Sunday, 10 May 2015

Deep research diving

I'm going to either become very quiet or very noisy in the next few weeks as I dive into my next research topic for my last (yikes, how fast did that go) assignment for INF530.

This is my research proposal:

1. Proposal Topic
Language learning and the new digital information ecology
2. Proposed digital tools and/or spaces to be used
This is a tool I've wanted to experiment with for a while, and I think it can be used to encompass all the multi-media affordances required for this essay. Eventually I'd like to expand on it and turn it into a resource for our students, educators and families.
3. Rationale
Previous research has indicated that successful language acquisition is the result of the combination of optimising factors relating to the child (student), family, school and community. These can be considered to operate in inter-relationships in a knowledge ecology. 
The affordances of digital technology in education combined with global connectedness allow unprecendented opportunities to leverage the connected learning principles of 
  • production centered
  • openly networked 
  • shared purpose
within language learning, however the current structures of education may ignore or limit these opportunities due to institutional (or familial) fear, ignorance or perceived loss of control. 
This essay will look at the work of Seely, Hatie, Bawden, Ng, Siemans, Downes, Ford, Perrault etal. to examine learning design and the information environment and discuss how the learning systems and constituents allow for zones of intervention within the language learning ecology to leverage learning - sychronous and asynchronous, local and global and allow students and their families a greater locus of control over language learning. 
A particular focus will be mother tongue learning, an area often neglected by schools, who state they unable to justify supporting a large number of minority languages formally. I will argue this may be the result a failure of imagination and the application of digital technology and collaborative learning rather than a lack of resources.

So far I've been collecting some research and readings into (search terms - yes I do start with google scholar and then the university federated search and then the bibliography/citations of the articles I read that are worth while). My quest right now is to find the expert(s):
to mention a few, and I've come up with a wealth of articles and research studies. Seems I'm not the first to join the party here! (duh, as if). 

My ultimate goal is to create an iBook (of which this digital essay will be but a small 1,800 word part) geared to all the stakeholders in the language learning ecology of an international school (specifically the one I'm working at). 

So, a call out to everyone and anyone with useful leads for me to follow up (besides the 30 odd articles and one book - "Social networking for language education" I'll be digging into in the next week)