Journal

 

Saturday, September 1st 2012.

My focus on CHAT seems to have taken a back seat at the moment as our forthcoming Short Film Festival continues to take up most of my spare time.

 

Sunday, September 2nd 2012.

Today I updated the Literature review with the paraphrase and understanding discussion. I've put it towards the end of '3.1 Introduction to the Literature Review'.

 

Monday, September 3rd 2012.

I'm toying with the idea of 'deconstructionism' as the affordances of the digital domain facilitate both trial-and-error and reverse engineering.

 

Tuesday, September 4th 2012.

It's probably better to just use the 'D' word and explain it rather than make too much of a big deal over it (i.e. propose a new theoretical framework or epistemology).

 

Wednesday, September 5th 2012.

It turns out that 'deconstructionism' is a term which is already in use as a form of semiotic analysis and it is also associated with postmodernism. I do not wish to explore that literature so I think I'll just let it go.

 

 

Thursday, September 6th 2012.

The CHAT discussion group from Deakin University sent out a brochure for the 'Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning Research Working Group Gathering'. In this brochure I was surprised to read the following statement: 'The central strand of sociocultural theory (SCT) and cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) is that the human mind is mediated' (Original emphasis). I hadn't realised that mediation was so important. I'm still not sure why this is significant. Does it just mean that the mind can't be studied directly? With neuroscience I thought that some aspects of the brain can be studied directly. Is the difference then between brain and mind?

 

Friday, September 7th 2012.

I've started a new morning routine where I spend some time working on Storyboard before I get out of bed. This seems to work better than doing it late at night when my mind is tired. The other benefit is that I sometimes wake up with idea which I might have been thinking about subconsciously during the night.

 

Saturday, September 8th 2012.

I've been thinking about false dichotomies. This resulted from my recent readings on conceptual change where researchers were characterised as being from either the 'knowledge as information' or 'knowledge as theory' camps (Özdemir & Clark 2007). I'm thinking that false dichotomies are generally from one rather than two errant assumptions. It's not the two ends of the continuum but the continuum itself which therefore constitutes the false assumption.

 

Sunday, September 9th 2012.

I've just come across the thesis whisperer blog at http://thesiswhisperer.com. I've already found a useful idea which is to think in terms of writing chunks constituting ideas rather than thinking in terms of chapters. This really works for me because I'm often moving sections around within my thesis. Now I'm more likely to finish writing and then concerning myself with where it belongs which is ultimately more conducive to my preferred writing style.

 

Monday, September 10th 2012.

I've been reflecting on (supervisor) Nick's question from our last meeting about whether I think that TPACK is about learning or teaching. TPACK is a section within my Literature review which really needs to be expanded.

 

Tuesday, September 11th 2012.

I've been reading at http://tpack.org about how the word 'technology' is meaningless to many students now that it has become ubiquitous.

 

Wednesday, September 12th 2012.

My thinking about TPACK is now moving towards the need for content based uses of ICT.

 

Thursday, September 13th 2012.

Today I set up a blog for the Storyboard thesis called 'Animating Best Practice at http://storyboard.global2.vic.edu.au/ (Note: This blog was subsequently deleted on 27th September 2012)

 

Friday, September 14th 2012.

I received an email from the new 'Ultranet' coordinator for our school district. I've set up a meeting to discuss changes associated with the Ultranet Learning Management System (LMS).

 

Saturday, September 15th 2012.

I came across an interesting web site at http://60secondscience.net. This site contains many videos and animations which explain scientific concepts.

 

Sunday, September 16th 2012.

I've been reading an article which questioned the effectiveness of typical PD sessions for ICT. (McGrath, J., Karabas, G., & Willis. J. (2011). From TPACK concept to TPACK practice: An analysis of the suitability and usefulness of the concept as a guide in the real world of teacher development. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 7(1), 1-23).

 

Monday, September 17th 2012.

Further reading of the McGrath, Karabas and Willis article (2011) uncovered three basic assumptions which informed the conception of TPACK:

  1. Teaching is an ill-structured activity (p. 5)
  2. Digital technologies have unique characteristics (p. 6)
  3. Technologies are not neutral (p. 8)

 

Tuesday, September 18th 2012.

Today I was contacted by an ICT coordinator from a nearby primary school about forming a local network of ICT coordinators. I had to decline as the proposed meeting date and time is when I have School Orchestra rehearsals but I said that I was happy to receive meeting minutes via email.

 

Wednesday, September 19th 2012.

I revisited; Dron, J. (2012) The Pedagogical-technological Divide and the Elephant in the Room. International Journal on E-Learning, 11(1), 23-38 to read his LMS critique in preparation for my meeting with the Ultranet instructor who is visiting me tomorrow.

 

Thursday, September 20th 2012.

The Ultranet instructor pointed out some improvements with the Ultranet but none of them were compelling enough to get all of students back onto this system. Main main reason beyond the obvious administration time is that the functionality can be found elsewhere in more accessible ways. Some of our staff already have blogs, wikis and podcasts to showcase student's work which don't require parents to set up usernames and passwords.

 

Friday, September 21st 2012.

I've decided not to be the ICT at school (work) in 2013 as that will give me much more time for other things such as finishing this thesis. I also feel that the position is best suited to a classroom teacher who can lead by example from their Grade or a non-teaching person that has sufficient time to visit classrooms.

 

Saturday, September 22nd 2012.

I had a discussion with a good friend about my ICT decision for 2013. He was saying that the 'why' questions are more important than the 'what' or 'how' questions for implementing an initiative.

 

Sunday, September 23rd 2012.

I've been reading about Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). This curiosity was as much about my ICT role at school and recent Ultranet discussions as it was about my Storyboard research.

 

Monday, September 24th 2012.

I had a meeting with my supervisors today. A submission time line was planned as follows:

 

Tuesday, September 25th 2012.

I'm now thinking of the conceptual consolidation / conceptual change distinction as being like the difference between patterns and shapes. Conceptual change could be likened to categorisation where decisions are made about attributes which could result in the observation of patterns. Conceptual consolidation is more about beholding each concept as it is regardless of similarities because every different concept (shape) is ultimately unique.

I also started a new section '3.1 Mediation and metaphor' in the Literature review.

 

Wednesday, September 26th 2012.

Today I was emailed two readings from my supervisor Susan. The first was: Paley, G. P. (2007). On Listening to What the Children Say. Harvard Educational Review, 77(2), 152-163. This article is mainly about curiosity and the importance of truly listening to children. Above and beyond this theme, an anecdote which she recalled about the notion of 'birthdays' made quite an impression on me. I have since included this anecdote in section '3.2 Approaches and methods for researching conceptual consolidation' in the Literature review as a ubiquitous concept. Although this concept is of great interest to young children, the actual dynamics of this concept are very interesting. 'What, for instance, could it possibly mean to be born on this day a long time ago?' (Paley 2007, p. 156).

 

Thursday, September 27th 2012.

Today I removed my blog. I decided that it is not worth having unless I am going to give it some regular attention. I'd rather focus my attention of my thesis which includes this reflexive journal. I've always thought of this reflexive journal as a blog except that the entries are not published each day as I prefer to proofread them later and upload them one month at a time.

 

Friday, September 28th 2012.

I've had a breakthrough today from reading; Rapp, D. (2007). Mental Models: Theoretical Issues for Visualizations in Science Education. in Gilbert, J. K. (Ed.) Visualization in Science Education. Netherlands: Springer. (pp. 43-60). This notion of 'mental models' is my connection with the literature as it has the same system and variables dynamics as my definition of a concept.

 

Saturday, September 29th 2012.

There is an additional benefit from the 'mental models' breakthrough which I mentioned yesterday. A challenge with mental models is trying to understand what a student's mental model is. The Storyboard project makes the children's mental models accessible as they are constantly trying to represent and refine their mental models through the explanatory animation creation task.

 

Sunday, September 30th 2012.

I've just added Engeström's 'Expansive learning model' and 'Change laboratory' to section '8.3 Creativity, emergence and ideation' in the Discussion section. This is mainly to remind me to investigate these ideas further at a later date.

 

 

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