The Fifty Minute Ethnography

Ethnography is becoming an increasingly popular research methodology used across a number of disciplines. Typically, teaching students how to write an ethnography, much less how to undertake “fieldwork” (or the ethnographic research upon which ethnographies are based), is reserved for senior- or MA-level research methods courses. This article 1)Trnka, Susanna (2017), Journal of Effective Teaching, 17(1), pp. 28-34. examines the pedagogical strategy of engaging first-year students in ethnographic field methods and the art of ethnographic writing and suggests how the use of a short ethnographic exercise (the fifty minute mini-ethnography) can enable students who are at the beginning of their undergraduate degrees to better understand the relationships between theory and empirical data.

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1. Trnka, Susanna (2017), Journal of Effective Teaching, 17(1), pp. 28-34.

What is Ethnography and how does it work?

Ethnographic research is a qualitative method where researchers observe and/or interact with a study’s participants in their real-life environment. Ethnography was popularised by anthropology, but is used across a wide range of social sciences.1)Text source: www.spotless.co.uk

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1. Text source: www.spotless.co.uk

From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able

TEDxKC talks synopsis, by Michael Wesch, “From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able”: Today a new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new web application. Yet these developments are not without disruption and peril. Familiar long-standing institutions, organizations and traditions disappear or transform beyond recognition. And while new media bring with them new possibilities for openness, transparency, engagement and participation, they also bring new possibilities for surveillance, manipulation, distraction and control.

Critical thinking, the old mainstay of higher education, is no longer enough to prepare our youth for this world. We must create learning environments that inspire a way of being-in-the-world in which they can harness and leverage this new media environment as well as recognize and actively examine, question and even re-create the (increasingly digital) structures that shape our world.1)Published on 12th October 2010

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1. Published on 12th October 2010

CH@NGE

The Internet and Education

In many ways, it is difficult to discuss any aspect of contemporary society without considering the Internet. Many people’s lives are saturated so thoroughly with digital technology that the once obvious distinction between either being online or offline now fails to do justice to a situation where the Internet is implicitly always on. Indeed, it is often observed that younger generations are unable to talk about the Internet as a discrete entity.

Instead, online practices have been part of young people’s lives since birth and, much like oxygen, water, or electricity, are assumed to be a basic condition of modern life. As Donald Tapscott (2009, 20) put it, “to them, technology is like the air.” Thus, in many ways, talking about the Internet and education simply means talking about contemporary education.

The Internet is already an integral element of education in (over)developed nations, and we can be certain that its worldwide educational significance will continue to increase throughout this decade (Selwyn, 2014).

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Learning Across Contexts

Learner-led and boundary-free: learning across contexts

The contributing authors 1)King, H. Kersh, N. Potter, J. & Pitts, S. (2015) ‘Learner-led and boundary-free: Learning across contexts’ in Hohenstein, J. & King, H. (Eds) Learning Beyond the Classroom. British Journal of Educational Psychology. Monograph Series: Psychological aspects of education, June 2015, no. 11, pp. 39-50. seek to extend our thinking about the nature of learning across settings.

All emphasise the role played by the individual in shaping learning and consider the importance of agency in sustaining motivation for learning beyond structured settings (King et al., 2015).

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1. King, H. Kersh, N. Potter, J. & Pitts, S. (2015) ‘Learner-led and boundary-free: Learning across contexts’ in Hohenstein, J. & King, H. (Eds) Learning Beyond the Classroom. British Journal of Educational Psychology. Monograph Series: Psychological aspects of education, June 2015, no. 11, pp. 39-50.