Tag Archives: Graduate School of Education

Edmodo as an Innovative technology

video retrieved from https:/ www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo2Odx2oDL4

Edmodo is recognized as an educational platform designed to connect students and teachers in school learning environment.  It was founded in 2008 by Nic Borg, Jeff O’Hara, Crystal Hutter in Chicago, Illinois to encourage the balance between the needs of contemporary society and education. Currently, the Edmodo links about 60 million users around the world who get and share knowledge (About Edmodo, 2015).

Being useful in practical sense, the Edmodo creates the free and mobile conditions both for learners and teachers in the classroom as well as outside of the school. It is applicable to different subjects as teachers can post the home assignments, files, classroom resources, notes and even polls to gather sufficient data. Moreover, teachers do not have to send individual e-mails to students or make appointments for group discussions if they properly use the Edmodo post.

I have been practicing Edmodo for two academic years and would recommend to educators to imply it in the classrooms. However, I would say that the efficacy of the webpage would be doubled if to add the options to see the students’ visit time. Thus, teachers would be ensured about the students’ awareness of the last posts.

Considering from local perspective, I would not say that Edmodo is popular technology in all educational institutions in my city. No or slow access to the internet, lack of computers, low rate of computer literacy, lack of competence in IT technologies are the core reasons for Edmodo’s low level of usage.  To overcome the current situation, it is not enough to supply schools with necessary equipment and other resources if teachers are not motivated and initiate the implementation of such innovative technologies in teaching and learning process.

Reference

Retrieved from: https://www.edmodo.com/about

Education via 3D technology

Nowadays it is not enough to merely be a good teacher, you have to be an extraordinary teacher. The current trends make it necessary to change and improve your ability. Each year, the education transforming into something new and modern teachers should be flexible to changes. In this post I would like to share the new “innovative” technology experience which is already used in the classroom that had positive results in the United Kingdom (UK). In the video the Shelfield Community Academy is using 3D technology in the classroom. It is the first school in the UK to work with Gaia Technologies to adopt and develop the use of classroom 3D technologies.

In terms of implementing it in my own classroom, I think that “innovative” approach might be helpful to my students. In Nazarbayev Intellectual School there is an appropriate condition to apply it. According to comments of students from the video they have felt excited in the classroom. Also, they mentioned that it can make lesson more realistic and fascinating, that they are not just listening but participating in the content of the lesson.

In my perspective, the main barrier for implementing such innovative technology is the lack of attention by the policy makers to such beneficial technology. It is recommended that people propose such way of studying to the Government in order for it to have a positive effect on the country’s state of education.

Reference list

Innovative Technology Film Series – 3D in the Classroom. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vakjnnoj7w

Literature review my First love… (Part IV)

Barbara Smith First Love in Literature

In this post I would like to share my experience of writing literature review. Last year, I was fully introduced to the concept of literature review and I was really ‘falling in love’ with this section of research. In order to understand my own research topic I found some sources which showed me the meaning of my topic. During the process of long night reading and surfing the internet I noticed that I had started to get more deeply involved the process of research. Without a doubt it was an amazing feeling because before I even did not imagine that different literatures could create a miracle of combining all these sources which finally yield a product referred to as a research.

The topic of my research is a Principal’s leadership, where the main focus of the study is teachers` perception of their Principal’s skills at school. There are some challenges that any ordinary students faces during the collection of literatures. It could seem to be biased but it is indeed difficult to find researches which have been conducted in Kazakhstan. I do not know the reasons why there is a lack of research in Kazakhstani context but that are a fact. That is why I needed a lot of time to find appropriate sources which relates to my research, especially research in Kazakhstan. Fortunately, I have found literatures from different countries such as the United States of America, China, Canada, Brazil, and England. Now I am in the process of reading, highlighting and understanding what different authors have sought to explain in their researches.

Personally, I always try to make any process of writing into some kind of game, whereby I need to win the ‘dark side’. For me, the most interesting part is has always been preparation and writing process rather than the final product. That has been my small secret of how to deal with different tasks. Consequently, I use this kind of approach to encourage my own students in the learning process and without a doubt I can say that my students are quite involved in my classes.

In conclusion, it is possible to say that the literature review play significant role in any research. I have recognized that without literature review it is impossible to have in-depth understanding of your thesis. Moreover, the process of reading and then writing main point from the literature need huge amount of time which I absolutely have not really had. The solution is to stay focused in and take control of your personal time and manage your daily life regime. It is only through this way I have tried to do my best. Thank you!

Picture taken from – http://www.makers.com/moments/first-love-literature

My literature review journey

Literature review is the most challenging and utmost part of research work to my mind.I tend to think that ultimate success or failure of any research study directly depends on reviewing various kinds of scientific and research papers related to target topic. Since last year Literature review became an inseparable part of my academic life. I have been having a long journey with a huge amount of research papers.I simultaneously experience difficulties in this journey and benefit a lot from exploring novelties.respectively I made a conclusion of my current track.
On the one hand, Literature review in research writing needs a lot of effort to make. The most difficult thing of this very part of research paper is time issue. It is quite time-consuming work to deal with and get the relevant point for your topic. Personally, being a freshman in research field during my first year of Master’s program I read all literature mentioning the key words of my research paper recklessly. Thus I lost my time, patience and desire to study since it was very confusing and tiring. Besides, to find a source agreement is another trouble concerned Literature review. If one author demonstrates very essential finding and novelty, you become enthusiastic to find another source to support that report. However it is not always possible to find the source sharing the same claim. Again much time is needed to search for relevant paper.
On the other hand, Literature review is greatly aiding me in my research writing process. First of all, it helps me to scrutiny my study topic from different perspectives and find sources illustrating outstanding findings and conclusions. Reviewing diverse resources enables me to enhance my knowledge and find a right track. Literature review made me once change my way of researching my topic and change research questions entirely. I caught a focus on specific theme and my research about teachers’ challenges in CLIL was going systematically then. In addition, reviewing different literature I became aware of different challenges which CLIL teachers face in classrooms. Consequently, I divided my Literature review part into subtopics according to challenges. Moreover through reading research papers I taught me to correct style of writing academic papers and enlarged my Vocabulary. Daily review of books, articles and research works is also broadening my outlook as well as moving forward.As to my stage of doing literature review I am just taking up it since recently I have changed my topic.

My experience of writing a literature review

The first time I heard about a literature review was in August, 2014 when I started the Inquiry Methods course at GSE. Unfortunately, due to the limited time we had only two sessions devoted to the topic of writing a good literature review. I still remember how confused, lost and frustrated I was when the professor passed around the work schedule for the time when we are back home. We were supposed to have a written up literature review from five to seven pages long by the next intensive session in October. Since I did not understand much of the information received during those two sessions the only way out was to study on my own and search for the answers to all the questions I had in mind.

First, instead of reading all those books on research in the field of education I looked up video sources on http://www.youtube.com. One of the videos has provided me with a brief overview of the process of writing a good literature review. The authors of the video suggested following some basic steps in order to succeed. The first thing was to identify the keywords. Having decided on the topic of my future thesis, I picked some of the keywords and started looking for the sources. The search engine has shown a couple of pages with articles, books, and reports on my topic. So, I started looking at each source and downloading the ones that I found useful for me. The first stage was completed. I had a number of credible sources for writing my literature review.

However, the great challenge came when I started looking through the sources and got completely lost in all the information I had. I understood that just summarizing each article is not going to construct a successful literature review. The video proposed to organize the sources by analyzing them, selecting the key points and ideas, and having a summary table of all the sources. It was a time consuming process, however, having spent an hour and a half on one article every day resulted in a very informative table that included information on each source with its brief summary, key ideas, notes and important quotations. Later, following the advice of our professor, I divided the sources into categories based on the themes. For this, I created a mind map with the key concepts and ideas. The mind map helped me to identify the gaps in the literature and possible areas for further research.

After this long and tiring process of organizing the information into themes and identifying the literature gap, I started writing the literature review. It was not so difficult to do since I already had most of the work done. The only thing left was to put all the information from the table and the mind map into well-structured and logical sentences.

I got a high grade for that literature review assignment. The topic of my thesis is going to be the same, therefore I do not struggle much in extending my literature review. I found more sources and now I follow the same steps as I did last year. I hope that the result will be as good as it was before.

Far more challenging than I expected

pix about lit

Picture is retrieved from http://cliparts.co/science-fiction-clipart

It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many things I do not know. The more I learn about the new subject, the more I understand that I do not know it. Another new discovery has happened to me recently. This week I have been working on a literature review for my thesis. My understanding of the literature review was rather shallow one as I thought that I had only to cite what other scholars have already written on the topic and that is it. This type of misconception about the literature review process made the whole process really challenging. To overcome those challenges I have searched for information about literature review and watched tutorials on literature review. In this post I will describe challenges I encountered and some advice to overcome those challenges.

The first challenged was to find a credible source. When you type the key words of your thesis or paper, Google will give you tons of results. However, it does not necessarily mean that every result will be helpful to your studies. One should clearly understand that in academic writing you will need scholarly peer-reviewed articles, books, journals, research reports that have strong weight in academic world.

Second challenge was to find a relevant source to my particular study. One cannot cite everything that is found on the topic. Literature review is not a summary of everything that has been written on the topic. It is actually a thorough and critical analysis of existing literature that will help understand the topic better and choose literature that is relevant to the topic of research. Through literature review a researcher shows how previous research findings can be integrated to his or her studies, what concepts and trends can be defined in the topic, how similar and different findings of different research are, what possible strengths and weaknesses they have, what gap exists in research, etc.

Final challenge relates to inability to make a clear organizational structure of the literature review. When you have a large amount of resources, it might become difficult to tackle all that information. I consider that having a mind map might help to make the process of literature review easier and more organized.

To sum up, it turns out that literature review is one of the hardest part of any research. I think that it is both challenging for a beginning researcher as well as for a mature academician. The quality of any paper fully depends on the quality of the literature review you have done. Therefore, much attention and effort should be given to the literature review process.

Once upon a time in the kingdom of APA… (Part III)

GpaD8Image credit http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/230452/biblatex-biber-maxbibnames-with-style-apa

My professional life has led to some questions about how to become a real and true teacher. Questions such as why education becomes complicated year-by-year, why do people create some ‘techniques’ and ‘methods’ which are sometimes not necessary in the real life and what would be simple ways to explain these concepts to students. I always try to analyze and review my professional experience to find out what the challenges were for me and how I solved those problems. This thought process always leads to the birth of new ideas which are actualized in my classroom.

My first year at Nazarbayev University introduced me to the American Psychological Association style (APA). At that time it was an absolutely new and scary technique for me. Previously, I never thought it was necessary to provide the source of information in a study. However, I now understand that it is very valuable practice otherwise it would be considered that you have plagiarized different works without citing the authors. Even after long spell of practice it is still confusing in terms of following the formats but I know that it is quite possible.

In my opinion, the APA uniform system has some advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, it needs to clarify for whom it is needed. Audience identification is very important; educators at university ought to known APA or other styles such as MLA, Chicago and so on. In education there is a rule, ‘Publish or perish’, which means your career as an educator will depends on your professional publications. That is why, it important that one knows all techniques in education. However, if you are not professor or researcher I think basic knowledge of APA style formats are enough for application in some assignments at school for a student. My point here is that people should focus on their interest area of study rather that learn by heart all these many rules.

To sum up, my three year experience as a teacher without a doubt I will not recommend to anyone the choice of teaching profession as it is a very complicated profession in the whole world. It needs huge number of passion and time to be a real teacher. You need to have universal skills and know different techniques such as APA style. That style needs more than one year to understand them. My advice in this post for future students is always share your personal experience with other students because only your peers could explain to you in a simpler language APA style and not your lecturer. Another advice is more practice; only during the practice you would see the common rules. Thank you and Good luck!

More you know about APA, more you get confused!

I first encountered APA style when I was a third year bachelor student at the University of International relationships and World languages in Almaty. That time all our APA studies were merely about numbering pages, running titles and fonts. No teaching was around citing another writer’s reports properly and referencing correctly. Students’ course final papers and diploma works included countless numbers of other authors’ sayings and research findings, however none of them was quoted according to APA style format. The most exciting matter is that any student was not blamed for plagiarism.

Once I took up Master’s program at Nazarbayev University, I became aware of other “dark” sides of APA, consequently I totally changed my perception of citing and referencing. APA is one of the most powerful “legislative documents” in academic and research fields. Incorrect quote and reference or in other words “plagiarism” entails strong critique and student drop out. Personally I experience various challenges in using APA format for my University papers. The most paramount difficulty is the complexity of the style. It is excessively confusing and time consuming thing to get familiar with the whole APA format. In my mind it is too complicated to memorize all the details and differences of citing books and articles, essays and research papers with one author or many of them.

In addition, plagiarism is highly prohibited issue in academic deals. In order to avoid plagiarism researchers and students are supposed to paraphrase other authors’ words. In such cases the most difficult thing for me not to lose the idea while changing the words.

However not everything is unpleasant about APA style. Being a systematic way of “documenting sources used in any academic paper”, APA regulates researchers’ rights in each and every field of science.Retrieved from https://www.library.cornell.edu/research/citation/apa. APA is like an endless maze for me, more you go ahead, more difficulties are faced. Therefore I recommend students who are just beginning to working with APA to devote as much time as possible to study it. Refreshing APA knowledge and using your thoughts are also should be borne in mind of every researcher.

References

APA Citation Style. Retrieved from https://www.library.cornell.edu/research/citation/apa

Image retrieved from http://www.ohrstromblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/cite_it_web.jpg

IT’S ALL ABOUT CITING…

images

Image source: http://blaugh.lockergnome.com/cartoons/061013_internet_citing1.gif

During my final school year, I was studying in an American High School. Even though I was an exchange student, I still had to write a graduate paper as the main assignment for the English language course since it was the requirement for all senior students at school. That was the first time I was introduced to referencing and citing sources in a proper way. Our teacher provided us with many printed pages of the guidelines to using MLA style in academic writing that became our ‘bible’ for the whole semester.

For me it was difficult to understand why people need to spend so much time on the format, the structure, and especially the reference list of the paper if the main thing is the content of the piece of writing. The ‘enlightenment’ came when I started looking for the sources. The proper structure and the uniform style of other scholarly works has saved my time in the process of searching for resources for writing my paper. Also, organizing the paper in an academic way has developed my logic and analytical skills. Now, every time I write an essay or a paper I think about the logical structure and the proper organization. Furthermore, remembering about giving credit to other authors in the correct way all the time has increased the level of responsibility for all the actions I take no matter whether it is about my studies or work.

As a graduate student at GSE, I have learned how to use APA style in academic writing. At the very beginning of my first year of studies, I struggled a lot with citing secondary sources and those that lacked some important information such as the author’s name, date, page numbers, etc. There were cases when I even had to give up on a very good source only because I was not sure whether I was citing it correctly or not. It seems to me that too much attention is given to all those commas, brackets, cursive, etc. As for me, it would be much better if it were enough to cite a source just by providing a link to it. It is obvious that such suggestion can refer to electronic sources only. However, even this little improvement could save a lot of time and make the life of students easier.

When it comes to my own tips of citing and referencing, I would suggest using www.googlescholar.com. This tool provides you with a full reference at one click. Moreover, it has options for referencing in various styles of academic writing. However, you should not rely on it all the time. It is more secure to check with a credible manual when time allows.

Three important letters – APA

APA style has recently become an important part of my life. Whatever I write, I always try to concentrate on correct citing and formatting because I understand that this is a crucial element of any piece of writing, especially an academic one. I wish I had learnt about APA or any other style before, I could have been more experienced and skillful in using it now. But unfortunately, no teacher at my first university has ever attempted to inform us about importance of citing and formatting. I as a student had no idea about its existence. I lived unaware until one day.

That day was when I started teaching a course on Global perspective and project work at Nazarbayev Intellectual school. Then was the first time I understood that proper citation and format was an essential part of any academic writing and that it was my duty as a teacher to explain how to use it to my students. As this topic was not very familiar for myself, I had to study different tutorials and manuals on how to use citing and formatting in APA style properly. In this regard, the Internet site http://www.apastyle.org/ was very helpful for me to understand the generic rules on how to make in-text citations and compile a reference list.

More deep understanding of an APA style came to me when I became a student at Nazarbayev University. I had to study thoroughly the manuals again. However, sometimes it is still a challenge for me to use APA style when I have to complete a final paper or write a post. The first difficulty is to make in-text citations, especially when there is more than one author or the author is unknown. Second difficulty is to have correct formatting of the paper. This happens because I do not remember all the rules I have to follow. And finally, it is challenging to make a reference list by yourself, therefore, I always use a citation machine for this purpose.

I think that reading manuals and watching tutorials as well as analyzing the sample papers helped me a lot to understand how to use APA style. Therefore, I advice current and future students to learn the basics about APA and always practice using it.