Course info

Course Overview

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Persona, society and technology: processes of transformation in a digital age.

We are becoming digital in a way that is not clearly understandable yet. We are no longer capable of distinguishing between what is real and what is virtual, as we did at the beginning of the digital story. Our lives, bodies, emotions, feelings and memories are strongly embedded in the digital world. For better or worse, we are living in a technological era which is re-defining how we think, learn, love, work. What does it mean to be a digital persona? What is the role of algorithms, the digital unconscious and knowledge networks.

This collective MOOC involves distinguished experts in the field of digital culture in open discussion. They present their own reflections on these questions, and their contributions take us through the changing landscape of self, society and technology, transforming hopes and criticism into food for thought.

Whatever your reason for joining this MOOC, you can explore the questions with our experts to clarify your own responses.

You can exploit the course in 2 ways:

1. Serendipity

Play a game of Fortune. Choose any expert as your starting point and then randomly construct your own learning journey through digital culture. You will discover your own logic and connections between the different contributions. Using the coursebook, you can record and comment your journey, and share it with other users. 

Click on the video tutorial to find out more about the Coursebook feature.

2. Guided tour

You can see these MOOC lessons as conceptual sets that navigate you through the changing technological and societal landscape. Each set offers you different perspectives and challenges to reflect on and enjoy:

(i) Situating individual minds within the landscape (Bogliolo, Sorrentino, de Waard, Webster)

(ii) Mapping emerging territories and directing the individual within the new socio-technical regimes (Orban, Weinberger, Downes, Miranda)

(iii) Describing/redescribing paradigms and realities (Boyd, Kerkhove, Powe, van Heusden).

In this lesson of the Digital Dis-courses, B.W. Powe explores and describes visionary aspects of the global theatre (aka the global village), the effects of electricity, the role of imagination in discovering and creating meaning, and the identity code that is at the heart of our search. In his second lesson he shares his view of the future of education. 

Course Structure

  • Lesson 1 - Into the Unknown and the New, ESP without LSD: Media, Metaphysics and Poetics
  • Lesson 2 - IBrain Teaching and Learning, or How We can Talk to the NetGen (Experiences in the Class-room and on the Lecture Circuit)


B.W. Powe

B.W. Powe (Ph.D.) is a philosopher, poet, storyteller and essayist. He's an Associate Professor of English Literature in the Department of English at Toronto's York University. Since 2011, he's been affiliated with the University of Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, where he's been working on a virtual project-process called Opening Time: On the Energy Threshold, in collaboration with Cristina de Miranda Almeida and Matteo Ciastellardi. His newest works are Decoding Dust (Poems and Lines), and The Tigers of Perception (a multi-media essay).