Sunday, February 6, 2011

'Crisping' up the research pitch

Architects of Innovative Learning Environments: A Descriptive Case Study

Doctoral Research Question:

How do teachers make sense of their experiences with new and emerging technologies (innovation and change) such as the iPad?

1. Background

(Perhaps because I am a teacher I believe your experience is important)

· I wish to clarify the complexity of your teaching experience as you engage with innovation and change.

· I also wish to promote understanding and empathy of your experience and your perceptions, within the iPad project

(Because a teacher’s experience is both unique and common, your story has the potential to “teach”)

· Your story will be the foundation for my doctoral dissertation

· Your story may inform future strategies to support fellow teachers

· The lessons learned may inform future school reform and professional development opportunities for teachers

2. What you will be asked to do

(Because understanding is social, takes place over time and best done within it natural setting)

· Participate in ongoing dialogue within your school day 6-8 weeks

· Share your choice of apps and how the iPad is used in teacher administration such as lesson plans, day plans, calendars

· Allow me to take photos to describe the classroom and iPad use (no students) I will ask for your permission before any photos of you are used in future presentations

3. My Role

Because I believe I will not learn your story by becoming a burden or making you uncomfortable

· I am only interested in your experience with the iPad, however I am willing to participate in any classroom activities (an extra set of supportive hands in a busy classroom)

· My presence will provide an opportunity for dialogue and perhaps personal reflection

· I will be keeping field texts to describe setting, make observations, capture conversations and reflect on my own experience

· I will try to capture and honour your voice and provide opportunities for you to clarify your story

4. My Beliefs

· We are connected through story, we make sense of experience by telling stories

· We do not make it easy for students to be innovative by making it difficult for teachers to be innovative

· Technology changes quickly, teachers will regularly come into contact with technology they have no experience with

· Innovation (Architects of learning) requires teachers to teach differently than they were taught

· People not technology will be the solutions to problems


  1. I am behind this all the way! I am trying to develop a similar project at my local Community College. Tablets and their uses in schools are things that need to be implemented asap. This technology is the future of our classrooms. As a compass it will help guide the students on an interactive experience to knowledge. Teachers, students, and parents all need to begin discussing the uses and capabilities of these devices

  2. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I have completed my research and I am now writing my dissertation. Teachers are being asked to teach in ways that they were not taught when they use emerging technology such as tables. In some cases that can be scary, other teachers thrive on the newness. What I found is that teachers are being supported in some cases with collaborative learning communities but not enough. What seems to be happening is a heavy reliance on the capacity a teacher has for learning. We need to find ways of better supporting teachers with their learning. Teachers bend over backwards creating learning environments that are supportive for diverse learners. But what affordances are there for teacher-learners?
    I also found that teachers need and want a whole bag of tricks. One technology will not serve all of our needs. Tables have a unique place in learning because of their portability and service to any time any place inquiry. Still it all comes down to, not technology, but what is knowledge? What is learning? What is school for any way?

  3. Nancy,
    I noticed that this was posted about a year ago - I'd love to read your work! Is there a place I can find it?

    1. I have just successfully defended my work!!!I am in the process of dealing with revisions at the moment and soon I will turn my attention back to this blog. It has been a very intensive process that has taken most of my energy and time to complete.
      Thank you for your interest.