I acknowledge at this time technology offered me respite from the conflict of the everyday and virtual reality, alternate reality and mixed mode reality really presented as an appealing escape from the conflicts I was experiencing. I soon learned though that virtual worlds were not the answer to my engagement with the very communities I sought to empower that “immersion” in a den of flickering periphery swamp and my relationships particularly with my family soon suffered. I spent a huge amount of time connected to all manner of virtual avatarian activity and yet in reality it was imploding around me.
I was working long hours with EDUPOV and we had decided to rename the company to Streamfolio Pty Ltd and switch away from reselling body worn cameras and focus on data management which was again a fateful error. The main issues again were the constant shift and lack of clear constitution to the company that was running in the red and often we would clash philosophically as Directors regarding the ‘profit led means fed’ mentality.
My family would parody me as I punched away into the manual keyboard on my phone or laptop. I would spend many hours and days immersed in my online inquiry, trawling Facebook for a glimmer of recognition mainly by my ridiculous postings which now looking back were a test of the platform and service itself. I did over a number of years drill down deeply into how it worked only ever to find a seemingly endless array of changes, ambiguity of privacy and as I watched around me a profound change in the manner by which others interacted as a result of their time on Facebook.
To me it always seemed that Facebook was clever version of the very systems I’d engaged with learners around the world when teaching with Open Learning Australia (OLA) through the distance education unit at Curtin University in Perth Western Australia from 1998 to 2002. These art history units involved conversing with individuals in many different international locations using an archaic learning management system called WebCT. Through that year I explored what other platforms were in development at the time and soon became involved closely with the iterative development of the ELGG e-portfolio platform and the Moodle e-learning learning management platform both of which provided learners with the ability to download and upload digital data as well as converse with others using forums and web pages.
“…So, in early 2008 I was already reflecting on my early attempts to demonstrate the using of mobile and networked connected devices to build online repositories or chronology life-logging spaces which could visually and audibly demonstrate an engagement with an individual, a group or a team of users of a device to an online internet enhanced platform or service. At this stage these wearable devices were principally capture and retain devices yet, as my earlier works with mobile learning were to evidence, the role of location and GIS was just about to explode across the enablement for these devices”.