Thursday, September 30, 2010

Social media in professional learning: piecing my past and current research interests together

When I was doing my PhD, I often got comments from fellow doctorate students and my supervisors that my scope was too broad. What I did was look at technological (ICT-based) innovation from a personal psychological perspective, as well as from an organisational perspective, thus effectively combining insights and research methods from organisational psychology, organisational theory and management information systems. After I was finished, the jury commented that I had actually written 3 PhD theses, but that's not the point here. The point is that reality is catching up on my research, and that all the pieces of my (personal scientific) puzzle are coming together.
Allow me to expand on this. During the past few weeks, I have been
  • spending quiet some time on laying the groundworks for a chapter on Learning Networks that my department is working on, 
  • rethinking some of the really good discussions at the Alt-C conference about my presentation on "Hybrid professional learning networks", 
  • having internal discussions about learning networks for professionals and with Marc Bijl about Enterprise2.0,
  • following the "Personal Learning Environments Networks and Knowledge" (PLENK2010) course from the side line,
  • participating / contributing to the strategic discussions about the 5-year institutional strategy plan of the Open University in The Netherlands in my role as chairman of the works council,
  • and looking around for job opportunities, as my future prospects here at OUNL are somewhat shady, and I will need to consider where to go next.
All of this has contributed to the insight that the broad range of my scientific efforts so far, is now coming together in the research topic that I am currently dealing with, namely the role of social media in professional learning of individuals and organisations. What I'll need to do is revisit the models and ideas from my PhD and check in how far they can be applied to the topic of social media in professional learning.

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