My ‘Review of the Literature’ bit of the Dissertation is due scarily soon! I’ve been saving links to my delicious account, and I’ve ‘copied and pasted’ relevant bits and pieces from various ones onto a wikispace ……… and from there on to a Word document where each ‘link’ has its own page (well, at least I’m familiar with the content now)! It’s surely just a simple matter of making a plan and placing each page into the correct section??
………….. The trouble is that I keep getting more and more ‘leads’ to new research and new articles. For example, when I first contacted Jackie Marsh, she very kindly sent me a copy of one of her publications. The quote below from her article has helped to allay any fears that I should be more prescriptive about the use of blogging with my own class. She wrote:
“More frequent opportunities for more open-ended explorations would be a useful addition to current pedagogical practices. Enabling children to create blogs based on their own interests and experiences, rather than linked to a classroom-based topic, might offer opportunities for children to create networks of peers interested in similar topics, thus offering valuable learning opportunities with regard to social networking software”
This idea was echoed in her email to me when she wrote:
“I like the way you are letting the children drive the use of the blogs, that is so important if they are going to be successful. An interesting area to explore would be gendered representations of identity, it strikes me just from the pictures the children
There’s always the temptation to be seen to ‘lead’ the learning … but I’m glad now that I’ve resisted 🙂
As I read through Jackie’s paper, I noted that she’d worked with Victoria Carrington. I ‘googled’ Victoria and decided to send her an email. She’s kindly allowed me to share her advice here. She wrote:
“I read your entry about the kids in your class and their preference for bebo. This corresponds with feedback from slightly older kids in the UK and here in Australia (13 and 14 year olds). they say they use bebo because it does more interesting things than myspace, but also because they have more personal control. they’re very wary of handing over any control. the other thing that is striking is that most of the kids i’ve come across (i have a small set of early adolescents i watch here in australia and one of my doctoral students is watching another group in the UK) is that the bebo accounts are pretty much an extension and intensification of social contacts they have offline. the online-offline movement seems very fluid.
Most of my own stuff in this area has been about out-of-school learning and use of text/literacy. i will be interested to hear how these things are translating into classroom practice – whether the use of co-existing online communities enhances and/or changes the offline context of your classroom; whether it shifts the ways in which you and your students conceptualize and operationalize curriculum; whether you find yourself changing the ways in which you teach and deliver curriculum; whether a school-sourced online community will have the same features and adoption as one created by the kids outside school. will be really interesting.”
All of this is going to be so helpful for my dissertation ‘write-up’. It’s great to get personal feedback. When I contacted Jackie and Victoria, I had no idea that they both had Blogs ….. and unfortunately, instead of getting on with my Literature Review write up, I’ve been reading them!
Ok ….. I’m off now to reduce my 17,874 word count to the 8000 limit for this section of the dissertation. I need that plan (and I need it quickly!)