Anita Naoko Pilgrim is an Associate Lecturer with the Open University; author of several reports on education and equalities, and of workshops and courses on inclusive education.
Location Cardiff, UK
I was thinking that Second Life might be a good means to get past that vulnerability some of us spoke about in having an open, public work identity online. It could be a useful way of recording video tutorials without having to expose yourself in ways you don't so much face to face, where you can gauge who is in your audience.
However I remembered I had...
I actually never saw the Second Life videos. I did most of my engagement with the course on train journeys (using their free WiFi!) and that meant that I had to read the transcripts instead of watching the videos. So I didn't see what Second Life was like. Ooops ... here comes my station ....
I think the biggest challenge facing online education is the neoliberal education agenda which sees education as inputting facts into student heads to generate qualifications and 'employability'. (Of course getting my own students into jobs/better jobs is important, but the reason they struggle is really that there aren't many jobs, not because they lack...
Online, nobody can see me - especially since I deliberately use my cat picture as a profile not my own photo. I can afford to be more casual and friendly. I post pictures on Instagram and Twitter of my journeys to tutorials round Wales and the South West of England. I post pictures of cakes I take to tutorials. I use a lot of smilies in my posts.
As an Associate Lecturer, I am usually reaching out to my students to make them feel comfortable. I do a knowing deception act with them. We all know that I am a PhD and longstanding academic, but I pretend that I am a student just like them and we are in this together. I look to lessen the distance between us in order that they are more comfortable reaching...