Thursday, September 17, 2009

On being outed

You could scarcely have spent any time here without knowing that I am busy with a Masters' degree programme. The journey is taking far longer than I had hoped, largely due to a pothole in the road that could have swallowed a Landrover!

I have mentioned that I am busy working on my dissertation. I have even mentioned that it is to be delivered in an online format.

What I haven't mentioned... yet... is that the university withdrew its approval of the online format for dissertations. It's got to be the blue bound A4 thingummy or nothing. However, they offered me the alternative of submitting my online work as a 'major project' instead. The down side is that I now have to write an additional 3000 word paper in support of my project. This is all due to be handed in on 1 October.

What I also have never before done, was share the url for this (ahem) masterpiece. When I suddenly found it being bandied about on Twitter yesterday, I quite literally nearly fainted. I hadn't exactly been keeping it a secret. I just wasn't ready for it to be formally unveiled. I mean, it isn't even finished yet! But someone found it, the way we web 2.0 types do, and tweeted a link to it. Next thing I knew, it was being RT-ed (retweeted) hither and yon.

So, for what it's worth (and it genuinely isn't finished yet), here is the link to Karyn Romeis's Major Project. The discussion pages will be opened once the university has done its thing and graded me one way or t'other. Then you can have your say and tear the thing to shreds if you so desire. I probably won't look at it again for several months after submission while I remember what my family looks like and rediscover the meaning of the term 'leisure time'.

I'm feeling incredibly adventurous here, I hope you know, and my heart is in my mouth!

15 comments:

V Yonkers said...

I feel your pain! I'm always afraid the university is going to change their policies before I complete my dissertation.

New Literacies Questor said...

Hi Karyn from Pietermaritzburg South Africa. So encouraging you can submit your thesis in digital format: I am doing MEd on Adolescent New Literacies and tried (not that hard) to get permission for me to do same. Your success inspires me to persevere. Adrienne Watson

Karyn Romeis said...

@Virginia Well they'd better not change them again. It'll be the death of me! I've already earned myself a stonking cold from doing stupid things to my immune system.

@Adrienne All the best with that. In the end, I had to opt for a 'major project' rather than a 'dissertation' but it earns me the same number of credits. I assume that your rading list already includes Sonia Livingston's Young People and New Media and John Battelle's The Search?

New Literacies Questor said...

Hi Karyn, thanks for those refs. No, not yet on my reading list; will pursue though, thanks. I'm enjoying navigating my way round your 'digital presence'. Best. Adrienne

Karyn Romeis said...

@adrienne yeah ... About that... During the course of my research, my digital footprint has grown huge. Sorry

New Literacies Questor said...

Hi Karyn, see you describe yourself as an 'expat native of a third world country': not my own dear ol' SA, is it? As for having a large digital footprint, I thought that was part of the point? Adrienne

Karyn Romeis said...

@adrienne it is indeed South Africa! Ek's mos half boer! I wouldn't say that the large digital footprint was the point. It's an inevitable result of the forging of connections - more means than end.

New Literacies Questor said...

Nou daai's mos a ding! Mmm... point taken re digital footprint. It's great to have others' footprints to follow when your're trying to blaze a new trail. I'm trying to convince my colleagues still that English is NOT on the verge of vanishing because kids are on FaceBook, never mind persuading them that we as teachers HAVE TO HAVE TO equip kids to use social media!!

New Literacies Questor said...

Don't we ALL just love REFERENCING!! Ag sies!

Karyn Romeis said...

@Adrienne I don't think you need to teach kids to use social media. They already do that! What they *do* need to learn to do is to use them for learning and working collaboratively.

New Literacies Questor said...

Of course, Karyn, you are so right. Kids are using SM. Thing is, can we teach them to use it to learn collaboratively if we as teachers aren't doing same in the classroom? My research data showing 2 very sad things: kids carry around access to the whole world of connected knowledge in their pockets and they are farting around reading celebrity websites and 2) interactive, weblinked whiteboards in classrooms are being used as glorified blackboards. Clearly, pedagogy has a way to go - when we could be linking whiteboard software to the kids cellphones etc.-as you know. Onward I shall press...

New Literacies Questor said...

Just remembered the cause is not lost: had one of my gr 9 learners do a fantastic Facebook page on Helen Keller's teacher; and have recently got some of same class to do wonderful blogs on the development of English Literature (www.torturedgeniuses.blogspot.com) but its the COLLABORATIVE bit that doesn't seem to catch on...

Karyn Romeis said...

@Adrienne I'm not sure whether it will give you comfort or add to your woe to learn that the IWB problem is prevalent in English schools, too.

And not just schools. In my last job, we had one in our meeting room. I never saw it used. There was some problem with it on the day I started there, so it couldn't be used during a staff meeting and thus it was to remain for the two years and change I was there. I never even learned how to use it!

New Literacies Questor said...

Now that's a shame about the whiteboard at your last job. I have stumbled around with it this year in my classroom and VERY excited about its potential to truly change learning and recruit and more importantly shape kids' tech competencies. Also, to get them out of their (bored) seats and doing stuff on the board. For eg. we are busy looking at democracy so I loaded the SA govt site up with the constitution on it, and while the kids were busy in groups, left it there so they could go and navigate where they wanted to go and what they wanted to find out. That was useful. We've also looked at each others' blogs a bit.

A question for you if you have time please: in terms of the 'real world' of work, WHY must kids learn to use Social Media? As I analyse my research data, I can see that kids are still just using the web as an electronic encyclopaedia. Sometimes they tap into Facebook and the SA Imming app, MXIT, to chat to each other about schoolwork... but, mostly its used for socialising. I've read a bit around social networking and the world of work, but any seminal stuff I should look at in terms of implications for pedagogy? Thanks.

Karyn Romeis said...

@Adrienne Have you seen this material?

One person I would suggest you need to get in touch with is Josie Fraser - this is more her area of expertise. I don't teach children - I work with adults in the workplace. But from my own perspective I would say they need to learn these skills because they are going to have to apply them in the workplace.