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DIGITAL ESSAY PROPOSAL #participatorylearning

May 7, 2015 by meghastie   

Here are my proposed ideas.

Yes, I have two at this stage. Some may call it indecisive (eg my husband), others would call it having wide-ranging passions and an endless curiosity (eg me)…

The readings  I’ve included come from the course outline mainly – my attempt to demonstrate where it’s all coming from in the course.

Topic 1

  1. I am planning to look at the role of teachers and their professional development in the rapidly changing educational context.  It would focus on discussions around the intersection between pedagogy, digital literacy and digital implementation against a backdrop of the concepts around contemporary youth and futures education.

Rationale – The reason why I would choose this topic is that a foundational element of changing learning and education is identifying and supporting teachers as the core change agents / sources of innovation in schools and learning. My real passions are pedagogy, how learning happens, educational spaces and innovation  –  I know, that’s a lot!!   The intersection with digital literacy and its implementation is new for me, particularly the focus on moving beyond the latest exciting products, and into the discussion of how technology enables learning, and the evidence for that.  In particular some of the issues surrounding concepts such as “digital natives”, and the youth culture – moving from generalisations to evidence.  I’m aware that I will need to hone this topic down, but I’m wanting to start reading broadly, chasing a few rabbits down holes before narrowing down the field.

I’m taking one aspect where I have current knowledge and interest – pedagogy and learning – and marrying it with some of the new ideas and research coming directly out of this course. I love exploring the ideas of what education could look like – or should look like –  if we were to respond courageously and authentically to what research is telling us about learning, globalisation and our world.  I’m also keen to explore some of the research-based understandings we now have from neuroscience etc, about teenagers and the research on information-seeking behaviour.

Where my project becomes riskier for me is that I want the form of the digital essay to mirror the ideas of future learning, even though this is not my area of familiarity.  I loved the way the Kafka essay worked – that was amazing!!

Key research foundations –

Work of Michael Fullan and associates,

Work of Larry Cuban

Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google generation will not speak: The invention of digital natives. Nebula, 6. Retrieved from

Philip, T. M., & Garcia, A. D. (2013). The Importance of still teaching the iGeneration: New technologies and the centrality of pedagogy. Harvard Educational Review, 83(2), 300–319,400–401. Retrieved from

K. Williamson, V. Bernath, S. Wright, J. Sullivan, “Research students in the electronic age:

impacts of changing information behaviour on information literacy needs,” Communications in

Information Literacy, Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2007.

Bonk, C. J. (2009). The world is open: How web technology is revolutionizing education. John Wiley & Sons.

S. Bennett, K. Maton and L. Kervin, “The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the

evidence,” The British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 775-786

Bridget Dalton and Dana Grisham

“Taking a position on integrating literacy and technology in the curriculum,” Reading Online,

March 2001,

Sharpe, Rhona; Beetham, Helen; de Freitas, Sara (2010). Rethinking learning for a digital age : How learners are shaping their own experiences. eBook available from CSU Library.

PEW Internet and American Life,

32 Media Literacy Audit: Adults, Ofcom, March 2, 2006,

medialit_audit.pdf and Media Literacy Audit: Report on Media Literacy amongst

children, Ofcom, May 2, 2006,


JISC, Information behaviour of the researcher of the future, CIBER briefing paper, (London:

UCL, 2007),


Topic 2

My other choice would be to look at creativity in the 21st century learning world, and how to teach / enhance it in the digital context.

Rationale –  I am equally as interested in this topic.  Again, it’s about how to take such a nebulous concept as creativity, and explore why it is currently so popular, why it should be valued, the educational  / neuroscience research behind it,  and then how that fits in the context of futures learning.  Again, I love exploring the intersection between the concept of creativity and then how that is made authentic throughout the whole learning experience.  The question of how (or even whether you can teach it / enhance it – what’s the evidence for it) to teach creativity  and then how you assess creativity in education 3.0.

Key research

The works of Ken Robinson

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (Vol. 219). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

Sefton-Green, J. (2015). How might creative youth cultures understand the nature of ‘creativity’? [Web log post]DML Central

Shaheen, R. (2010). Creativity and education. Online Submission, 1(3), 166-169. Retrieved from

Floridi, L. (2012). The fourth revolution. The Philosophers’ Magazine, (57), 96-101.

Heick, T. (2013). 30 incredible ways technology will change education by 2028. [Weblog post] Retrieved from

Philip, T. M., & Garcia, A. D. (2013). The importance of still teaching the iGeneration: New technologies and the centrality of pedagogy. Harvard Educational Review, 83(2), 300–319,400–401.

Sharpe, Rhona; Beetham, Helen; de Freitas, Sara (2010). Rethinking learning for a digital age : How learners are shaping their own experiences. eBook available from CSU Library.

Craft, A. (2003). The limits to creativity in education: Dilemmas for the educator. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 113-127. Retrieved from

Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools: Tensions and dilemmas. London: Routledge.

Creative Commons and Culture:

Davies, D., Jindal-Snape, D., Collier, C., Digby, R., Hay, P., & Howe, A. (2013). Creative learning environments in education—A systematic literature review. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8, 80-91.

Langer, J. (2012). The interplay of creative and critical thinking in instruction. In Dai, D. Y. (Ed.). (2012). Design research on learning and thinking in educational settings: Enhancing intellectual growth and functioning. Routledge.

Lassig, C. J. (2013). Approaches to creativity: How adolescents engage in the creative process. Thinking Skills and Creativity, (10)3-12.

Ravenscroft, A., Wegerif, R., & Hartley, R. (2007). Reclaiming thinking: dialectic, dialogic and learning in the digital age. BJEP Monograph Series II, Number 5-Learning through Digital Technologies, 1(1), 39-57.

Ravenscroft, A. (2011). Dialogue and connectivism: A new approach to understanding and promoting dialogue-rich networked learning. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 12(3). Retrieved from

Bonk, C. J. (2009). The world is open: How web technology is revolutionizing education. John Wiley & Sons.


Proposed platform

This is NOT my area of expertise.  I am deciding between just using my course blog space (thinkspace), and trying one of the examples we’ve seen – storify, trackk or blendspace.  I still need to investigate this. Part of the process for me will actually be experimenting with the HOW – big learning curve.  If I took the creativity option, I again, would like my form / mode to reflect the creativity aspect.  This would be a much more risky option, as I would be playing with form much more – both in the essay format as well as the digital mode.


I know!!

I am aware that they are big topics at the moment, and part of my researching would be to refine them down.  As bits “drop off”, I’d probably pop them in other blogposts, either to be used as part of the broader discussion, or just for my own sake.

I’ve found since being online with the “old dogs” the other night and also hearing some of my more experienced cohort chat about the blogging process / online community and world, I’m having a considerable shift in terms of my own understanding regarding the whole shebang.





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