Humanity Vs Technology – A “Quote-Unquote” Debate #edcmooc

Humanity vs Technology

This is my digital artefact submission for the E-Learning & Digital Cultures MOOC (EDCMOOC 3 : Nov-Dec14). No, I’m not referring to the image above – that’s just a visualization. I am referring to the presentation below.

I was initially planning to prepare a powerpoint-based video on The Internet Of Things – a subject that fascinates me, but while searching for material to use there in the content, I stumbled upon some powerful quotes on technology. When I dug deeper, I found a wealth of quotes related to differing views on the impact of technology. The quotes bring out beautifully the debate on technology vs humanity and utopia vs dystopia – a debate that is as old as recorded history itself, and eventually, I have ended up building building my artefact on this theme – it is called a “Quote-Unquote” Debate.

And why a presentation featuring quotes ? Well, there is no simple answer to this. However, what I would like to say is that as mankind has evolved, so has technology. From the day and age of the wheel to the age of space travel, we certainly have come a long way. Yet, the viewpoints on technology differ. The dystopian view would be that technology tends to make slaves of us humans, rather than being masters of the technology created by us. The opposite view would perhaps be that we owe our very progress and existence to technology. Are either of the views wrong ?

Not in my view. Both are equally valid. Too much of a good thing can be bad. But then, when we speak of humanity falling prey to technology, we really cannot generalise. In my view, technology is there to make life simpler and more advanced. It all depends on how we use it. Becoming a slave to technology is also a choice, as is using it judiciously. That’s my view, and you, the reader, are welcome to yours. Neither of us would be wrong. The debates on Humanity vs technology have always been there and will continue to rage long after you and I are gone. These quotes, however, bring out the essence of the debate, and I will let the slides speak for themselves.

To view the artefact presentation you have three choices below. Choose the method that suits you best.

Authorstream Embedded Presentation Version

View the presentation while enjoying the audio track. You have full control over navigation through the slides. The slides will advance on clicking, and you have the ability to go backward or forward.

Slideshare Embedded Presentation Version

View it as a simple, no-frills powerpoint presentation, without any audio or animation. You have full control over navigation through the slides. The slides will advance  on clicking, and you have the ability to go forward or backward.

YouTube Embedded Video Version
View the presentation as a video. However, the video will progress as per the preset slide timings and you will have no control over the transition of slides, and depending on your reading speed, you may need to pause the video on some slides in order to read the text fully.


Hope you have enjoyed the presentation. Please feel free to leave your valuable comments, suggestions and feedback using the Reply option below.

Thank You !


Interesting Statistics for #edcmooc Round 3 #edcmoocrocks

Curiosity killed the cat, but as far as the EDCMOOC is concerned, it need not kill you. So if you have, like me, been curious to know the statistics related to the E-Learning & Digital Cultures Course, the wait is over. Thanks to the instructors, we are now able to share them with you. Below are some of the vital stats about the participants.

EDCMOOC stats – 19 November 2014

10,145 learners have joined. 4396 have visited. This week 1,817.Total Participants EDCMOOC

Distribution Across The Globe

153 different countries. 3504 (35%) from emerging economies.

Europe – 38%

North America – 26%

Asia – 21%

South America – 8%

Oceania – 4%

Africa – 3%

Geographical Distribution

Breakup By Country

Break-up By Country

Sorry, the list of countries was too long to fit into the graph, so I have included all such countries, where individual country representation is below 1% under Others. I will, at the end of the post, give you a full list of countries with their respective percentages.

Other Demographics

Now I would like to share with you some interesting breakups of the types of participants, the levels of education of the participation, gender mix etc. As usual, the ladies dominate ! 🙂

Following statistics are based on responses to Coursera’s questionnaire (983 people, not all replied to each question)

DemographicsAnd given below is the full countries list with their respective percentages.

United States 19% New Zealand 0.60%
United Kingdom 8% Japan 0.60%
India 6% Hungary 0.60%
Brazil 4% Peru 0.50%
Spain 4% Belgium 0.50%
Australia 4% Switzerland 0.50%
Canada 3% Israel 0.50%
Russian Federation 3% Serbia 0.50%
China 3% Czech Republic 0.50%
Mexico 3% United Arab Emirates 0.50%
Greece 2% Nigeria 0.40%
Germany 2% Iran, Islamic Republic of 0.40%
France 2% Bulgaria 0.40%
Netherlands 2% Finland 0.40%
Italy 2% Croatia 0.40%
Colombia 1% Chile 0.40%
Ukraine 1% Austria 0.30%
Turkey 1% Norway 0.30%
Poland 1% Morocco 0.30%
Singapore 1% Kazakhstan 0.30%
Philippines 1% Venezuela 0.20%
Indonesia 0.90% Ecuador 0.20%
South Africa 0.90% Bangladesh 0.20%
Ireland 0.90% Armenia 0.20%
Romania 0.80% Lithuania 0.20%
Malaysia 0.80% Georgia 0.20%
Sweden 0.70% Belarus 0.20%
Portugal 0.70% Uruguay 0.20%
Pakistan 0.70% Puerto Rico 0.20%
Hong Kong 0.70% Ghana 0.20%
Egypt 0.70% Cyprus 0.20%
Korea, Republic of 0.70% Costa Rica 0.20%
Vietnam 0.70% Oman 0.20%
Thailand 0.60% Malta 0.20%
Saudi Arabia 0.60% Guatemala 0.20%
Argentina 0.60% Qatar 0.10%
Denmark 0.60% Kenya 0.10%
Taiwan 0.60% Jamaica 0.10%
Iceland 0.10% Asia/Pacific Region <0.1%
El Salvador 0.10% Aruba <0.1%
Slovakia 0.10% Albania <0.1%
Macedonia 0.10% Zambia <0.1%
Latvia 0.10% Uganda <0.1%
Jordan 0.10% Timor-Leste <0.1%
Sri Lanka 0.10% Suriname <0.1%
Slovenia 0.10% Sudan <0.1%
Tunisia <0.1% Senegal <0.1%
Honduras <0.1% Saint Vincent and the Grenadines <0.1%
Dominican Republic <0.1% Nicaragua <0.1%
Cambodia <0.1% Macao <0.1%
Estonia <0.1% Libyan Arab Jamahiriya <0.1%
Bolivia <0.1% Guyana <0.1%
Palestinian Territory <0.1% Djibouti <0.1%
Lebanon <0.1% Cameroon <0.1%
Azerbaijan <0.1% Bermuda <0.1%
Trinidad and Tobago <0.1% Zimbabwe <0.1%
Paraguay <0.1% Virgin Islands, U.S. <0.1%
Nepal <0.1% Somalia <0.1%
Moldova, Republic of <0.1% Reunion <0.1%
Mauritius <0.1% Northern Mariana Islands <0.1%
Tanzania, United Republic of <0.1% New Caledonia <0.1%
Panama <0.1% Martinique <0.1%
Namibia <0.1% Maldives <0.1%
Montenegro <0.1% Madagascar <0.1%
Kyrgyzstan <0.1% Luxembourg <0.1%
Kuwait <0.1% Liberia <0.1%
Bahamas <0.1% Lao People’s Democratic Republic <0.1%
Myanmar <0.1% Ethiopia <0.1%
Algeria <0.1% Cote d’Ivoire <0.1%
Uzbekistan <0.1% Congo, The Democratic Republic of the <0.1%
Syrian Arab Republic <0.1% Congo <0.1%
Papua New Guinea <0.1% Burundi <0.1%
Mongolia <0.1% Brunei Darussalam <0.1%
Ira <0.1% Botswana <0.1%
Haiti <0.1% Bhutan <0.1%
Bosnia and Herzegovina <0.1% Bahrain <0.1%
Afghanistan <0.1%

A Stranger Goes Out Of His Way To Help ! #edcmooc

Thank You

Thank you, Brice !

A few days ago, I had added the blog feeds of several participants to the UNOFFICIAL Blog feed on, and was pretty happy with the results, considering the fact that I am not a techie, and happily went about tweeting it to the world. However, the tweet below from a fellow EDCMOOCer brought me back to reality.

Here was someone who had noticed a major flaw with what I had done. He had spotted the one detail that I should have paid attention to, but didn’t. I had used a plug-in to pull the RSS feed by blog-name, not realizing that it would pull in any post, whether it was related to EDCMOOC or not. Thanks, Winslie Gomez for having brought this to my attention !

Since I am not a techie, I was totally at a loss as to how this issue should be resolved. I use WordPress to create my sites, and to get the desired functionality, I use plug-ins made freely available by seasoned developers who know that there are many WordPress users like me depending on them to share their work with the world with no strings attached.

So back I went to the website of Brice Capobianco, who is the developer of this particular plug-in, and sent him a message outlining my problem to him, with a request for solution. I was not even sure whether I would get a response, leave alone a solution, because in the past too, it has been my experience that a response to an individual’s issues is rare. However, I was pleasantly surprised when, less than 24 hours later, I got a mail from Brice Capobianco, who responded despite being on vacation that he would be able to give me a solution and would get back to me after he was back and had better access to the net.

Sure enough, the very next evening I had another mail from Brice, enclosing the solution. He had not only written a code for specific keyword search, he had also updated the plug-in and made a newer version available for everyone, which included this updated parameter that pulls in RSS posts with specific keywords. This morning, I updated the previously installed plug-in, and used the new shortcode send by Brice,and sure enough, it worked ! I immediately updated all the FEED pages with the new shortcode and am happy to inform everyone that his plug-in is working flawlessly.

By now, you, the reader, might be wondering why I am sharing a post which is not related to EDCMOOC. The reason is simple. We are all studying about technology and its uses in education and also how it impacts our daily lives.There was no reason for Brice to go out of his way to respond to me, leave alone help me, and that too while he was on vacation. After all, I am a complete stranger to him. We have never met and he does not know me from Adam. And yet, he went out of his way to help.

This just illustrates one very important fact – No matter how many advances technology makes, it still needs selfless and good individuals like Brice to propagate and to be available for others to use. No amount of technology can ever replace humanity and human generosity.

Thank you, Brice… you ROCK !

Who or what is a teacher?


Christine Sinclair  Teaching a class of 27 at the same time as a MOOC inevitably encourages me to ask what being a teacher means in both cases.  Are the students teaching themselves?  Well, yes, in the sense that they’ve having to manage and regulate learning (their own).  Are they teaching one another?  Yes, in the sense that they offer resources, feedback, support, encouragement and challenges.  Is the software teaching them?  Yes, in the sense that it will present and sequence material and offer alternative ways of displaying, aggregating, curating and storing ideas.  All these might be regarded as functions for the teacher – and all can be seen happening in both courses.

On the MOOC, the students are using peer review to assess and grade products of learning.  This happens on some smaller courses too, though not on the one I am currently teaching.

So what is left…

View original post 456 more words

“Botty Moments” #edcmooc #edcmoocrocks

Botty, AKA Teacher Bot, AKA @edcmooc

Botty, AKA Teacher Bot, AKA @edcmooc we all know that this run of EDCMOOC is different from the previous runs of the program. And the difference is the Teacher Bot, introduced for the very first time on an experimental basis.

The official introduction of the teacher bot on the Coursera site says:

‘Teacher bot’ is an automated response system that will reply to course tweets, providing guidance about the course or perhaps engaging in discussion. It will look out for specific key words in your tweets, and reply from a bank for predetermined answers written by the teaching team. You will see teacher bot answers coming from the official EDCMOOC Twitter account: @edcmooc.

So far so good. Except for the fact that some of us have had a few hilarious moments with the bot as well.

Since so many people were having fun with Botty, we decided to dedicate a section entirely to “her”. This page is a light-hearted attempt to capture those moments. We invite you to share those “Botty” Moments with us by embedding the tweets in the comments section below.

Here is what you need to do –

1. Look for the tweets where you interacted with Botty.

2. Click on the …. dots that appear in the tweet, which will open a drop-down menu – see image below.


3. Click on Embed Tweet. A new pop-up window will open with some HTML code. Copy the code highlighted in blue colour. See the image below.


4. Paste the code below in the Comments box below. The tweet will get embedded there.

You will, of course, need to be logged in to comment, which you can do by using one of the social-media icons in the log-in box on the right hand sidebar of the page. In case you are still  not sure how to go about embedding the tweets, you can follow the alternate route by re-tweeting those tweets you wish to share, adding the hashtag #edcmoocrocks, and we will find them and embed them for you.

That’s it !

Let us all share some fun Botty Moments through this journey called EDCMOOC, away from Utopias, Dystopias and what have you !