Inquiry through Blended Learning

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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Canadian Society for Studies in Education (CSSE) Conference

Hmnn . . . it seems that I begin each journal entry with a statement about lack of time for reflection. I really need to get a handle on this issue . . . or life is just going to pass me by :(

The CSSE conference at the University of British Columbia (UBC) was a rewarding experience for a number of reasons.

First, it was a great opportunity to spend some time on the UBC campus, which from my perspective is one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The campus sits right on the end of peninsula and is rimmed by rugged beach scape. Wreck Beach - known for it's nudity - is located right below a residence complex.

Second, this is the first conference I have attended that included a 10km run and it was a wonderful experience running through the University Endowment land - along wooded trails and flower lined pathways.

Third, now that I'm actually an instructor for MRC's pre-service teacher education program - I really enjoyed "connecting" with other Education faculty from across Canada. We had an exciting Technology and Teacher Education (TATE) pre-conference workshop, I presented my study on The Role of Communication and Information Technologies in Canadian Pre-Service Teacher Education programs and I participated in LOTS of related social activities such dinners and receptions.

Fourth, there were some wonderful sessions on the Scholarship of Teaching and as usual I took lots of notes and some of the presentations/papers were posted online. One of my favourites was a session by Gary Poole from UBC, Lynn Taylor from Dalhousie, and John Thompson from U of Saskatchewan. They provided an amazing departmental, institutional and Canadian-wide perspective to SoTL. Carl Weiman, the 1980 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics also facilitated a wonderful session on Discipline Based Educational Research (DBER). Hopefully there will be interest by the Canadian Federal Government to actually fund Educational Research in Canada.

I finished the conference with a meeting with Terry Anderson and Griff Richards from Athabasca University about submitting a proposal to research Alberta Education's Technology and High School Student Success Initiative. I sure hope we are successful this proposal as it would really link with the Student Engagement and Web 2.0 research that I'm doing at MRC and I would love to work with Terry and Griff!!