As part of our H800 course we use First Class (FC). This can be used as an agent of control over students and tutors alike. Consider these functions (much loved by many tutors)
1. It is easy to collect posts by any individual together so working out how much we have done is made simple.
2. There is the power to delete messages by anyone with the right priviledges (not sure htis has been used on H800 but it is quite defitely used elsewhere).
3. Even if the student does not write they leave clear and easily observed footprints. WHo has opened a post and whether they have downloaded anything is easy to see.
4. Outside of First Class it is easy to see who has signed in and when they last did so.
The fact that the new Moodle Platform may not replicate some of these functions is casuing distress to some tutors. SO we might choose to assume the current VLE is used as an agent of hierarchical control, at least to some extent. Here is a question: does the INteractive WHiteboaard fulfil the same function in school. Is the IWB an agent of control, sucking in the minds and eyes of the pupils like some sort of sick hypnosis?