Monday, April 26, 2010

Research Out on the Edges

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) have defined Educational Technology as such, “The study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources” (Januszewski, A., Molenda, M., 2008 p.1)

Initially I struggled with the language in this brief definition. I found it linear and hinted towards a dedication to the value of efficiency and perhaps a data driven scientific tradition. As a researcher in the field of educational technology my goal is to come to a collective point of view that includes and values my experience as a classroom teacher. This experience is not linear and has led me to believe that efficiency and the separated notion of cause and effect will not be of much assistance in my understanding of my story of who I am as a teacher/technologist. I do not separate thinking from doing. It is a dialogue with understanding. “To recognize the dialectic is to recognize that realities are never isolated entities standing in a linear, causal relationship to one another” (Crotty 1998 p.118). So digging deep towards the boundaries in this definition I do find something I can grab onto. If I define the word facilitating as creating an environment that is suitable for exploration and the democratic use of technology, and not the control as might formally be the case, then I can connect to this definition. I struggle with our societies desire to improve performance with a need to be efficient about collecting data that demonstrates measurable achievement. My study will not measure performance, on the contrary it will be more about making connections in a more nebulous way. It is hoped that the understanding that will be revealed from my work will be knowledge constructed and connected in the activity of shared understanding in the power of stories.

That being said I would like to bring my sense of self and my confusion to this definition and place all of it out on the edges of this framework where it may reside within the words study and reflective practice. “That is study refers to information gathering and analysis beyond the traditional conceptions of research” (2008, p. 1). Out on the edges on the boundary of what Clandinin & Connelly (2000) call a formalistic view. Here I feel the tension between worlds.

References Today are:

Clandinin, D. G., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Crotty, M. (1998). The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process. London ; Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Januszewski, A., Molenda, M., & Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (2008). Educational technology : a definition with commentary. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

21st Century - you know...

I wish we could call it something else but this video fills me with hope. I wonder when we will think like this in Alberta?