This post shall be split into two sections; primary and secondary research.

Part 1

Figure 1. Project influences diagram.

Figure 1. Project influences diagram.

Figure 1 is the diagram I did just to briefly outline the key figures and individuals whose work is influential in my project. This is the result from the research I have completed so far and I think I have a very strong platform and well defined idea to develop on from.

Below are 3 ideas which will form the main argument of my work and the points below exemplify the content of each argument. This is proceeded by a look into the history of hypertexts, online learning, autodidactism and MOOC’s (this will be discussed in later posts).

Reliability issues of online content

  • The authority and trustworthiness of information.
  • The ability to look for credible information and skill to decipher what is relevant and reliable.
  • The democracy and widespread of blogs and wiki’s.
  • The role of Social Media in altering the channel of distribution of content.

The practice of searching for information and reading texts.

  • The surge of video tutorials and entertainment platforms such as YouTube as a learning environment.
  • The changing habits of intercepting information, from chronologically reading a book to skipping between links.
  • Participatory culture and its effect on creativity, self-learning and autonomy.
  • The effects of having immediate access to a huge wealth of information.

The change from a physical to a digital medium.

  • The change in format, from typically written work to multimedia.
  • The physical vs virtual security of content (a book is constant, a webpage can become unavailable and is forever gone).
  • The implications of developing our knowledge and collective intelligence and how effectively we are achieving this.

My methodology of research revolves around looking for content that consider the three ideas above, as well as the historical context section. Below is a word document I have attached which is all of my notes that I have made on current sources. This is the beginning of my secondary research.

Current research notes

I have 26 sources and 7500 words of notes which, as I stated above, is a good start to my research. However I have an average of 4 sources for each of the three sections, with the rest being historical and more general content. Therefore based on this I shall begin looking for material which addresses notions that are concerned with each section. Of course there are a lot of crossovers, hence why I have more general (by general I mean applicable to the whole project) research. So this now gives me a plan of action as to how to develop on from what I currently have.

Part 2

For my project I intend to interview the Head of a primary and secondary school as well as a lecturer at my University. As my project revolves around using the Internet as a tool for learning I am very interested in how this is introduced in education. Therefore these interviews will be a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into how the curriculum of school advocates the use of internet alongside teaching its students. For the primary school the interest sparks from how children from an early age are introduced to this tool and onto secondary school to see what skills they are being taught in relation to learning. Speaking to a lecturer I will discussing more of the topic as opposed to how it is used. So this interview will be more about the implications, the opportunities and limitations of using the internet for autonomous learning and directed teaching.

I want to have my ethics forms completed and sent off by the 24th June, Ideally earlier. Today I sent emails to the headteachers of St. Andrews Primary School and Debden Park High School (links below) to ask if it were possible to interview them. I explained what my project was about and made them aware of the ethics approval and consent procedure. I also have obtained the ethics forms. Now I need to begin drafting questions that I propose to use. For the purpose of documentation I have copied the contents of the email I sent out.

“Hello,

My name is George Whitworth. I am a former student at Debden Park and I am currently Studying at The University of Hertfordshire, doing a Masters degree in Screen Cultures.
For my Final Project I am partially researching into how the Internet can be utilised as a platform for learning, both autonomously and through education. I am very interested to find out about the ways in which the curriculum at your school incorporates the Internet as a tool for learning  and I want to ask if it would be possible to talk/Interview you regarding this matter.

This would be a fantastic opportunity and it would be extremely beneficial for my project. You will receive a consent and ethics form prior to any possible interview that will outline the nature of my project and the manner in which any information is used.

I very much hope this will be possible. Thank you for taking the time to read this email and I look forward to hearing your response.

Kind regards,

George Whitworth”

 

I feel that I have completed sufficient research that I have a very good understanding of my project this early on which gives me the knowledge to create the right questions for my projects benefit. I need to get on with this as it is of course necessary in obtaining ethics clearance. Also, it is most likely that I will need to provide the interviewees with questions prior to the interview. As I mentioned above I will interview a lecturer and so I will need to begin drafting questions for this too. Secondary research is a phase which I have complete control over whereas my Primary research involves the dependence of other people and so for those reasons it is extremely vital to begin with this aspect of the project straight away

St. Andrews Primary School – http://www.standrewsnorthweald.org.uk/

Debden Park High School – http://www.debdenparkhighschool.org/

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