This research (dated 2008) was awarded the 2009 Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE) Thesis and Dissertation Recognition of Excellence Award. Below is the abstract and the full document!


Collaboration between classrooms, in a digital environment, was explored using
the self-identifiers of connectivity, constructivism, and collaborative comforts to
partner teachers. The research question investigated was, how might emerging
research on connectivity, constructivism and collaboration within the digital
environment inform the design of an interactive website that enhances the ways
in which teachers are able to collaborate with colleagues around the world based
on the development of a more complex partnering system? The Design as
Education Research Framework was used to implement the ‘design as research’
method and resulted in the design of the research object, an interactive website,
TeachersConnecting.com. Multiple data sources that informed the design
process were: the research object, a development journal, feedback from a
development panel, and academic literature in the field. Reflection via a virtual
convener, practical applications of connectivism and constructivism, as well as
the impact of a development panel on ‘design as research’ were described.
Cross-classroom collaboration projects were organized into a matrix that was
developed based on the comforts.

Keywords: cross-classroom collaboration, collaborative projects, design as
research, Design as Educational Research, collaborative comfort, constructivism
comfort, connectivity comfort, partnering teachers, interactive education website
design, connectivism

What Would Yoda Do? An eBook

Update: August 7, 2010. Paper accepted for publication in the upcoming edition of
Journal of Curriculum & Pedagogy, Perspectives: The Digital, 7(2).
Initiating Collaborators: Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep), Ben Hazzard (@benhazzard) and Kathy Hibbert (@khibbert)

Reflecting On and Imagining Professional Development for Teachers in the Digital Age

A week ago, Rodd Lucier, Kathy Hibbert, and I put out a call for submissions via twitter for educators to contribute to an e-book about professional development for teachers. These ideas were considered, and sorted into themes that emerged. The final product, which can be viewed below, has been submitted to the Journal of Curriculum & Pedagogy for inclusion in an upcoming edition. Beyond the content of the final product, the process of actively engaging in a collaborative writing experience was a key source of my learning.

View the ‘e-book’ below. I strongly suggest that you use the ‘full screen option’.
What Would Yoda Do? A Jedi Approach to Professional Development

What Would Yoda Do?

Reflecting On and Imagining Professional Development for Teachers in the Digital Age

A recent ‘call for submissions’ by the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, prompted three of us interested in the influence of ‘the digital’ on curriculum and pedagogy to convene a meeting and discuss how we might contribute to this conversation. Individually, we work in our own contexts (schools, school districts and university settings) to navigate the amorphous digital culture in ways that allow us to integrate emerging technologies into our classrooms and our professional lives in purposeful ways.

We decided that in many ways, a ‘call for submissions’ was really the academic version of crowdsourcing amongst a community of scholars. With that in mind, we have elected to further crowdsource the ‘call’ in the form of a question posed to our broader community of educational colleagues, thereby leveraging our various social media networks in ways that embody cultural participation and co-creation. As such, all participants will be viewed not as ‘subjects’ of a study but as co-authors of the resulting product.

A framework has been developed in order to focus the contributions around the status of professional development in education. In keeping with the spirit of ‘embodied practice’, we aim to create a slideshare presentation by remixing the content provided by participants. Embracing the participatory culture afforded through networked communication, we are starting with the simple question: What Would Yoda Do?

To this end, we invite members of our collective social networks to participate on or before Saturday, May 22, 2010:

Step 1: Review images shared by Stephan through Creative Commons on Flikr called Stormtroopers 365 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/st3f4n/sets/72157616350171741/)

Step 2: Consider a caption, comment, quote, or personal words of wisdom for one or more of the photographs that reflects:
· Current ‘pet peeves’ you have with current professional development experiences;
· Possibilities for re-imagining professional development that is socially and intellectually engaging.

Step 3: Tweet your caption, comment, quote, or personal words of wisdom on the topic of ‘professional development’ using the hashtag #wwyd
Note: Rather than restating a favourite quote from another source, we’re looking for original messages.

Step 4: Tweet a link to the image (from the Stormtroopers 365 photoset) that you’d like us to use in referencing your tweet. Be sure to include the hashtag #wwyd

We will collate and organize submissions received, and then generate a slidedeck composed of the contributions. Our emerging thoughts in light of the current state of professional development in education, will be framed in response to our metaphorical question, What would Yoda do? Note that selected submissions will be published under a Creative Commons License CC BY-NC 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
Sample slide: http://skitch.com/roddlucier/dd44w/wwyd-coming-soon

Initiating Collaborators: Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep), Ben Hazzard (@benhazzard) and Kathy Hibbert (@khibbert)