I so appreciate the chance to connect with classmates and hear their own perspectives on the reading and learning we are doing. We are starting to converse more fluidly about our reading in our small group. But I am also reading other classmates' blogs. I particularly appreciated the perspective shared by Allyson B. in her blog post on MLIS Musings.
My class on research methods is challenging me quite a lot right now, with a heavy dose of social science research outside of my comfort zone. I am so rooted in my own particular perspective as a school teacher and school librarian, that I find it very difficult to imagine doing sociological or ethnographical research of the sort described in our reading. One researcher pretended to be a kindergartner for an extended period to try to understand the social dynamics of these young children. Another researcher is trying to understand the ways teens interact on internet chat sites, and so is lurking on sites, trying to be accepted as a teen.
Allyson talked about how researchers bring their own perspectives to research, and this can influence the way we see data around us. For example, Allyson is very excited about the prospect of convincing school leaders that students should be able to use their own personal devices to further their learning. But this enthusiasm might influence the way she goes about her research. As she notes, a thorough, well-balanced literature review can help the researcher approach the subject more neutrally. She was interested in an article that noted that increased expenditures in technology have not necessarily meant increased student performance, if they were also combined with decreased staffing or poor teaching.
I also am prone to suffering from similar enthusiasm with technology. I'm very excited by the opportunities for reading iPad book apps that combine many types of learning: print, audio, video, and interactive features. I love watching students explore these different types of book apps. But I need to think critically about what they bring to students' learning, and not just embrace them as a new shiny toy. I am hoping that my literature review will encompass studies of CD-ROMS and older forms of multimedia learning.
Bogie, A. (2012). "Research journal - reflecting on personal bias." MLIS Musings. Blog post on October 20, 2012. Retrieved from http://bogiemlismusings.blogspot.com/2012/10/research-journal-reflecting-on-personal.html