About my research

My research was set in the context of the European Commission’s eTwinning initiative and it looked specifically at the use of eTwinning Learning Events (non-formal learning). It examined how the community influences the development of teachers’ competence in online collaboration and discourse, and it considered the contribution of social aspects and online moderation.

I am very grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Julie-Ann Sime from Lancaster University, and to my eTwinning soulmate, Tiina Sarisalmi, for their invaluable support. And to my examiners, Prof. Marilyn Leask from the University of Bedfordshire and Dr. Don Passey from the University of Lancaster, for their valuable advice.
Keywords: online learning communities; community of inquiry; online collaboration; content analysis; social presence; social ties; teacher training

Monday, 25 April 2011


As an epilogue to my previous posting, I think it is worth sharing the experience that I am having in reading two books in parallel, using two quite different technologies.

The first, by Savin-Baden, arrived by post approximately one week after being ordered from Book Depository in the UK - a wonderful service that offers books on the continent, and elsewhere, at competitive prices and NO POSTAGE. Fantastic! As ever with a new book, I enjoyed sifting through the pages to get a feel for the contents and carried it studiously in my Bench bag until such time as I had a few minutes to read an excerpt.

The second, by Becker, was mine within seconds of my finding it on the web and downloading it to my iPad. To be more precise, selecting it and buying it online from Amazon.com (apparently, Amazon.co.uk has IPR issues with buyers living in Belgium; I say living, as I was in Spain at the time of purchase). Taking my lightweight, slim iPad with me everywhere, I have access to all my academic papers and, more specifically, my newly downloaded book by Becker. The highlighting is not easy but - and here's the delight - my highlighted text is available anywhere online via Amazon and, moreover, having downloaded the Kindle app for PC, I have access to my book on my desktop complete with the highlights that I did on the plane. Moreover it was easy to cut and paste them to my previous posting.

On the other hand, for the paper book, I had to find the relevant page and highlight, and retype in the text (I guess I could have scanned it and used character recognition software, but that would have been too onerous).

So, as you may have guessed, I am convinced about the advantage of an eBook and of having my notes / highlights synchronised across devices. But a word of caution; no reading the iPad during take off and landing, or on the few occasions that the sun actually shines in Brussels and one is lured into the garden by the thought of recharging one's vitamin D. Ah well, you can't have everythin


1 comment:

  1. You can't have everythin ? Subliminal message here Brian?