19 December 2009

External supervisors confirmed!

Wow that was fast! David Wiley, Stephen Downes and Michael Wesch have agreed to being external supervisors over my open PhD project. This compliments an equally strong though perhaps lessor known line up of local supervisors, Keith Lyons, Robin McConnell, Robert Fitzgerald and James Neil.

Here's what I'm thinking:

David Wiley for his understanding of policy and implementation in western academic traditions. Especially his practical yet ground breaking work fitting that in with networked media and communications via open education. Dave was the first to blow my socks off with his paper Reusability Paradox back in 2003 (for some strange reason he omits the paper from his Selected Publications).

Stephen Downes is a must for his intensely principled stance, informed by a background in philosophy that I hope to get more grounding in, and an overview of the field like no other. SD is not afraid to challenge status quo, and will stand firm on ideas he believes in. On more than one occasion this has lead me to entirely new thinking and critical incite. I credit Stephen to starting me off on this journey with networked learning.

Michael Wesch has knowledge in ethnography applied to networked media and communications that inspires me a lot. I hope to learn his field and apply his methods to a focus group of people I am working with at UC. Video as a means of 'writing' is something I'd like do more of in this PhD as well.

I can certainly think of a few more 'externals' I will want to ask to be involved, but for now and for the purposes of my application, these confirmations are a great start. We all know wide and open review is how we work online anyway, especially in an openPhD model. This line up is really from the point of view of gaining acceptance to register for PhD. Many thanks David, Stephen and Michael for accepting the role.

Internally I look to James Neil, Robert Fitzgerald, Robin McConnell and Keith Lyons for majority supervision.

James Neil has always struck me as being very mindful in his use of the Internet. I've known and followed James' for many years now and the opportunity to meet and work with him at UC was a big draw card. I see him as a role model for networked teaching and research, and his expertise in psychology will be an important dimension to this study.

Robert Fitzgerald is the Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education here at UC. He understands social media and is applying it in his own work. He also understands the PhD process within UC, and has been a key encouragement for me in taking on this project. Robert is cooking up a number of significant projects at UC that I hope my work will be helpful to.

Robin McConnell is someone I have only just met, who has next to no Internet presence, a veteran of higher education and research, and to top it all off - is a proud kiwi! Despite all his faults, he has shown me respect and enthusiasm that is literally like a breath of fresh air from a freshly whited NZ mountain top. He knows how academia works, and he's specialty in leadership and groups brings valuable and unique perspectives to my work. Robin is both a subject and supervisor to this project, and will make sure its a good time had by all.

Keith Lyons is protector, enabler, advisor and lead supervisor. I first met Keith back in 2005 when he invited me down to the Australian Institute of Sport for a day of edu-speak . He has quietly followed my work in the years since, recently offering me a job in Sport Studies at UC. Since the day I arrived he has taken me around to meet key people from Federal Senators, to leadership people at UC. (I have systematically but unintentionally offended them all! :( Keith is an avid enthusiast of what social media brings to teaching and research, and has a background in ethnography and deschooling! I am very grateful to have him watch over this ominous task, and I'm thinking hard on the notions of "invitational development" and being "platform agnostic"...

13 comments:

George Siemens said...

Congrats on starting this Leigh! I think it's a great move on your part to pursue a phd!! I hope the committee can see, and will give merit for, the quality of your thinking through your online writing...

Minhaaj said...

Forgod Sakes Leigh!!!! You are better than Ph.D

stevenparker said...

Congratulations Leigh, you consistent writing and body of work to date will be a great resource to refer back to as you progress.

Lisa Chamberlin said...

Welcome to the revolution :-)

Sarah Stewart said...

Bloody hell, Leigh...these supervisors are amazing. Your work is going to be fabulous!!

Jo Murray said...

not even a token female? :o)

Leigh Blackall said...

Significant girly influences in my work to date would be Jude cook, Kathy sierra, Nancy white, sunshine connelly, bronwyn hegarty, ... I thought about the gender balance vs tokenism and decided to look harder for more genuine feminine influences that can tollerate, even appreciate my mascullin egoism, and show me the error of my ways. This is, or will be an open networked project after all.

Sarah Stewart said...

Don't worry Jo...there'll be plenty of us girls keeping an eye on him LOL

Leigh: my main comment is to be careful not to have too many supervisors - it can get a little complicated if you are having to deal with too many different opinions

Leigh Blackall said...

And how could I forget Sarah Stewart!

Sarah Stewart said...

Well..someone's got to keep an eye on that male ego of yours! :) :)

alexanderhayes said...

What is your motivation in doing a Phd ?

Leigh Blackall said...

Job security, network strenghthening, career prospects, professional credibility, learning olden style research techniques, masochism.

Merrolee said...

Love to see how Sarah is keeping an eye on you - we had a lovely chinwag on her front lawn the other Sunday - sun streaming in - beautiful Dunedin day - not too hot to be outside!!!!

Good luck Leigh - you'll need it - and yes be careful of too many supervisors who will all have different perspectives!