Tag Archives: action research

Preparing for #SEACCR Data Collection – Week 5 Reflections

Photo: research

research – cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Dayna Bateman

Despite feeling a bit off the pace of my Alaskan colleagues in #SEACCR, I am persevering and pressing on with my action research  project. One thing that I have found is that my teaching schedule and planning has not exactly matched up with the timeline established for the course. Some of this is a function of jumping into the mix without a complete sense of the timeline at the start, and some of it is merely a consequence of how I have plotted out the ninth grade sections that I am observing for the project.  Unfortunately, it is not looking like these two time streams are going to align any time soon.

One thing that has absolutely crystalized for me, especially since I engaged in a much lengthier action research project last year, is my fascination with reading the research on a subject. This is one of the most fascinating aspects of any research project. I love the searching, digging, reading, discovering. I tend to collect reams of related articles and books. In fact, for my project last year I had material shipped in from Australia, fascinating stuff at that.

As a result of all of this, I always find myself feeling I have so much more to read and learn. One week’s time never felt like it would be enough. I couldn’t read enough, fast enough. Plus, I spent a good chunk writing up a literature review, which I may post in future when I have finished the project.

Nevertheless, I am still in more of a planning stage for my data collection now, rather than actually collecting it. Since my interest is in peer response groups and Google Docs, I actually have to provide some opportunities for the students to participate. It is not something we do daily, but something we will be doing with greater frequency in future. Unfortunately, with this week being a shortened one, it may take even longer to begin data collection than I had imagined. Still, the class is moving from a more reading-focus to a more writing focus now. So there will be more opportunities, perhaps just not synchronized with the class timeline.

All of this is leaving me feeling a little disconnected from the group. However, I received some great feedback this week from @ak_teacher, Lenore Swanson, who is doing some great work herself. I am also continuing to stay involved in at least one of the two weekly Twitter chats. As my work drags on I am hoping to be a bit more engaged in helping and providing feedback to others.

So, despite Professor Lee Graham‘s awesome support, I can’t stop that nagging feeling of being behind a group of pretty awesome fellow educators.

Image: Lee Graham Single Tweet

It all remains great fun. Plus, there is a definite feeling of community within the group.

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Getting Serious as a #SEACCR – Week 3 Reflections

Photo: Reflections

Reflections – cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Dead Habits

Use these guiding questions as you consider how you contributed to the learning of others:

Sharing Resources & Ideas

I have not been the best sharer of curated sources for this course, thus far. However, I suspect that may change in the coming weeks. There are a few projects that I might be able to offer assistance by sharing some known resources. So I suspect that I may be adding tot he Diigo group. Apart from the articles included in my annotated bibliography, I don’t believe I shared a lot of other resources. I have had my hands full trying to pursue my own line of inquiry.

Image: #SEACCR Tweeted Times newspaper

#SEACCR Tweeted Times newspaper – aggregating course activity

Still, I have been trying to continue to model different ways of archiving a lot of the Twitter chatter associated with class.  I do think that more frequent Twitter updates of the SEACCR Tweeted Times newspaper that I created a couple of weeks ago, from the list I created, might be useful. It is a much cleaner way to read the latest activity from the course. Plus, assigns a ranking of top tweets, based in part on retweeting. I have now automated a tweet promoting the page of collected #SEACCR tweets to be published daily at 4:00 PM Alaskan Time. This should anticipate our weekly Twitter chats, which is an active period for fellow classmates. I may need to adjust the time. That is another item on which I need to solicit some feedback.

I am not sure how much use others will find the Tweeted Times paper, but it is more an experiment. I will try to solicit some more feedback in the next Twitter chat. I think not publishing regular updates very likely left it a forgotten resource by many. Plus, it may have been just a bit too much for anyone new to Twitter. However, by now most of the participants have been tweeting with much greater regularity.

Impact

It is pretty difficult to discern the impact I have made by participating in this course and community. I like to think that I am having some, but I am definitely removed from the Alaskan cohort, no matter how much I might try to stay connected.

In some ways, I have had to begin burrowing in my own head a bit more, as I suspect many other participants, trying to fashion a path that I will begin to take for my own inquiry. Narrowing and focusing a question, while investigating what is already out there in the research community is time consuming. Focusing on my own concerns necessarily cuts into the time for sharing, exchanging, and engaging with the community. Similarly, contributions from others become less visible and harder to track. Again, as everyone begins to emerge with a clearer vision of what they are pursuing and where they are headed, I imagine opportunities will arise where a greater impact can be made.

One area that I continue to try and make an impact is through commenting and encouraging colleagues by reading and responding to their blog posts. I have also been tweeting when I comment, in hopes of encouraging others to read and comment on those posts as well. I am not sure that it is working, but it also serves as a record of my own activity for myself, which has been useful. That is a tip I would encourage others to consider doing too.

It is really interesting and informative to read others’ blogposts. Of course there is the benefit of reading about their evolving project, which should reassure anyone that they are not alone. Yet, I find there is a lot to be gleaned from how individuals go about posting, including content, structure, and style. My observations make me think more about how I blog, something I have been giving a lot of thought for the last few months, as I have been making a concerted effort to post daily during the work week and at least once over the weekend.

Tracking Twitter Activity

Keeping with the tradition of using Storify to highlight contributions to the weekly Twitter chat, Here are a few tweets and exchanges that characterize some of my contributions and conversations from the week. Storify is proving to be a really useful tool, far more than I previously thought. It is perfect for collecting and curating Twitter activity in a narrative way, which is useful for an open course like this that leverages Twitter use by participants.

by  – Mon, Sep 30 2013 16:46:55

Tweets of a #SEACCR – Week 3

  1. Finally getting to read some fellow #SEACCR people’s reflections. @fadwa has solid list of differences in ELA standards…
  2. Interesting thoughts about #SEACCR action research question by @barbradonachy differentiationdiary.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/new…
  3. Here are examples of how I tweet the blogposts both to promote the work of others, as well as track my own activity. It is an easy practice that others might find worth doing, as well.
  4. BTW If anyone wants to be added to the #seaccr list I made twitter.com/akh003/lists/s… just let me know – don’t know if I missed anyone
  5. This was an effort to ensure that I have all the #SEACCRs listed in  Twitter list, which I also use to generate the SEACCR Tweeted Times newspaper. The list seems appreciated and having an impact.
  6. I am thinking my #seaccr question will give me excuse to finally get @hickstro Troy Hicks’ new book – been wanting to get it anyway
  7. @akh003 That’s great, thanks. Is #seaccr a teacher research project? That seems to be what I am getting from the tweets.
  8. @hickstro @akh003 It is – a nine week experience to help teachers conduct research in their classrooms! #seaccr
  9. @ak_leeg @akh003 Sounds great! Please let me know if I can be of help… I am always interested in teacher research. #seaccr
  10. @hickstro @akh003 #seaccr we’d love for you to come in at 4:30 AKDT on Tuesday or Thursday with us! A wonderful group of AK teachers others
  11. As it turns out, Troy Hicks’ new book may not impact my inquiry as much as I originally thought. However, mentioning him did prompt a response, which may result in his participating in one of our upcoming Twitter chats which would no doubt benefit everyone. Hicks is a great ambassador scholar.
  12. Wondering if I can find any #seaccr literature on using Google Docs with students that isn’t propaganda, plenty on reader response grps
  13. @akh003 #seaccr I wouldn’t focus on Google Docs…that won’t be the end all – it will be the way you use it – your teaching strategies & Mgmt
  14. @ak_leeg I hear you, but I am interested in how the built in digital collaboration of GDocs changes the writing process for students #seaccr
  15. @akh003 #seaccr ah – well I’ll do some looking and see if I can find…I’m sure there are articles and conf proceedings. Tried Google Scholar?
  16. @ak_leeg Will do. Just starting the #seaccr hunting and gathering
  17. @JNUrain @ak_leeg Not quite. More interested in the tool’s impact on reader response groups and the writing process. #seaccr
  18. @JNUrain @ak_leeg Wondering what the impact actually is? Does that live interactive ability record comments and such help or hinder? #seaccr
  19. Here is a longer exchange around my inquiry that helped clarify and lead to an instructional video from Dr. Lee Graham. That in turn helped me identify a number of potentially helpful sources to read.
  20. @RazorMath @BarbraDonachy @ak_teacher I’m gatherin you all know the mother of differentiation in Carol Ann Tomlinson #seaccr – met her once
  21. @akh003 @BarbraDonachy @ak_teacher #seaccr – I didn’t, but I actually haven’t looked into anything. thanks! You just gave me some good info
  22. THis exchange was all about sharing knowledge and assisting a colleague with a potential resource.
  23. @fadwaedais So I am really fascinated what you find with this. I can tip you to a bunch of stuff that they have done in Australia #seaccr
  24. @fadwaedais You might want to take a look at the work of David Rose and JR Martin from Univ. of Sydney #seaccr – fascinating stuff as alt.
  25. Similarly, continuing to pass information that may be helpful, based on prior knowledge and project.

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Final Thoughts from the Week that Was

Ultimately, I was able to get a good start on gathering up some research material and articles. I still hope to dig a bit deeper into the roots of peer response groups, since that is a considerable foundation for my line of inquiry. I know from reading and experience that quality peer response groups are predicated on explicit teaching and practice. It takes time to cultivate practices and habits that are beneficial. My hope is to find some additional methods and strategies to improve the groups as well as glean insights into how Google Docs might be better leveraged in the process.

Taking Stock of Another Week with SEACCRs

Image: Wonder Lake - Mount McKinley National Park

Wonder Lake – Mount McKinley National Park – cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by Gregory “Greg” Smith

In honor of my Alaskan SEACCR colleagues, the reflection in this photograph seemed fitting. Really quite a beautiful image and landscape. I hope to see some of the Alaskan landscape in person at some point. Until then, I will have settle for arresting secondhand glimpses.

Initial Engagement

Despite delays in Week 2, I have been trying to play a bit of catch-up. I felt like I had a pretty strong opening SEACCR week only to run into a few obstacles which I mentioned in a previous post. Plus, I felt like it was always going to take me a bit longer to fashion a research question. In may respects, I am still getting to know my students, which definitely impacted where I thought I might spend some time sharpening focus.

In terms of contributing to others learning, my contributions were split this week. I jumped into the Twitter chat on Tuesday, which was very warm and inviting with a group not so large as to completely become lost in the flow.

Tweets of a #SEACCR – Week 2

  1. I am with @kl_jones11 on this one. I always have to feel and think my way through everything. not sure anyone else interested #seaccr
  1. Responding the idea of collaborating with a research partner. I have always liked the idea but never been able to pull it off successfully.
  1. #seaccr @aqavzik The writers of “Talking in Class” are all George Hillocks acolytes & he rocks
  1. While I haven’t read this particular title, I have read others from the team of people that wrote Talking in Class. This book seemed on the mark with Amber’s interests. I definitely recommend the authors.
  1. @akh003 #seaccr Thank you, I will look at it right after our twitter session is over.
  1. @aqavzik You bet. You also might want to check out something like discssion protocols. Here’s one source nsrfharmony.org/protocols.html #seaccr
  1. My thinking here was that in possibly using discussion protocols, Amber might be able to elicit more conversation between her students, since protocols offer a bit more structure and expectation.
  1. Need to say, read #seaccr Gorman piece today on literacy All about reading. Where is the writing? How can one be taught w/out other?
  1. My #seaccr AC will definitely involve teaching writing in some fashion
  1. This was a preview of where I was angling for my action research question for the course.
  1. #seaccr Do I have to sacrifice what i feel my class needs just to collaborate?
  2. @BerrysBest That would seem rather silly wouldn’t it? #seaccr
  1. @BerrysBest #seaccr no way. If you don’t want to collaborate it could be that you don’t have someone with the same goals as you.
  1. @BerrysBest I didn’t think it was mandatory for #seaccr but I am not in AK
  1. One of the cool aspects of a Twitter chat is when actual conversation happens, which can be difficult when the stream is active and heavy. Still, this was another quick exchange in hopes of helping.
  1. @ak_leeg Struggling to put comments on blogs. I write them but they don’t save. Any tips? #seaccr
  1. @lgbanner @ak_leeg Pick one thing that you think is the best element and explain why out selected it. Then ask a question #seaccr
  1. @lgbanner @ak_leeg Some of that might be the blog set-up. Make sure you are logged into your blog platform. WIll auto authenticate #seaccr
  1. @BarbraDonachy @lgbanner @ak_leeg If you are logged into Google, should be less problems #seaccr
  1. @lgbanner @ak_leeg Blogspot always gives me trouble. Is it blogspot? #seaccr
  1. @lgbanner #seaccr if you download Chrome, and you log into it – with your google info – then you can comment more easily on blogs
  1. RT @lgbanner: @akh003 @BarbraDonachy @ak_leeg I’ll try google this week. My problem is trying to comment on other people’s blogs. #seaccr
  1. This is kind of a fascinating exchange that reveals how easily miscommunication can happen in 140 characters or less. I jumped in to try and assist. Then, I completely misunderstood the original question. Fortunately, things were clarified and the exchange helped more than one person.

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Other Interactions

From there, the week got a little pear-shaped and I was chasing until Sunday. As this third week started I have tried to go back and comment on some classmates’ blogs, which is proving a lot easier when people use WordPress, instead of Blogger. For some reason the Blogger sites are lot more fickle with the commenting. Still, I try to reach out to three or four people each week