Confessions of a PhD Student (6): ˝I hate summarizing months of hard work to a 15-minute presentation˝

Recently, I had to prepare a presentation about my pilot study. It took me one year to do this project, one year to obtain an adequate overview of the literature in my field, take a theoretical stance, plan my research[1], fulfill the ethical requirements, find a participating organization, apply the instruments, analyze the data, determine the conclusions and write it all up.

During this time, I had to deal with academic and personal issues. It was a tough (but satisfying) job.

Summarizing all of it to make it fit a 15-minute presentation was a tough (and not so satisfying) job.

There is so much I would like to say! I read so much! I had to overcome so many challenges! I found so much interesting data! I have so many questions for future research!

I know, I know. Synthetizing is a skill that all researchers should have. Not everyone in the audience is interested in all the little details. Some (most?) just want to learn the key points. I understand. I am the same when it comes to topics that do not relate to my main interests.

I did manage to condense my work. I just did not like doing it.

– Brenda Padilla

[1] If you read my fourth confession, you will know more about my pilot study and how I did it… without really knowing what I was doing. But it was great. I’m not complaining.

Where are we so far? A summary

After over a month of intense collective blogging and critical friending, I thought it useful to capture some ‘highlights’, in the order in which they were contributed. The topics are varied. The tag cloud only gives a partial view of the richness of this blog.

The purpose here is to offer, on a single page, an overview of some of the key ideas that colleagues have contributed so far, in a way that the tag cloud does not capture. Maybe another contributor can select some of these highlights and weave them into a meaningful post? Or perhaps categorise them (with significant areas of overlap, I’m sure) in a way that -again- the tag cloud cannot do?

Learning 2.0,, Turnitin… but academics are unconvinced (Gilly)

Graduating from the Learning Futures Academy (M Mobbs)

Change through research – the Animal Kingdom (Ale)

Mushrooming of e-book readers (Pal)

Tactile thinking & tips to use stiftables in SL (M Wheeler)

Changing teaching through trial and error with learning technologies (Jai)

‘The future’ according to the London Tech Summit 2009 (Sandra)

Sustainability of education: will e-learning be essential? (David)

Learning, teaching, the environment and space (Sahm)

Podcasting is normalised… but hot still (Ming)

Remote applications for editing graphics and photos (Sandra)

Cloud computing and access to resources after graduation (M Mobbs)

The value of good teaching – are we too obsessed with learning (and political correctness?) (Ale)

Domesticating iPods – what do our learners use to listen to their course audio files? (Pal)

Free content, open educational resources and hidden agendas (Sandra)

Saving penalties, training goalkeepers: let’s use video footage on our iPods (Jai)

Infectious disease: using iPhones can seriously change your behaviours (M Wheeler)

Teamwork, communication, roles and collaboration post our National Space Centre visit (Sahm)

Being naked in Second Life (Ming)

Centralising BDRA resources (David)

Success factors of Web 2.0 (Roger)

The significance of rocks: past, present and future (Gilly)

Cool, useful web-based resources (Sandra)

BDRA’s knowledge store: the way forward (David)

Using an iPhone and being a puppet master (or being a puppet oneself?) (Jai)

Disruptive technologies, unexpected changes… and even benefits (M Wheeler)

Wiki-ing a podcast: can we really annotate an audio file in a usable format? (Pal)

Teaching memories with old and stable technologies + impact on today’s practices and on the self (Roger)

Detox yourself – give up technology for a bit! (Sahm)

Text’n’talk: what what works and what not in Second Life (Ming)

The Media Zoo today and in the future (M Wheeler)

Street view on Google – Earth-tivities are next! (Gilly)

In sum, a wide variety of contributions, reflecting the interests and thoughts of each member of our team, as well as some collective understanding around key concepts. Let this journey continue!

Alejandro Armellini
22 March 2009

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