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education

some jotted notes, LM 2009-03-20

In resopnse to the question about the differences between:


  • eResearch in education

  • eResearch for education

  • Education for eResearch

  • (Educational) research for education and e-research

eResearch in education

School students should be modern knowledge-builders and school curriculum should be based on knowledge, ways inquiry and tools of investigation that are relevant for present day and future society/science/economy. Students and teachers should have access to the same data, methods and tools for conducting scientific investigations as modern research communities do. Current school curriculum is essentially based on the knowledge and ways of inquiry that can’t produce knowledge relevant for contemporary society. The gap between school science and “real” science is as never big; and students do not find motivating and challenging to learn knowledge that is not relevant for present day world. Present eResearch infrastructures have been created almost exclusively for “big real” science and are not accessible neither for teachers nor for students. In order to make learning relevant and engaging for school students we need to make knowledge generated by eResearch as well as eResearch methods and tools available for schools. In other words we need to integrate eReseach in education.

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Recently published NSF agenda “Fostering Learning in the Networked World” deserves attention for at least several reasons. First, it puts the learning sciences at the centre of the cyberlearning agenda. Second, it takes the opportunities to improve education by harnessing and using scientific and learning data seriously.

The Two Data Deluges: Opportunities and Threats

"Among the greatest benefits—and challenges— of cyberinfrastructure is the deluge of scientific data <….> Today’s highly instrumented science and engineering research is generating data at far greater rates and volumes than ever before possible. In addition, as more human communication takes place in the networked world for education, commerce, and social activity, an extensive digital trace is being created, a deluge of behavioral data. These data are extremely valuable for modeling human activity and for tailoring responses to the individual…” (24)


Will this open a door for eResearch in education and for education?

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All right. Let’s face it: “Today’s research community must assume responsibility for building a robust data and information infrastructure for the future” (p.1). Recently the group of QUT researchers produced the report that analyses the legal aspects of research data infrastructures and provides some suggestions how to build it:

  • Fitzgerald, A. & Pappalardo, K. (2007). Building the infrastructure for data access and reuse in collaborative research: An analysis of the legal context. Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project. URL

Summary

“This Report examines the legal framework within which research data is generated, managed, disseminated and used. <…> The Report considers how these legal rules apply to define rights in research data and regulate the generation, management and sharing of data. The Report also describes and explains current practices and attitudes towards data sharing. A wide array of databases is analysed to ascertain the arrangements currently in place to manage and provide access to research data. Finally, the Report encourages researchers and research organisations to adopt proper management and legal frameworks for research data outputs…” (CreativeCommons, 12-09-2007).

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An interesting scoping study called "Data Repository for Teacher Education" (Australian Council of Deans of Education) was funded by the Carrick Institute In the beginning of the year. This is probably one of the first signs of a ‘serious’ e-research in Australian education.

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This entry complements the earlier blog about the British perspectives on innovation in education. Recently NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) produced an interesting report analysing the innovation systems in six ‘low innovation’ sectors.
  • Policy & Research Unit. (2007). Hidden innovation: How Innovation happens in six 'low innovation' sectors. UK, London: NESTA. URL

Education, together with oil production, construction, retail banking, civil legal services and rehabilitation of offenders, is among those six.

The British report examines whether these sectors really perform so poor in innovation or whether traditional indicators (e.g., investment in R&D) do not capture all of the innovation that takes place in these sectors. While there is some evidence that some innovation processes in education are ‘hidden’ and traditional performance metrics probably fail to capture a broad variety of local development-led innovations in schools, the flaws in the innovation system are also obvious.

The main ideas from this report about the 'hidden innovation' and innovation system in education are summarised in this blog.

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This blog is a blend of the facts, ideas and visions from two E-research Australasia presentations about scientific publishing and dissemination of research data and results. The ideas and examples come from two science domains: astronomy and computational biology. At the end there are some quick observations and thoughts about recent trends in educational dissemination.

Sources:

  • Phil Bourne: Thoughts on the future of scientific dissemination. URL
  • Alex Szalay: Science in an Exponential World. URL

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This entry is an eclectic summary of the key trends in scientific research methodologies, technologies and practices followed by some reflections about the state of the art and future of the educational research. Essentially this blog is a mashup of ideas from three unrelated in a structured world readings and some outsider's thoughts that link them in a complex world.

Sources:

  • Alex Szalay: Science in an Exponential World. Paper presented at eResearch Australasia Conference, Brisbane, 26-29 June 2007. URL
  • OECD: Evidence in Education: Linking Research and Policy, 12/06/2007. OECD, CERI. URL
  • Uri Wilensky and Michael J. Jacobson: Complex Systems in Education: Scientific and Educational Importance and Implications for the Learning Sciences. Journal of the Learning Sciences. 2006, Vol. 15, No. 1, Pages 11-34. URL

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links.gif

TechTalks: e-Research Gathers Speed, 17 July 2007. More...

Colloquium in HE: Trying to De-mystify Public Policy for Higher Education, 24 July 2007. More...

Research Fest: Communities and Change, 22-26 October 2007. More...


Note. There is no any link between these talks (except this blog). But links emerge in dialogues, if we listen…

This week many politicians have been immersed in the debates about a broadband access in Australia. While the focus of this dispute has been on how many Australians (98% vs. 99%) will (should) have an access to a high-speed broadband network, it was a good motive to read and think about education and how educational research could help to embrace all this “fast stuff”. Thus, this entry is about innovation, education, educational research and e-research.

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Today I found several articles about three Australian middleware development projects (ARROW, DART and ARCHER) funded under the DEST Research Information Infrastructure Initiative (RII).

Treloar A, & Groenewegen, D. (2007). ARROW, DART and ARCHER: A Quiver Full of Research Repository and Related Projects, Ariadne, 51. URL

Paterson, M., Lindsay, D., Monotti, A., Chin, A. (2007). DART: a new missile in Australia’s e-research strategy, Online Information Review, 31 (2), 16-134. DOI 10.1108/14684520710747185. URL

Are they relevant to social research?

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Recently (May 2007) the Australian Government accepted An Australian e-Research Strategy and Implementation Framework. This document outlines a general vision and strategic plan for the enhancement of e-research capacities in Australia over forthcoming five-year period. I think this document deserves some interest of academic research community too, particularly of those who work in education. This is my first thought about it.

Education for e-research

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What is e-research?

Generally speaking "e-research" is research practices enabled by the combination of:
• shared computational power;
• distributed access to large databases; and
• virtual environments for collaborative research work.
Here, you can find the Australian DEST definition of e-research.

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