Saturday, September 27, 2014

Techie issue - why can I not use the carriage return - my posting are entirely one paragraph?

Returning after time away

I am amazed to see that this blog has been read in the last couple of months. The ideas are still dear to me. The writing of this thesis changed my life so that I see the world differently now: in the past I thought that other people had firm knowledge and that I struggled to understand that knowledge and remember it. Now I see that all knowledge is tentative and socially constructed. This different understanding has changed my life.

Today I am returning to this blog (and many others that I have begun) for two reasons - to increase my understanding of the technologies and to share my thinking about the freedom of ideas so that others who are interested can talk with me about the ideas.

Since I retired a couple of years ago I have found that my way of working is interesting to lots of people. (It is threatening to some people too - but that is another story - part of my current learning is figuring out how to reassure and build good relations with a couple of people who have not understood my actions - and the misunderstanding has led to hurt.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


where is the page?

A living thesis

I am returning after busy times to pause and build this thesis afresh. It is over a year since I have been here.

I am returning to experiment (more or less systematically) with all sorts of networking. The overall title for my explorations of the next year (yes, all of 2011) is to do with BBF - building better futures. Anything that links to that is fair game for activities and conversations of the coming year.

I have written about this in Learn site for Sustainability Education. This site will, of course, not be accessible to people who are not at UC. I will copy the material because it helps with my story/reflections.

Friday, August 7, 2009

(19) RSS feed - clarifying my thinking

I am exploring RSS feed. This is because Jane replied to a previous posting - about this.

As I understand it, RSS feed allows immediate info when someone posts something in a blog or in a forum etc. within a social networking site.

For example, I think, tentatively that

* on Twitter you get immediate feed from those people/groups you identify

* within Moodle and other LMS it is possible to "subscribe" to forums - this means you get an email every time there is a posting

* if I set up a home page of some kind (like on Google) I can put RSS feeds onto it and see what has happened when I look at it. It would be possible to put an RSS feed from a blog onto that. That would solve Jane's problem.

* blogger allows me to RSS from a blog using "Subscribe to" and provides options including *Google, *Bloglines, *Netvibes *Newsgater, *Yahoo, *Atom. And I can choose whether to subscribe to fresh entries and/or comments. But it seems as though, to do this, I need to be using one of the list above - I think it is actually Yahoo that I have played with - will revisit that someday soon.

* In wetpaint there is a list of 55 places I can share material with. It includes all the above plus Twitter and a heap of things I have not heard of.

* BLoglines was interesting - it let me see a list of my own postings.

However - my problem is that I have not gotten into the habit of using my Google homepage in this way and I do not know if I want to. Might do this job? And if it does, which would I use.

I want ask colleagues about this. (possibly 601? Christina? Nikki?) or Gordon, Derek, Niki?

(18) Investigations in complexity - kindle

This posting is about bringing three ideas together and exploring knowledge construction.

(1) I had a phone conference last week with 8/13 people enrolled in EDUC601. It became clear as I was talking with them that the investigation I am asking them to undertake is substantially different from other investigations (or research activities) that they have been asked to undertake. I want to tease out the difference as it is fundamentally related to the ideas I was developing in my thesis (2003).

(2) The Avonside research project (RULT) project that Lindsey and I are writing up has had feedback to say that we should strengthen our findings. We agree - it takes a lot of careful explanation to move a reader who is embedded in one paradigm to get even a glimmer of understanding about what is being said in another.

Rose sent the following: This question from EE (enviromental educator) Stephen Sterling might help: "How can we design in an open and non-deterministic way. educational systems and institutions that promote healthy emergence?" (2001, p.80)

Non-determinism is the key word here - I want to clarify how it relates to complexity thinking and emergence (I can see it but not articulate it).

What I am exporing here is non-determinism in relation to research processes (it is something to do with open-ended investigation where findings are found, but when we set out we do not know what they will be). We do, however, know the general domain of inquiry.

(1 & 2) The domain for EDEM601 participants is praxis.

(3) Capitalising on random interest - Kindle. As I was working away this morning, feeding material into the EDEM601 website, I heard Kim Hill interview someone who loved Kindle (it was the guy who invented blogs). You can load books into Kindle and read them where-ever - and it looks like a book - light is reflected off the screen and it is very portable, smaller than a paperback - and you can search within the text and hold heaps of books).

I got interested and googled Kindle and learnt that it works on wireless in teh states but in other parts of the world Google does not have wireless - but you can access material through a PC (not an Apple) and download it through USB - US marines in Germany do not miss having wireless. But - they will only send Kindle machine through a US mailing address - so you need a contact.

(1 & 3) The exercise of finding this out happened just at the same time as I was thinking about investigations - this juxtaposition made me think about an ongoing investigation of mine which is to keep up with and use technologies - in particular the web effectively (all the social networking sites and blogs and etc. - I struggle with figuring out what is going on and how to handle all the possibilities).

So I diverted from thinking about 601 investigations to thinking about my own e-investigation. I do not know what is going to come up that is relevant. BUt if something comes up it is worth noting it and following up (if and when I can find the time) It means that, occasionally and retrospectively, I can summarise for myself, where I have got to with my learning about e-technologies.

And, periodically, I chat with colleagues who have expertise about the things I am puzzling over or I share my insights with them. That adds to my knowledge.

(1 & 2 & 3) This is an example for me of non-deterministic investigation. I am interested in e-technologies (the underlying investigaton); I do not know where I might be in my investigation in three month's time. And random things happen - like hearing Kim Hill.

A non-determinist investigation relies on noticing and documenting the random events so that, at the end of the investigation it is possible to summaries what has been learnt.

(Not that my investigation will end, but it does have end points where I summarise learning for myself - in a similar way, 601 people need to round off their investigations in time to hand in their portfolios - even if they continue with them for evermore.

So - this blog entry helps me sort out what a non-deterministic investigation is. Great!

Friday, May 22, 2009

(17) From 2004 - on researching

This entry was written on 30 Aug 2004. I am gradually rationalising my previous attempts at blogging into just one place. It is relevant now because Bridget Somekh has asked me to write about teaching quant research to practicing teachers.

This was the only entry in a blog called "Researching"

"The meaning of life"

No, actually, I am not so deeply concerned about the meaning of life, today.

Rather I want to wonder a bit about what it means to try to make sense of the way in which we (people at large, but particularly teachers and educators and learners and all those who think about how knowledge is constructed ... do I mean philosophers, perhaps) think about and understand knowledge and learning.

I want to do this because I want to think afresh about the ways in which these ideas might help us all (all that big list from the last paragraph) to think about the place of research within education.

I teach research methods (quantitative stuff - an overhang from a past life) and I use other, more reflective tools in my own thinking - it is this tension that I want to play with. It may seem odd - but it is not really a tension for me.