What I Do
Originally posted on Half an Hour, March 22, 2009.
As you all know, I work for the Government of Canada, as part of the National Research Council's Institute for Information Technology, Learning and Collaborative Technologies group, a position I have held since November, 2001.
My thanks to the people of Canada for funding this work. As I do from time to time, in the spirit of open and transparent public service, I offer, directly from my yearly performance review, a statement of my 2008 work report and 2009 work objectives. I have reordered the document a bit and ensured that nothing personal or proprietary was included.
To be recognized as a leading voice in the field of learning and learning technology, to advance the state of knowledge in these fields, and in particular, to identify and describe new forms of knowledge and learning enabled by, and suggested by, network technologies.
To apply this knowledge to the service of Canadians and of people worldwide, thereby promoting the educational aspirations of all by supporting access to free learning resources and tools, and the fostering of skills and aptitudes that enable people to take advantage of these resources to the greatest degree possible.
Overall research objective
Development of key elements of learning networks infrastructure, which includes ongoing contributions to Synergic3 project, initiation and ramp-up of PLE project, integration of video support via BVC project.
Note that the work in each of the areas below is intensively collaborative, involving close work with people in NRC, in the government of Canada, and in companies and universities around the world.
SynergiC3 (30 percent)
2008: Chaired R&D workgroup and led research in DDRM and Metadata research areas. Ongoing work involved continuing coordination of the research effort, including maintenance of the research plan, reporting on research activities, chairing of R&D WG meetings, and supervision of two co-op. Significant support and guidance offered to NRC researchers participating in the R&D workgroup. Co-Recipient of NRC National Award for this work.
2009 Plan: Chair, R&D workgroup and lead researcher in DDRM and Metadata research areas. Ongoing work will involve continuing coordination of the research effort, including maintenance of the research plan, reporting on research activities, conduct of R&D WG meetings, supervision of students, etc.
Learning Networks (5 percent)
2008: Released prototype gRSShopper software as an instance of a personal learning environment (PLE). This software played a major role in the Connectivism & Connective Knowledge course, offered in cooperation with the University of Manitoba. Received NRC-IIT Award for this work. While learning networks foundational project will continue, obtained approval and funding for spin-off Personal Learning Environment (PLE) project.
2009 Plan: This is foundational research. It includes the continuing development of the theory of network learning, as well as the instantiation of that theory in prototype software such as gRSShopper. Related to this work is the presentation of talks on e-learning, co-teaching of a course on Connectivism, etc. Will maintain active membership in IEEE-LTSC, IMS (Common Cartridge), SCC JTC1-SC36.
Personal Learning Environments (25 percent) New
2009 Plan: Project manager for a 2-year research and development project, including all areas of staffing and staff supervision, budget management, project management, planning and development. Staffing and project plan should be completed in calendar 2009, with significant work undertaken and possible release of inbitial prototypes.
E-Learning Cluster (10 percent)
2008: Offered general support to the E-Learning Center of Excellence concept in New Brunswick, and includes work supporting the Canadian Forces and its allies, presenting to Canadian Forces, in Cornwall and Fredericton, and U.S. Forces, in Fairfax, as well as the e-learning industry in eastern Canada in general. Provided support for AIF in the form of reviews.
2009 Plan: This involves general support to the E-Learning Center of Excellence concept in New Brunswick, and includes work supporting the Canadian Forces and its allies. Also includes support for local events and cluster-building activities, such as the innovation forum. Also includes support for AIF and other granting bodies.
OLDaily (15 percent)
2008: Continued daily newsletter on the field of online learning. Current subscriptions are 4000 (email), 4000 (RSS), 2000 (web).
2009 Plan: Production and publication of a daily newsletter on the field of online learning.
Broadband Visual Communication (15 percent)
2008: Continued involvement on the BVC Social Analysis committee will lend support to that activity, most especially through discussion and support to members' work. Learned about video server-side management and ongoing research in video-conferencing and event recording, including 12 videoconference or webcast presentations over the course of the year.
2009 Plan: Continued involvement will include two aspects. First, continued membership on the BVC Social Analysis committee will lend support to that activity, most especially through discussion and support to members' work. Second, application of BVC tools, including video production tools to the personal learning environment (PLE) and related projects.
Learning and Collaborative Technologies Group
2008: Ongoing support administratively, including time recording, attending group meetings, attending Koffee Klatches (including a Koffee Klatch presentation) occasional training.
2009 Plan: Not counted as part of the percentages above, but worth noting, is ongoing support administratively, including time recording, attending group meetings, attending Koffee Klatches, occasional training, including French training (noted below). Additionally, a key activity for 2009 will be the collection of papers and transcripts for the publication of a book or collection of important works.
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