Author Topic: New Eduserv Bid  (Read 21574 times)

Offline PeterT

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New Eduserv Bid
« on: February 04, 2008, 05:54:52 AM »
You're right - I was sitting on the fence, slightly wary in case any of those involved later joined the Schome team and found us slagging them off in private.

But, yes, I agree with Dan  >:D

It might be worth our while thinking about why they got the Eduserve funding and we didn't. My assumption is that they won out because they had published a book on videogames and we didn't have any publications which appeared to be as relevant. What do other people think?

I think we asked for too much money - Eduserv wanted to fund two SL bids and if they had gone with ours then they wouldn't have been able to do that.

Next time I will be less greedy ... talking of next time ... Eduserv have another call out now which reads:

Quote
I'm very pleased to announce that the Eduserv Foundation 2008 has £300,000 available for this years grants call and invites bids for research project funding in these or closely related areas of e-learning and computing:- 

    * online identity
    * the open social graph
    * always-on Internet access and mobile computing.

In each case we are interested in research and/or development projects that move forward the education community’s understanding of the impact that emerging technologies will have on the way learning and research are undertaken.  Proposals may focus on the technical, social and/or political issues in these areas, inside and/or outside formal institutional settings (lecture theatres, research labs, campus open spaces, libraries, museums, Internet cafes, etc.).

Proposals that combine two or more of these areas are particularly welcome.

Note that proposals that include a software development component are encouraged, though this is not a requirement. The closing date for receipt of bids is 5PM on Friday 14th March 2008.

Please see the text of the call
(http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation/grants/0708) for full details. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at grants@eduserv.org.uk or phone Ed Barker (+44 (0) 1225 474328).

I think we should go for this - re online identity.

Thinking along the lines of £75,000 over 12 months.
What would our key questions be? ...



« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 12:01:33 AM by Amba SParker »

Offline PeterT

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 04:33:33 PM »
The schome group are intending to put in a bid to Eduserv under their latest call.

Attached is my first bash at the initial proposal – intended to give a feel for the sorts of things I thought we might do. The attachment includes a link to the full call documentation.

As always I’d like this to be an opportunity to develop collaborations across the OU (and more widely) and this seems to offer an ideal opportunity to do that.

I have in mind that we will aim for somewhere around £75k over 12 months. Some of this money would need to be focussed on sustaining the Schome Park community (without the community there really is no bid!) with the rest paying for the project management, data collection/analysis, and some travel and subsistence (for meetings and dissemination activities).

So – let me know if you’d like to play.

Feel free to track changes and add comments to the attachment and re-circulate it.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 09:55:03 AM by Fox Phlox »

Offline Fox Phlox

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008, 09:57:01 AM »
I've created this thread out of an email exchange. I haven't yet been able to upload the bid - but I'm hoping we'll get that sorted soon.
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Offline Fox Phlox

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2008, 09:57:18 AM »
I'm interested in the bid - not least because I'm angling to work in Schome when I finish my PhD ;-)
 
For me, a key element of identity in Schome - and one which I think could be applied to other contexts - is a move which I can't quite put into words, but is something along the lines of a move from follower to leader. A move from pupil to learner, perhaps. I think our NAGTY students came in with the assumption that we were going to teach them things, and now they have the assumption that they will take the lead. They don't check with staff when they run a regatta or a court case, or put up a complex new build.
 
At the same time, I think staff struggle with their in-world identity, because they are not sure what it means to have the identity of teacher in world. What does it mean to be a teacher when your students are more adept in their use of the environment than you are?
 
From a methodology point of view, I think we need to be very careful with our use of the sociocultural perspective, because we don't want to box ourselves in by placing too much emphasis on the cultural and social setting. We need to be wary of situating our conclusions too firmly within Second Life, or Schome Park because, like the rest of Schome, I think there should be wider implications. We need to be very clear what we gain from using the sociocultural approach ( :-) you can tell I'm currently working on my methodology chapter, can't you? )
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Offline PeterT

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2008, 10:21:19 AM »
I'm interested in the bid - not least because I'm angling to work in Schome when I finish my PhD ;-)
 
For me, a key element of identity in Schome - and one which I think could be applied to other contexts - is a move which I can't quite put into words, but is something along the lines of a move from follower to leader. A move from pupil to learner, perhaps. I think our NAGTY students came in with the assumption that we were going to teach them things, and now they have the assumption that they will take the lead. They don't check with staff when they run a regatta or a court case, or put up a complex new build.
 
At the same time, I think staff struggle with their in-world identity, because they are not sure what it means to have the identity of teacher in world. What does it mean to be a teacher when your students are more adept in their use of the environment than you are?
 
From a methodology point of view, I think we need to be very careful with our use of the sociocultural perspective, because we don't want to box ourselves in by placing too much emphasis on the cultural and social setting. We need to be wary of situating our conclusions too firmly within Second Life, or Schome Park because, like the rest of Schome, I think there should be wider implications. We need to be very clear what we gain from using the sociocultural approach ( :-) you can tell I'm currently working on my methodology chapter, can't you? )

I was wondering when you (and Gill) would be finishing your PhDs and thus in the market for a job ... Clearly potential for mutual benefit ...   :)

Re sociocultural perspectives – for me this is paradigmatic – I can’t abandon my view that everything is social determined and situated. However, I take your point about wanting to be able to make comments that have relevance outside the immediate confines of the Schome Park Community. That of course is a real tension (for folk who believe that research is about developing generalisable 'findings')!

Have you read the methodology chapter in my thesis? It looks in some detail at the qualitative/quantitative debate and indeed the evolution of ‘approaches’ (or do I mean methodologies) within research in the field of ‘educational’ ICT.
http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/document.cfm?documentid=2515  Might help you see where I am coming from ...

PeterT

Offline Fox Phlox

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2008, 10:30:37 AM »
Yes, wasn't meaning to imply we shouldn't come at it from a sociocultural perspective - just that we need to make it clear that our work has wider implications and is not limited to one archipelago or, indeed, to one virtual world.
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Offline RoughBounds

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 11:27:30 AM »
Yes, wasn't meaning to imply we shouldn't come at it from a sociocultural perspective - just that we need to make it clear that our work has wider implications and is not limited to one archipelago or, indeed, to one virtual world.

Agree, ethnographers often struggle with the applicability question. Pers I dont think we need to try to be universal, all research is about particular practices, by particular places, at particular times, by/through particular people. I always feel that the applicability comes from the detailed knowledge and understanding of those particularities.

Offline Rowan

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2008, 11:55:03 AM »
I'll put this in the email as well rushing to get something in before our meeting.
This is a really really sketchy draft but just a proposal as to what directions the 'background' and 'expected outcomes' might go in as I suggest the 'self' bit is currently a little vague - I could talk to this if wished?


Exploring learning and identity in a 3D virtual world community: Schome Park

 

Background

It is recognised that there are increasing opportunities being taken for the development of learning and adolescent identities in online environments that employ challenging literacies.  The Schome park project is the first 'enclosed' (protected) online 3D virtual world educational community in Europe.  Since February 2007 it has had three phases of expansion involving funders including National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth, Becta and the Innovations Unit.  It is based at the Open University, receiving full support from that organisation's expertise and experience in innovative flexible learning projects.  The community consists of an 'archipelago' in Second Life, a forum, wiki and other associated tools that support measurement and assessment of activities and a supporting structure of the adult staff members including an (adult) Second Life island first established four years ago.  No other European project has equivalent educational experience of virtual worlds with teenagers; see Schome Community (2007) [also see a paper currently under review with the Harvard Educational Review which could be supplied to Eduserve on a confidential basis on demand.]

 

The perspective proposed for this funded study is to employ the theoretical framework of 'learning as peripheral participation' (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in order to study issues of participation, learning and modifications of identity that within this framework are shown to be entwined.  The framework emerged out of a far broader variety of learning communities (eg. tailors in Liberia, members of Alcoholics Anonymous; scripture learners in n etc.) and has been shown to be of great value to any kind of learning community including education (e.g.  ref) business (e.g. ref) etc.  It has also contributed to studies of problem solving in highly technologised settings e.g. Hutchins' study of contemporary navigation on military warships, Suchman's work on airport coordination etc. 

 

I can write more about modifications of identity, learning, participation patterns.
 

Expected outcomes, or research questions:

 

How do novices approach the community and what facilitates or prevents their successful entrance?

What methods of peer – peer learning are most effective and how can these be enabled?

What modes of apprenticeship are most effective?

How do participants manage their online identities and what relationships do they conceptualise as relating to their 'real life' identities?

In what ways do modifications of identity occur as participation in the community develops?

What interplay of the different modes of the community (inworld, forum, wiki and other tools) are most effective and why?:

 

Julia

Rowan SParker

Offline Rowan

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2008, 01:55:42 PM »
forgot to add - the most fun moment in reading P's draft was when I found out we are now on an archipelago!  lol sounds so much posher than an 'island' - and I've always enjoyed telling people that
Rowan SParker

Offline Bright Sparker

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2008, 02:02:26 PM »
Yes, wasn't meaning to imply we shouldn't come at it from a sociocultural perspective - just that we need to make it clear that our work has wider implications and is not limited to one archipelago or, indeed, to one virtual world.
I agree. My thought would be that we'd do best to change the strangely open-ended topic - online identities - into a positive: how the use and development of online identities has tangible personal, social and skill benefits. Perhaps a mixed methods approach using both in-depth interviews and description of activities within Schome Park on one hand, and some measured evidence of attitudinal change regarding valued life-skills on the other, would attract funders' attention. I'd happily use my funded PhD status to investigate the more esoteric and philosophical aspects of online identity...

Rumaki
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Offline Fox Phlox

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 09:45:11 PM »
I was trying to formulate in the staff meeting my reservations about the application of legitimate peripheral participation to Schome, but couldn't cope with trying to think complex issues through in a fast-moving, time-limited synchronous chat. So I'll have a go here.

The use of the term 'legitimate peripheral participation', and reference to Lave and Wenger's work in general, implies that we are viewing Schome Park as a community of practice. I don't argue with us being a community - I think we are a fine and clear example of a community. but I think we are a community of learners, rather than a community of practice. Legitimate peripheral participation implies that people are gradually being inducted into an established practice. I don't think we have an established practice, we have an evolving practice. Newcomers can, and do, arrive and change our practice substantially. (For example, Yankee's group shifted things because they were working under different constraints).

Also, there's no one thing that we can claim people are moving towards. It's not like training to be a tailor in Africa, or a midwife in South American or a claims processor in the US. In Schome, some people are moving towards being online world builders, or games designers, or AI developers, or online facilitators, or excellent programmers, or clothes designers, or archaeologists, or artists, or mathematicians or a combination of any or all of these or something else again.



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Offline Kathy Schomer

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2008, 11:10:10 PM »
Why is this thread on the forum, entirely without context, in an otherwise completely empty subforum?

Also, who's designing clothing? :P
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Offline Fox Phlox

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2008, 09:54:20 AM »
Because PeterT moved it out of the staff forum cos it was of general interest. How it got its own subforum, I'm not sure.  ???

I believe Vibia and Liony design clothing. In addition to that, there seems to be a lot of T-shirt creation that goes on.
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Offline Rowan

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2008, 10:26:21 AM »
I was trying to formulate in the staff meeting my reservations about the application of legitimate peripheral participation to Schome, but couldn't cope with trying to think complex issues through in a fast-moving, time-limited synchronous chat. So I'll have a go here.

Very, very interesting, Fox, thank you.
The use of the term 'legitimate peripheral participation', and reference to Lave and Wenger's work in general, implies that we are viewing Schome Park as a community of practice. I don't argue with us being a community - I think we are a fine and clear example of a community. but I think we are a community of learners, rather than a community of practice. Legitimate peripheral participation implies that people are gradually being inducted into an established practice. I don't think we have an established practice, we have an evolving practice. Newcomers can, and do, arrive and change our practice substantially. (For example, Yankee's group shifted things because they were working under different constraints).

I would suggest that a community of practice is simultaneously a community of learners.  Also that there is a huge huge amount of 'established practice' to be learnt -I think it is our intensive immersion in the project that can make this hard to realise.  But just check out the discussion about the fearsomeness (slightly exaggerated) of the wiki, the daunting nature of this forum, the complexities of learning to post and edit in both let alone the challenges of interacting inworld.  I am not sure about this as I have seen no evidence since phase 1 but then we had a vast majority of people who entered Schome Park leaving quite quickly.  I think this is in part owing to the challenges of surmounting what could be characterised as 'an established practice.'  And yes I agree it evolves - fortunately - but one way of considering that quality is that it does add to the degrees of challenge.

Also, there's no one thing that we can claim people are moving towards. It's not like training to be a tailor in Africa, or a midwife in South American or a I agree with your point to a degree.  However one could perhaps argue that people are 'moving towards' 'being competent in Schome Park' I do not disagree there is a great deal of heterogeneity in what specialisms are pursued once that is achieved.

Having said all that, I do not know if I am considered part of this Eduserve bid and whether I am or not I am completely happy if it doesn't take this proposed theoretical framework.  Perhaps indeed it shouldn't.  Really the main point I want to make is that we need some 'take' on online identity and that it might well be in some way commensurate with the sociocultural perspective broadly taken.  There are certainly a number of possibilities eg figured identities, activity theory or ideas that have germinated in the research area of avatars more specifically.  claims processor in the US. In Schome, some people are moving towards being online world builders, or games designers, or AI developers, or online facilitators, or excellent programmers, or clothes designers, or archaeologists, or artists, or mathematicians or a combination of any or all of these or something else again.



Rowan SParker

Offline Fox Phlox

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Re: New Eduserve Bid
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 01:38:02 PM »
I do not know if I am considered part of this Eduserve bid

Rowan, why would you not be considered part of the Eduserve bid? In my opinion, the more experienced researchers we have involved, the better the research will be.

I find these theoretical debates very valuable - the thinking about how we conceptualise what we are doing, and how that helps us to understand and to move on.

I'm wondering if we could do something on what it means to be a teacher and what it means to be a learner on Schome Park. Perhaps a temporal analysis to show how the available identities shift, and how members of the Schome community both develop and appropriate the discourses which go with those identities.

[and for everyone reading who doesn't spend their time discussing temporality and discourse, I'm sorry if this *looks as if it* is slipping towards jargon. Feel free to challenge or ask for explanations.]
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