learning. What? Huh? Teachers that listen to us? Whoa. Crazy. Nah.

But the lecture was focused on answering our questions. This meant that we first had to think of questions. This meant that we had to define what we didn’t know. And – in this frighteningly open-ended subject – that meant a lot. After attempting to define the unknown, Adrian answered some of our Qs. And context formed. Huzzah! For a course like this, that is an achievement. Especially since it is only week two. So the Q and A was a really good exercise, also giving us an idea of what ‘self-directed learning’ actually means for us in this course.

There were some things Adrian spoke about which frightened me. Like how we can be sued or imprisoned or sacrificed and whatnot if certain content appears in our blogs. Content involving slander, vilification, or in breach of copyright. This is because our blogs are public. They are legally regarded as publications. MGGHHHEEEEHHHRRR. Yeah. Just imagine that. As a sound. That was the sound I made when hearing about all of these potential ways to screw up. Spam comments. Other comments. COMMENTS IN GENERAL. Hosting music… Just. Gah. Many… So I’d like to take a moment to pre-apologise, should I get ever myself into such trouble from blogging. I am sorry. Please don’t hurt me. I didn’t mean it. It was an accident. I’M JUST A HUMAN BEING. I’ll give you a high-five and a Freddo Frog if you look past it… Ok, done. Hopefully, that apology won’t ever be necessary.

On the other hand, Adrian informed us that whatever we blog is immediately copyright. Our own intellectual property. HELL YEAH. I’ve had ‘intellectual property’ of mine ‘stolen’ before (wow, it sounds so very douchey – my ‘intellectual property’), so this information just made me happy. Though, I would have thought the opposite – once you make something of yours public, everyone has access to it and you can’t control your ownership of it. But I am apparently wrong. And happily so. Smiley faces all ’round.

Some things Adrian said which motivated me: “Blog often”, “be informal”, “make mistakes”, “blog about your interests”, “blog about anything”. Yesss. Licence to make mistakes. So, you’re just gonna have to deal with that, you judgey judgey readers. Yes, I am aware that judgey isn’t a real word. Do I care? No! AWW YEAH. FREEDOM.

Adrian spoke about the advantages of these blogs. We write about our day-to-day experience of the course, and he reads it. If a number of people are ridonculously confuzzled by X part of the reading, he’ll know about it. The course really works to promote student reception of information, which is brilliant. Another thing we are / will be learning about is what it means to produce work that is public, that becomes a “trail of knowledge”. Knowledge which others consume, contribute to, edit. Knowledge that grows. Adrian called this being “knowledge producers”, rather than “knowledge consumers”. Ha, yeah. My second smug-moment of the lecture. I had said something like this in the first tutorial when we went around the class saying what we had got out of the first lecture. Something about the course being about us learning to create knowledge rather than just being passed down stale information. Yeah, my smugness only lasted until I realised how much better it sounded the way he put it. Great phrase, “knowledge producers over knowledge consumers”.

Then Adrian spoke about “disruptive teaching” being his intention for this course – to make our habitual assumptions “strange”, then to change them and build our understanding.

Then he said something really interesting about the many layers of the Web – like the Internet and something else and something else and other parts and I was like whoa but I can’t remember it anymore so now I’m like aww. But it was crazy cool. Then something about the Internet – as a whole – having agency. Having the ability to “affect change”. This was also cool. Then he went into how print changed the world because, before print, everything had to be ‘remembered’ (song and dance being popular ways of storing information). Back then, knowledge was finite, fixed and didn’t change or grow. Nowadays, we recognise the limitlessness of knowledge. And we have capacity for more than just concrete logic. We have capacity for “complex abstraction”.

AND THEN (almost done, I swear) Adrian went into how we, Media and Communication students, are as powerful agents to the future as Engineering students were (back in the day) to the current world of technology we live in. If that makes sense. He explained it better than I did. I’m getting tired. Something about us being agents for change, us being able to take over the world as media professionals, media being revolutionary – since every assumption in this area is going through “revolutionary change”. It was exciting and inspiring.


Ok, I could write more, but I think I’ve made this post long enough to deter even the most enthusiastic reader. To anyone that bravely embarks on reading this unnecessarily long blog post, I sincerely apologise. My only complaint with the lecture: bring back the fabulous shirt.





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