Saturday, July 30, 2016

Getting my CALL on!

Εύρηκα! (eureka)
There is nothing like a deadline to get you going - that's all I have to say!  A while back, like last January or something, a colleague asked me if I would be interested in presenting at an IALLT webinar on a topic of my choosing - it just had to do with technology and education.  I generally don't have a problem with coming up with topic to talk about, but this particular topic gave me pause to ponder.  While I can talk about pedagogy and technology in general, pedagogy and technology in the context of a language classroom is not something I actively think about. I know, it's a bit odd since I have both an MA in Applied Linguistics and I work for a department of applied linguistics!  My own research ponderings have taken me away from the linguistic side of things, although like dark side it's alluring and I often think about it.

Anyway, I couldn't really come up with a topic then and there because EDDE 804 was taking up all of my brain's bandwidth at the time. That, and the NERCOMP Instructional Design Symposium last April meant that I deferred the presentation until April 2017.  Since I was remiss in providing any substantive details to my colleague (and with the kind reminder on her part :-) ), I needed to put something together.  What came to me immediately was resurrecting a topic that I had toyed with in the past as a potential dissertation topic.  The topic was  using MOOCs for language learning.  I had also presented a poster about it at the annual NERCOMP conference (our local Educause affiliate) a few years back).

I was particularly sick that day. I only really attended because I wanted to present the poster and engage with folks about it :-).  Anyway.  MOOCs kind of cooling off for me now.  I still like open learning, and the idea of MOOCs, but I think the concept is tainted. So, sitting out on my balcony, I was thinking to myself - what is it about this topic that really lit my fire?  Was it the (c)MOOC itself? Was it OER?  Was it the unknown?  Perhaps it was being outside, in nature(ish), or perhaps it was the lack of screens, or that I was reading about lurkers.  But it came to me!  What really was interesting was networks.  MOOCs are a conduit for networks, and the idea that appealed to me was not the MOOC, but rather the idea of language learning in a network - and how networks can be developed and supported in a language learning classroom.  There might be a little bit of a rhizome in there.

So, here is my  proposed title:  Language Learning in Networks: Tools and Frameworks for Open Language Learning

And my description: Networks are all around our.  Our classrooms are small, transient, networks of learners, but we don't have to limit ourselves (and our learners) to the networks that exist in our classroom.  Using technologies which allow us to network, open learning tools and resources, and fellow language learners around the globe, we can enrich our language classrooms, and the classrooms of our colleagues in other places.  In this session we will discuss networks and digital citizenship, how it is relevant in the language classroom, and what types of tools can be used to enable language learners to gain a glimpse into the emic perspective of the language and culture they are learning.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

CLMOOC week 2 - the remixening

I wasn't particularly inspired by week 2 of CLMOOC least no muses were speaking to me.
So cleared my mind
    and went through CLMOOC's timeline
on Facebook
with an empty mind
and submerged myself in the stream.
A posting by Stephanie Loomis popped out  -
an article
on Hybrid Pedagogy.
I read it.
It was interesting.
You should read it.
I remixed the image.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Text-based blog...feels like forever ago!

It feels like forever ago that I actually posted something by text on the blog. This summer has been much more action packed than I had anticipated.  Between teaching, virtually connecting, and taking my own course, MDDE 702, there hasn't been a dull moment!

I am actually quite happy that I ended up taking the refresher course on qualitative research methods. While the concepts weren't new to me, I did love the opportunity to actually work on part of my dissertation proposal and receive some feedback before I actually start the seminar in which I develop the first good draft of my proposal (EDDE 805). I also liked being the same course as members of other cohorts. This gives me both an opportunity to see what's a little down the road for me, by observing and talking to people in the cohorts ahead of me, and it gives me an opportunity to relive some of the things that I already went through these past few years, via cohorts that started after my own cohort started.

So, this summer I worked on getting my research methods chapter done.  Well, there is much more to be done (can't base a research methods section only on one textbook!), but the foundations and rationales are there.  I ordered a couple of books on Case Study as a method since that's where I am heading at the moment, which I will use to bolster this chapter either in the fall, or next spring as I am taking EDDE 806. The current version of the chapter is 15 pages.  It expect to the adding 5-6 more pages of background once I get to reading the additional books on case studies, so that page count seems respectable. I think anything beyond that is just overkill. There is no reason for a dissertation chapter on the research methods that is more than that.

One of the interesting pieces of feedback I received had to do with potentially having to discuss (in my methods section) why I didn't pick other methods to explore my problem.  It appears that the constitution of my committee will ultimately be the deciding factor as to whether or not I need to say why I didn't pick ethnography, discourse analysis, phenomenology, or any other method to explore my questions.  At this point in time it seems rather odd that I would be asked to say why I didn't use other methods. It makes sense to defend why I picked the case study approach as it provides a boundary and a rationale for my choices. However discussing other methods in details and why they don't work seems rather pedantic and unnecessary. Your thoughts?

Now, time to go off and start my literature review for chapter 2 of my proposal...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

#DigPed PEI with Amy Collier

I am not sure why my Surface Pro 3 camera decided to hyper correct the lighting in my home office, but it seems that the only way for me to be properly lit was to look at my secondary monitor, which gives the appearance of sidetalking...  Oh well.  It was a good session nevertheless :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

#DigPed PEI Unconference with Robin DeRosa and Daniel Lynds

Just a little documentation of some audio-visual texts that I was part of this past week.  Lots of fun, and mentally stimulating, despite the technical issues I had :-)  Here is a session I buddied for last week with Robin DeRosa and Daniel Lynds  from DigPed Lab PEI

Friday, July 15, 2016

Academic Social Network #facepalm

Over the years I've tried out almost every social network I could get my hands on. What can I say, I love tinkering and trying new things :-).  However, on source of irritation these days are networks like ResearchGate and  I like listing the few things that I co-author (or author for that matter) in a variety of places because (let's face it), most people aren't going to find you just by looking at your blog or website.  That said, when you're listing your fine work on these sites there is an option to upload the file itself - to make it easier for other members of that community to access your writing.

I don't mind putting up a pre-publication version of what I write but I do mind needlessly uploading PDF files of articles that are published in open access journals!  The whole point of publishing in open access journals is so that you don't have to upload copies elsewhere (and for people to be able to find them for free!). Yet, social networks like and ResearchGate do not allow me to provide a URL to the open access journal, or my website, where I can point people to without needing to upload one more thing :-/.  So, as a consequence I were emails telling me that some user requested a copy of my paper on xyz.  I would normally send them a kind email pointing them to the open access resource, my website, or the institutional repository I contribute to, but I don't even know if these requests are even legitimate.  After all, social networks like LinkedIn and (way back when!) said that people (former classmates or business acquaintances) were looking to connect with members, but those were actually false and meant to get more people to sign up. Hence, I look at some of these social networking emails with a bit of a skeptical eye. I don't want to upload my papers in a gated community when the open access option is perfectly viable!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Digital Storytelling session from DigPed Lab PEI

Just in case you missed it yesterday, here is our Virtually Connecting Session from DigPed PEI, on Digital Storytelling, from yesterday :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I decided to try something different as an introduction to CLMOOC this year.

Wonder how long it will be before I go back to lurking :p