Today I had my lesson with Alan to start the second half of my Assignment 2 which is a project entitled ‘Breaking the Ground Enquiry’. This is intended to give me the opportunity to explore the area in which I will complete my final project. I think this is a very good opportunity to complete a well developed and in-depth introduction into what will become my final project for my MA and so I am very much looking forward to starting!

Figure 1. Notes from today's lesson.

Figure 1. Notes from today’s lesson.

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I had already established the are of interest (content wise) for my final project. I will give further definition and meaning in my next post but to briefly explain, I find the idea of the Internet as a learning tool and the implications associated with that very interesting. It is also very personal to me as a student who spends a lot of time online learning to help in attaining my MA. Furthermore I think it has a very interesting historical foundation and it is certainly very current and at the forefront of ‘Screen Cultures’. Therefore I think I could really grapple with some important issues and intriguing ideas and I think this topic has colossal relevance to not just my own discipline but every other given the magnitude and influence of the Internet as a learning tool in the 21st century.

During my time on both my BA and so far in my MA I have looked at this on a small scale and other areas that cross over, i.e, Participatory Culture and the how user generated collaborations like Wikipedia can be extremely beneficial. However I have never really explored this topic with much detail and I see this as the best opportunity to really develop into the area of my study that I am most passionate about. The fact I have done previous work is a great foundation and I feel puts me in a good position to be able to produce very thorough research and ideas because I have a well defined knowledge of the basic level. The inspiration for this topic came from reading some of Nicholas Carr’s ‘The shallows’ in which he discusses how the Internet is transforming the way our brain processes information and its effects on the way we learn. There are also a lot of other authors and prominent figures who speak very strongly about these issues and these will be looked at further in future posts.

Figure 2. Nicholas Carr's, The Shallows

Figure 2. Nicholas Carr’s, The Shallows

Next we spoke about the medium/format in which I would produce my project on. I would definitely say that the area which I enjoy the most and what I am best at is academic writing. Therefore I wanted to centre around this. Although Alan suggested that I produce an academic written piece alongside other texts such as a piece of journalistic writing appropriate for an online newspaper or magazine and then a piece of illustrative text in a more playful form. Each would stem from the same research and present the same ideas just in a different manner, appropriate for different audiences. I have previously wrote one journalistic piece and I really enjoyed the chance to change the language and tone of my writing. The illustrative piece is something that is new to me and something I have little knowledge and experience working with (adobe illustrator) but I still find the concept quite exciting and I think it would be great for my project to feature work that I am both new to and already have extensive experience.

I think also think that after the last project (slideshow) I have gained a great amount of knowledge in what entails to making an artefact that has a successful user experience. I am now very confident at making decisions based on judgement rather than what I think could work and I have a much better understanding off all of the aspects that need to be considered.

It was agreed that for this project then I would produce a project proposal in which I include things such as a project statement, scope, rationale, relevance, inspirations, brief research, possibly some short literature review of the most influential individuals and then some initial designs and experimentation of the illustrative elements.

Then of course there is the blog I will keep regularly updated which will show all of my progress, research and inspirations. Therefore my posts will be split into looking at and researching the mediums i will be using (so mostly the illustrative part) and then the content, so anything to do with the Internet as a learning tool. The research for the content will be most prominent as I feel this is the factor which is most important to me and I think it will provide a great foundation for all 3 pieces I will produce.

For my next post I will be reviewing all of the work I have previously done that is relevant to this topic as it will give me a strong foundation to start on.




Figure 2. Carr, N (2010) The Shallows. Image available at: [Accessed on 18/03/15]