Just wanted to try to get things moving on dissertation ideas, problems, solutions, whatever.
There are 5 members here. How many are actively pursuing dissertations now. How far along are you? What can you share?

Bob

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I am only working on my Master's degree and ours is called a Capstone rather than thesis (apparently because we don't have a faculty committee, but I'm happy to join in the conversation! I have to finish by August...

I actually just posted about my topic on my blog. I'll go ahead and copy and paste. Thanks!

I originally wanted to write on student led learning. This is a fundamental aspect of my teaching style and philosophy, so it seems a natural choice. My struggle is in choosing an angle or focus. Here are some of the ideas I’ve been tossing around:

*Focus on one strategy, ie Socratic Seminars or lit circles.

*Focus on use of technology to support student led curriculum.

*Argue why student led learning is more beneficial to students.

*Another thought I had was whether I could describe benefits of both Socratic Seminar and technology (ning) separately and elaborate on how they build on one another and how well rounded (I think) they make a students education. Is this plausible?

What ideas am I just not seeing because I’m too close to the topic? What will make for an interesting, well supported, and *useful* paper?

I could really use some feedback…
Is this a research thesis or theory? If you have to do a study, that would lead to a different line of discussion than a literature paper. I will take a look at your blog.
Research. The reality is that I've had almost no guidance from my professor except that he is encouraging me to use teacher interviews to help support it. What would you do/how do you make it authentic and not just spouting off buzzwords?

What are you working on?

( www.schsenglish.wordpress.com )
I am working with the Enabling Support Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to aid persons with disabitlies and education in the 21st century. I am a retired professor of neuropyschology with a major research push in learning disabilities.

If it is research, will you have to compare two approaches? For example, one group is taught a unit using student led and another group is taught using another approach. As I look at some of your suggested ideas, I wonder just what you mean by research. I mean that you are doing a study and will apply stat to the data. Is that what you mean?

Do you work with one class or several? From the books on your ning, it looks like you are dealing with HS students so my guess is you have several classes.
Why not look a socratic circles in a "blended learning" format whereby the circles are extended to online space? Now that would be fun to explore!

Do you need to engage in primary or secondary research? If you're finishing by August, I'm guessing it's secondary!
I retired in 1998 a professor of neuropsychology with one research interest in learning disabilities and learning differences. I now run the Enabling Support Foundation, a non-profit with a mission of providing support both for persons with disabilities and k-12 ed.

Interested in developing a cross cultural study of special education. For example, do aborigines differ from other Aussies in terms of the kinds of learning disabilities they show?
Back in the dark ages I worked with MOOs (text based virtual reality) as a means to enhance creative writing. Extending that to graphic virtual worlds would indeed be fun to explore.
I was thinking more of the socratic method as used in discussion forums, nings, etc. Looking at the timeline, and the supervisor's suggestion of interviews, Candace might be able to find English educators who use this method in blended learning formats to e-interview.
I was thinking of a virtual world as a venue for the Socratic discussion. Greek avatars and an Agora virtual world. You were looking at the essentials and I was thinking about the accidents.
Yup, I got you, but pragmatically given the time frame, this would be difficult to research in the K-12 context. There's not much use of SecondLife/virtual worlds in K-12 (yet) because of the difficulties in setting up a "teen second life" space where adults can participate as well as teens. Skoolaborate is one project, and well worth looking into, but I'm not sure if they're using socratic circles as a specific pedagogical method.

If anyone's interested in SL and education, check out this wiki http://sleducation.wikispaces.com/ - it's the best resource out there and Jo Kay is amazing.
Hi Bob,
I'm trying to finalize my topic now. I am considering the impact of mobile learning on student achievement.
The specifics I will send to you in separate cover.
Willease
I will look for the specifics. About 12:15 here in NY. Time to get off the computer and wrap myself around a book and read myself to sleep.

Bob

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