This quote attributed to Robert John Meehan was tweeted yesterday as a part of #rEdMEL
I heard about about Research Ed a few months ago when some of the key educators I follow on Twitter began retweeting #rEdMEL and ‘spruiking’ this one day conference for teachers, academics, researchers.
I was interested in the target audience – education practitioners and leaders, as well as researchers and academics all in one space to start new conversations, to collaborate ideas and to debate the state of play in education today? It just sounded too good to be true.
And this is one aspect of Research Ed that I want to follow up on. UK educator Tom Bennett (@tombennet71)led Research Ed in Melbourne, Australia. I was unable to attend in person, but thanks to my Professional Learning Network on Twitter I was able to dive into the live stream (yes it did trend on Twitter at one point) and follow some interesting conversations throughout the day.
Sometimes it is a succinct quote, an idea questioned or slide shared that is a little bit of gold that gets your brain thinking in a new way. (Left to Right: @CmunroOZ and @debsnet) I love that about the online world of learning. Others like Greg Ashman and Deborah Netolicky have reflected more deeply in blogposts and I suspect there will be more of these as the week unfolds.
As a researcher and educator who lives 300kms from Melbourne, #rEdMEL via my PLN has been rewarding. But one of the most powerful outcomes I observed from afar was that many of these people who have been part of a Professional on line community for years, were able to meet up and talk together, some of them even working together and presenting as a team for the first time. The face to face connection and collaboration, the incidental chats over coffee, at the basin in the restroom or over dinner. These were all powerful encounters capable of long lasting transformation. A new Australian-centric research and education network was being grown.
I am reminded that we all have little ‘research eds’ in our work spaces, our schools and universities. The powerful conversations and collaborations, the active learning research and the reflective practice is all happening, but sometimes going unnoticed, without fanfare or celebration. This week the challenge for me is to connect the dots, with those powerful teaching practices I observe, a great student outcome, a small win for a colleague struggling, a coaching goal met or a research deadline finished. There is a great life in research ed when we work together.