31 Oct 2007
28 Oct 2007
I have been too busy to blog last week. Roughly list some interesting points here:
- There is an article about Top Conferences in the Computer Science? I am looking forward to seeing Top Conferences in Information Science…
- www.CostCaptain.com is a Microsoft Authorised Education Reseller. They provide big discounts of authentic Microsoft software for academic use. I am looking forward to seeing more discounts for software like ATLAS.ti, SPSS and students attending conferences.
- The Blog vs. The Book: Smackdown from blog: Exploring Our Matrix: The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, assistant professor of religion at Butler University gives opinions of why blog; whereas there is a different view, “Why Aspiring Scholars shouldn’t blog” by Dr. Jim West.
- Stanford Blog Directory is an attempt to categorised blogs relevant to Stanford community.
- There is an interesting discussion about the nature of academic discourse raised by prof. Grainne Conole.
Posted by Jin at 19:55
17 Oct 2007
Our teacher said that it is a Sandwich day; absolutely it is not because we had a sandwich meal, but because the activities like a Sandwich: in the middle of the day time, we had an invited speaker, who led us to target discussions on “Reflection on learning” and “reflection on teaching”. Actually, indeed there were wonderful hot and heavy discussions based on the question “What is learning?” and a “changing behaviours” viewpoint. It actually also helped my research, from behaviourism, cognitivism, to constructivism. The relationships between theories and practical assisting work were painted vividly. Also, learning pyramid has been talked. Roughly remembered this had been mentioned in the first year away day, but not sure.
Other interesting discussions were the role of teaching assistant, the relationships between teachers and students [Key point: (1) from teachers and students to facilitators and learners (2) students may expect us to tell them an answer, but teaching assistants help them to learn ways of finding out an answer], and what do we assist in learning [Information, comprehend, apply, and further, analysis, synthesis, evaluation].
Posted by Jin at 21:55
16 Oct 2007
15 Oct 2007
I have linked a series of sources of citation rules in this blog. Here is another useful one: Citing martial on the Internet by United States National Library of Medicine provides a detailed guide to citations. The blog/wiki/discussion lists sources are often in grey area. Now it seems these grey sources have become noticed and more and more be cited.
Posted by Jin at 14:53
12 Oct 2007
I mostly asked his suggestions on the issues that I am facing. It’s too much to put on here. I listed the most crucial things he highlighted to me. I assume if he had a blog we would get many idea shocks from his blog.
1) He recommended a book, not only borrow it and read, but buy it and own it:
«The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research» by Gordon Rugg & Marian Petre (2004)
2) He helped me to draw a thesis structure by asking me questions: what is your research, what is the aim, what are the objectives, tell me what are your categories in ten words, etc. This is a good way to find out my problem, to see if I can explain my research clearly to a layman, to help me out from my narrow views. I think we need this kind of discussions, arguments and questions. Your head maybe over-warm. But it is a good way to know your weakness and know yourself and know your research.
3) Finish your thesis. You are not perfect researcher, but finish it at the first place.
4) He addressed that do research productively by a metaphor. He said that do not keep work everyday and looks like you work hard everyday, and when people ask you what is your research and you cannot answer clearly. Do analysis in-depth, like you are looking for a water source; do not dig a pit without seeing water and cover it, dig another pit without seeing water and cover it, again and again! In contrast, what you need to do is to dig a pit deeply until you find water.
5) Do analysis using your head; do not rely on computer software too much. Following the “Syllogistic logic” [I just give an example here, it is not what he provided] to analyse your date, then you will not doubt yourself and be confident to your analysis [I think it’s about social science oriented qualitative research].
6) What is a research? He drew a diagram to explain, I imitate it here [It’s not exactly what his drawing, but what I imitated and developed]. It needs ourselves to ponder the true meaning.
Posted by Jin at 20:59
11 Oct 2007
I remembered last year, a previous colleague, a current Dr, told me the most important questions in viva cover:
- What is the implication of the research?
- What does the research contribute on?
- What will it be used after this PhD research?
I just come across this very valuable discussion about viva questions from the Oxbridge Forum. This discussion is definitely helpful for almost every current PhD student and the key part is English. Don’t need to worry that you don’t understand Chinese.
Following it, there is another discussion started by the same author, telling people his viva experience. Unfortunately, this is in Chinese.
Posted by Jin at 21:08
Sources in today:
- UK Academic Team Blog focuses on teaching, education and Microsoft technologies.
- AcademHack: tech tools for academics is another site focuses on academics and IT.
- This book «Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain» written by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb (2004) “This exploration into the moment-by-moment works of the brain uses cognitive neuroscience to present experiments, tricks, and tips related to vision, motor skills, attention, cognition, and subliminal perception.” I haven’t read the book, but feel it maybe value me to understand certain phenomena related to the Internet, virtual world and blogging.
- YouTube and Universities: UC Berkeley and University of Southern California. The two front runners in digital applications. There are many videotaped courses and events related to the universities.
Posted by Jin at 19:56
9 Oct 2007
As a teaching assistant, the third year to assist a first-year students’ module, I found that students have become accustomed to find answers through search engines. In the practice, most of them used Wikipedia or Google, one or two students used Ask. Half of them directly typed their answers into Word document, half of them write down on a paper. But I remember, last year most of students used Google and a handful of them typed down immediately.
It is not surprising how quick technology spread and influence young generations. Especially, social software, it is not technology for them, but a part of the world, like pen and paper.
One thing I am worrying is the research like mine, about new Internet phenomenon and the virtual world, is facing challenge because of the quick changes yearly. The key terms the students talked are changing too. The book «Life on the screen: identity in the age of the Internet» was written in 1995. By reading it, I can see, feel and compare the Internet interaction phenomena ten years ago and nowadays.
Posted by Jin at 14:11
7 Oct 2007
I am reading an e-book now - Educating the Net Generation edited by Diana G. Oblinger and James L. Oblinger (2005). In this book, the authors pay attentions to generations, technology, education and learning. It is interesting to see different generations (Matures, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Net Generation) divided by different birth dates and with different attributes. The book mainly focuses on the Net Generation, which I do not belong to, depending on their ‘birth dates’ criterion. Personally, I feel largely I belong to a mix of late Generation X and Net Generation, not purely belong to either group. This is not the important thing I would like to raise here. What particularly I agree in this book are: “The Net Gen expects convenient, safe, reliable, and flexible access”, “The Net Generation possesses sophisticated technological adaptability and a remarkable capacity to incorporate multitasking into day-to-day academic activities”, which were indeed emergent in my research data. From my view, the characteristics of the Net Generation are likely to be flexibly adaptable and learning by exploring, experiencing and doing. This kind of orientation is influenced by the impact of technology as well as mostly the impact of social environment (peers and media).
Posted by Jin at 11:20
2 Oct 2007
Posted by Jin at 19:58