Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 6 - Reflections on Guest Speakers

I wanted to wait for the end of the week before committing thoughts to hypertext on our speakers this week. Overall I found the array of speakers and topics quite amazing and intellectually stimulating.

Dr. Gail Kopp's work, as I mentioned earlier this week, demonstrated for me a critical link between knowing the literature in a field, testing the assumptions based on an evolving technology, and then critically adding to the field of knowledge.

Dr. Qing Li's presentation on enactivism was actually my favourite this week! The whole concept of whether enactivism was a learning theory or a philospohical world view was important for me because as new doctoral students we need to understand our own perpectives and lenses with regards to both philosopical views and learning theories and how distinguish which is which.

Dr. Sharon Fiesen and Dr. Michele Jacob's presentation introduced me to the concept of Design-based research and I learned it is basically Action Research. The key 'take away' point for me from this presentation is the importance of having a shared vision for technology use among the different stakeholders. Educational technology research and practice are inextricably linked with strategic leadership and project management skills.

Dr. Jennifer Lock presented her work on creating a learning community for pre-service teachers. While I find the exploration of creating, managing and sustaining online learner communities facinating, especially with the added international component, I really enjoyed the brief discussion on ethics related to the research. The fact that Dr. Lock was studying her own students (albeit after their marks where in), the sensitive nature of some of the topics such as bullying and the experiences of students prior to coming to Canada could very well cause stress on the participants through the nature of the topics and the students own experiences compounded by the fact that their thoughts on these topics would be captured, read and reported on. It flagged a few points that I will remeber as I develop my own research agenda.

I am looking forward to next week's speakers and hope to learn as much as I did this first week.



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