Intro: I am Lonnie Rowell, an Associate Professor in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego. I direct the the Center for Student Support Systems (CS3) and the Counseling Program at USD. My work in action research began with a focus on the development of a model for collaborative action research in school counseling. Since 2005, however, my focus has expanded to include the use of action research in educational and community settings in general and the development of networks among action research practitioners and university researchers interested in action research.
In-Site: A team of faculty and students at School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) has begun redesigning our action research website. We invite you to visit the site and provide feedback to us.
Coming Conference: Planning for the 8th Annual Action Research Conference at the University of San Diego in May 2011 has begun. If interested in providing input on the conference theme for 2011, please contact Lonnie Rowell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Intro: I am Jack Whitehead, a visiting fellow at the University of Bath and a Professor at Liverpool Hope University in the UK. I currently chair the Education and Learning Virtual Learning Stream for the 8th World Congress of the Action Learning Action Research Association. My action research has focused on bringing the embodied knowledge of professionals into the Academy for legitimation as contributions to knowledge. An original idea from my 36 year research programme at the University of Bath is that each individual can create their own living educational theory as an explanation for their educational influence in their own learning, the learning of others and the learning of the social formations in which we live and work.
In-sites: You can access my web-site on action research at http://www.actionresearch.net . On this site you will find living theory doctorates, masters dissertations and master’s unit writings. You can also access and join the on-going practitioner-researcher e-seminar which I am hoping to maintain for at least the next 20 years.
Remarkable Resources: I’ve accepted an invitation to Chair the Education and Learning Virtual Networking Stream of the 8th World Congress of the Action Learning Action Research Association and you can join this forum, post details of your action research and respond to other postings from the What’s New Section.
Coming Conferences: The 7th Action Research Conference at the University of San Diego on the 14th and 15th May and it may be that you could come to this.
A workshop organised by the Action Research Unit of Nelson Mandela University it taking place in South Africa on the 19/20 August 2010.
Intro: I am Margaret Riel and currently the chair of the action research SIG at AERA. I also teach at Pepperdine University and work on projects at SRI-International from time to time. I am starting this blog as way to help build the action research community.
In-Sites: I want to invite all of you to the Center for Collaborative Action Research wiki to share your syllabi for teaching action research. I know that your immediate reaction might be one of concern for intellectual property. But if Harvard and MIT both put all of their courses online, perhaps there is a greater good that comes from sharing these ideas. Please consider it as I think that both faculty and students could learn from sharing ideas. The better courses in action research are constructed, the stronger and more rapid the development of the community which is, I hope, our shared goal.
Cool Tools: My favorite teaching tool is is a collaborative writing pad called an etherpad. There is no need for anyone to join anything or download anything. You open a pad, share the name of the pad with friends, they open it and a group of people can begin to take notes together. It can be used to take notes while a group is working at a distance or in the same room. When used for groups of 8 or less people each person gets a unique color but can be used for groups as large as 18 (two people share a color). Etherpad has become open source and is openly available on the web. One site that features etherpads is ietherpad.com, another is typewith.me. To open a pad, just add a name for a pad after the address– for example– http://typewith.me/mriel
If you follow this link, you will see a pad with the name mriel. You are welcome to play around. But the real fun starts when you invite a group of people to visit an etherpad with you at the same time. I work with my action researcher students on a phone conference and we use the etherpad to keep track of what is being said and to add to the verbal channel as we discuss action research. Anyone who is not talking can be typing. We have gotten pretty skilled at talking and writing at the same time. But it can also be used in face to face meeting with people taking notes that everyone can see. With many people taking notes, there is not only a great record of any verbal discussion (some people can format while others are capturing the content) but there can also be extensions, suggestions, and connections without interrupting the speaker.