I’m entering the next phase of my dissertation. First up is a survey I will conduct with a group of people in the educational field. After discussing the matter with a fellow student and my mentor, I will be gathering information from a diverse group. Teachers from all levels of education, but also IT and supporting staff. I’m hoping to get a broad picture of how they connect with others, find information both online and offline and how they use this information in their professional lives. Next are the interviews. Based upon the results, I will conduct a more in-depth interview with a number of people from the survey group. The idea is to collect more qualitative data on the subject. I would like to know why people do things in a certain way (or not) and how this affects their workflow.
After the data-gathering phase, I’ll try to connect the data to the theories I’ve used in my dissertation (constructivism – Bruner, Driscoll, Vygotsky; connectivism – Siemens, Downes; personal learning networks – Downes, Richardson, Mancabelli; technology enhanced learning environments – Beetham, Sharpe, Salmon).
In the mean time, I’ve had some interesting discussions with a couple of colleagues about the need for some kind of private space versus the open networks at hand and how they can affect students work and even their career afterwards. Important concerns were raised about the need for a “safe” environment where students can learn and reflect. Throwing everything into the open could provide the attitude of displaying only the successes that occurred, instead of a true learning curve displaying both the successes and failure. Something to think about.