2 November 2008
Calling all concept mapping enthusiasts
Now that I am coming to the end of my doctoral thesis, I'd like to thank members who have joined me in my study of concept mapping in teacher education and in the classroom. Many members' maps are featured in my study. Your comments, observations and case studies have been invaluable in moving my thinking forward.
For enthusiasts I am summarising this years' work in this newsletter with a report on the third global mapping conference I have just attended, the chapter I am completing for a handbook on collaborative mapping and a reminder about members' publications on the subject of mapping. Thanks are also due to our partners, Inspiration who have funded many of these activities.
The third global concept mapping conference in 2008
In September I joined a community of 300 fellow concept-mappers at their third conference in two-centres: Tallin in Estonia and Helsinki in Finland. This journey, funded by Inspiration, took me out of my comfort zone in education and introduced me to the use of maps in training and in science in particular http://cmc.ihmc.us/. I was a little alarmed by some mappers who believe that if you create a sufficiently detailed scoring system and a large enough map, you have the answer to the universe. (But anyway we know the answer is 42☺)
I joined up with a larger contingent of teachers from all over the world, especially the US, Australia and South America, using concept maps to promote constructive and collaborative learning. Columbia is developing them as a learning and assessment tool across their state education system which indicates the potential power of the tool. The next conference in September 2010 is in Santiago, Chile.
A handbook on collaborative mapping for 2009
In connection with my thesis I am just completing a chapter for an international handbook on collaborative concept mapping being published by IGIglobal. My aim is to highlight the role of concept mapping in communicating and assessing collaborative knowledge in this digital age. I also question the stance of the traditional researcher who remains aloof from their subjects, in this case expert teachers.
The focus is on a specific multimodal, multi-layered, multi-authored and multimodal artefact that I define as the multidimensional concept map (MDCM). This investigation of the MDCMs as holistic signs represents a different approach to analysis from conventional Novakian methods of scoring nodes and links alongside and content analysis. You will find the introduction of this chapter on a url (to follow) and instructions about how to comment.
Members' concept mapping publications 2007 - 2008
As a result of working parties funded by Inspiration, the concept mapping software developers, Fellows have now produced two special volumes of e-journals, The first for practitioners is Mapping Inspiration: MirandaNet's Braided Learning journal, edited J. Cuthell and C. Preston. This is an on-going publication and we would welcome more articles from members. Those who want to do practice-based studies qualify for a free copy of Inspiration.
The second free online volume that is particularly for teachers who are undertaking further academic qualifications and those engaged in work based research, is:
Fascinating cultural artefacts: multimodal concept mapping in teaching and learning. Reflecting Education. Editors Howell Richardson, C. and C. Preston (2007 ). www.reflectingeducation.net/index.php/reflecting
Let me know how you are using concept mapping....
Visual Learning resource - Create a website from an Inspiration document
We have been using the Site Skeleton in Inspiration in an export option which allows you to transform your diagram or outline into the foundation of a web site, including a clickable site map. Each symbol or topic becomes a separate page in your web site. All notes text appears on the page corresponding to the symbol or topic to which it was associated. Links in your diagram become hyperlinks on your web pages. Arrows show hyperlink direction. After you export your pages, you can add additional information to them using an HTML editor. To find the Site Skeleton look under File/Export and the third tab will be "Site Skeleton". MirandaNet members qualify for a free copy if they want to undertake an action research study.
emailed to tell us that she has been using the Russian publications in her classrooms. Russian members will be very pleased learn that their project has been so helpful and well received.
"I produce a newsletter for about 40 British doll and toy collectors and have put the interesting project about Russian Folk Dolls in our Oct newsletter. The students have added so much to our knowledge. We wish to say thank you, to congratulate them on their careful research into their heritage, their excellent English and finally for sharing it with us on the Web"
Please let us know how other resources on World Ecitizens have been useful. You might also like to take your students into the Peace room.
So much expense of spirit, and so suddenly the pressure evaporates......
What do you think? Start a debate on Mirandalink if you have something to say.
The report on my NHS Visual Learning "Healthy Eating" project is now up on MirandaNet.
We have just won a £1,000 award from the Renton Foundation to support its dissemination.
And we have started work on a similar model, on "Keeping Safe". This includes both still and moving video images, and cartoon work.
Congratulations on the award Lawrence !
Miles Berry, now a head, is doing some cool things at Alton Convent Prep. They had a wonderful science week last year, have integrated their religious and moral education and introduced critical skills to the timetable. This year, they're placing an emphasis on art across and within the curriculum, with ideas of learning and teaching artistically, including creativity, individuality and the pursuit of excellence. On the IT side, Miles continues to use Moodle and Elgg (Miles is on the educational advisory board for the latter), and have a eco-friendly thin client edubuntu lab, with which they're done some nice work on digital graphics, music composition and animation.
Miles also runs the school website with a blog-like style using drupal. His network manager is doing some exciting, geeky things with server virtualisation. This year, Miles is also teaching AS ICT up in the partner senior school, making good use of freemind mind-mapping for this. After too long an absence, he is blogging again.
References and research on VLEs in Schools
A few months back I sent a request out for any references people had on research on VLEs in schools (rather than higher education). I never got round to doing a summary but one has been sent out on Mirandalink recently. Sorry most of them aren't on VLEs in schools but there are a few in there and there are plenty of other interesting references! I've also added the lists that others sent in.
Many thanks to those that helped me with my study - I thanked Mirandanet in the study and also on my blog.
I am embarking on an action research project for my PHD. The study will investigate the role of teacher personality on the adoption, use and integration of ICT in the early years. It is a project that is firmly grounded in assisting several teachers develop their ICT skills.
The journey to this point has been varied. On returning to the teaching profession after a decade working in journalism and television production, I was asked by several peers to help them use multimedia in their classrooms. These forays were really unchartered waters with the teachers often not knowing much at all; technically, theoretically or pedagogically. Over a period of four years and many classrooms later, reflecting on what was happening in these classrooms, observing classroom practice, entering into some fascinating dialogues with the teachers and with a little reading under my belt, I decided I needed to know more about what affects teacher use of ICT and the implications of this on professional development programs.
It is with this background that I found MirandaNet.....I am looking forward to the possibilities it affords and, of course, sharing my research with you.
Currently I am the online workshop coordinator for the IBO with the role of growing the base of online professional development for IB teachers globally. We are also tasked as a research department at looking at ways of integrating web technologies into our schools.
Prior to joining the IBO I was for 19 years a primary teacher in South Wales for the last 10 years I was ICT coordinator, during the last 3 years in teaching I began to see the educational value of integrating new technology into my teaching, subtly changing my pedagogical approach in order to exploit the learning opportunities from tools such as blogs, podcasts and the use of wikis.
My name is Mirvat Hashim, I am a PhD researcher in the University of Nottingham. I am interested in teacher change in relation to ICT in education. I am also looking at teacher knowledge and teacher development. I am doing a comparison between the UK and Saudi Arabia.
I have been teaching Humanities subjects for over 13 years at the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School. For the last 3 years I served as Head of Humanities Department. I have a particular interest in Virtual Learning Environments and their use and impact of the teaching and learning process. In light of this interest, I have taken up an offer by the University of Nottingham to pursue a PhD to research VLE use.
I believe that much can be done about finding out more ways of reaching secondary age students. The area of study is relatively a recent area of study in curriculum development and management within education and in particular in the Caribbean. This research will also contribute to the body of research in the area that is presently lacking. Consequently, the focus of my research will be on VLEs as an alternative to traditional instruction or as a medium for reinforcement or enrichment and or blended learning. Notwithstanding the many documented benefits of VLEs, I will be making a claim that VLEs can help bridge the divide and gap that exist among some social disadvantaged groups to include students that are excluded from normal schooling.
*Karen Mugliett (EdD candidate, M.Ed, D.E.A.M., B.Ed [Hons.]) *also lectures within the Nutrition, Family & Consumer Studies B.Ed. (Hons) programme and the Health Issues and Health Education module. For the past few years she has co-ordinated the Teaching Practice module for Home Economics student-teachers, helping to promote the maintenance of high standards in teaching, including in health and nutrition education. She teaches a variety of courses, including courses on Communication Skills for Home Economics teachers and the Use of ICT in Teaching Home Economics. Karen is currently concluding research on the use of IT in Home Economics and the potential role of Communities of Practice in order to promote the quality of teaching and as a continuing professional development tool.
Karen's research interests lie, amongst others, in the use of innovative pedagogies in teaching, nutrition education using different vehicles and targeting different groups, and promotion of the traditional Maltese diet. Over the years, Karen has conducted and supervised research related to eating patterns of different population groups, as well as development, implementation and evaluation of educational interventions and educational materials.
Karen has also been active in both national and international organisations. She is a member of the European Consumer Citizenship Network where she has contributed to producing guidelines for Sustainable Consumer Citizenship Education in Higher Education. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of a non-state school. Karen is a frequent guest lecturer on nutrition within different schools, community organisations and radio and TV programmes.
I am a music teacher writing a Doctor of Education thesis that investigates the design and implementation of professional development in music technology for teachers. This study gives particular emphasis to the use of Internet resources and online communities of learning.
In my role as "Learning Services Community Advocate for Europe" I am interested in ways Open Source technologies can be used to support ICT Education in schools, colleges and universities across Europe.
Jason Arruzza is the Director of ICT at the Friends' School in Hobart, Tasmania. After developing a keen interest in ICTs in education through Science teaching in Connecticut in the 1990's, he emigrated to Australia to do further study in ICT in 2000. Since then he has worked as ICT Integrator at Pymble Ladies' College and as an Education Consultant - ICT Across the Curriculum for the Association of Independent Schools in Sydney, Australia before moving to Hobart in September 2007.
I am ICT coordinator for Malahide Community School, a co-ed post primary school with 1200 pupils in north county Dublin Ireland. I am also a student on the Msc. Technology and Learning in TCD Dublin.
I am interested in Astronomy Education, and using the Internet to have a global reach for the activities I undertake. This includes providing online resources as well as undertaking live webcasts for teachers, students and the general community to watch.