23 Things for Research. Thing 5

This ‘thing’, is about news feed. I have never use this function/tool before, even I heard of it, because I am used to log in different platform to check the updates. It seems a bit old-fashioned comparing to the feed. So I tried. I tried Feedly this time. It actually really helpful for me to organise the blogs within this community of 23 Things for Research. The task that I am trying to address here is:

How do you organise your online reading? Do you have a bookmarks system or routine, or do you fit your reading into the margins of work / study / life?

As I mentioned, I prefer to simply use websites/apps (e.g. BBC/CNN/Southern Weekly/Phoenix etc.) to browse news and read. My online reading currently focuses on news and tech for leisure. I find this approach can help me to identify the position that different media holds, helping me to get a feel of how media interpret and discuss a same social issue, e.g. the HK Occupy Central issue nowadays.

I do have a bookmarks systems for my leisure readings, based on the theme, such as Tech, News, SNS, Jobs, Academic etc. For my current Feedly trial, I copy paste all the blogs under a category named ’23 Things’. I find it really helpful as I can easily follow blogs from different platforms, e.g. Blogger. I will take it as similar as the SNS management platform, such as Hootsuite. But I do not like fitting my reading into the margins of work/study/life as I reckon that blog is the much deeper expression form/style than SNS, which requires more time to read and get engage. So I personally prefer to do it in a relatively long time, maybe an hour or more.

Anyway, I will try checking Feedly this week and see if it is good for me. Thanks for the recommendation!


23 Things for Research. Thing 4

Thing 4 is about sharing a link. I would like to share Mrs Pepe’s blog (http://mrspepe.com/). Her blog is mainly about her experience of teaching in a digital environment. One thing that really impress me is her daily post of the serious of Google Glass in the Class. It captures her perceptions towards using the new Glass tech into everyday classroom. I was very interested in it and used it as my proposed topic before (well, changed my topic later…). You can tell from her blog that she’s very keen to take the whole journey as inquire. I admire her passions and hard working on the blogs. My 23 Things fellows, this is what I would love to share with you this week. Enjoy~

Position? Emotion?

I have been thinking to write something about this for long. It was inspired from a conversation with a friend, when we were discussing someone’s research on citizenship and politics. I, on that day, felt not comfortable when a classic pic of tankman was shown again and was used as an elicitation for introduction. Yes, it’s still a forbidden and sensitive topic in the dragon’s home. I am aware of the issue, I am aware of the need to fight for rights like people before. I am aware of my responsibility to stand. I am aware of the need to criticise the society and authorities. I am aware of my responsibility to be true to the deep of our heart. But what I really concern is, what was the reality? What really happened? Until now, no one can tell the true story behind. I watched some interviews and documentaries before. But it is easy to find that, no one was telling the absolute truth. Lies, assumptions, fears, desires, bias, feelings, angers, self-interests……all were mixed in the middle of the individual perceptions from people involved. They may be students, officials, victims, journalists, or someone sitting in front of a telly. Capturing all these may present a huge picture, but what about the confusions and the truth? You may still find facts and evidences, but media nowadays mostly has its own positions (believe or not, after all, all reports are produced by human), some parts of facts or evidences are exposed time after time, and are exaggerated to some extent. This is dangerous, because the other parts of facts or evidences could be drowned out, and ordinary people may simply ignore it. Sympathy goes to the side of tears.

I was born in the same year of that issue, I don’t know much about it. That’s why I keep trying to keep distance, be an outsider, listen, observe, and hope I can realise what it really means to me, and perhaps pick my side or position one day. It is easy to pick a position, because it is driven by emotions, your instinct feelings. But when it comes to research, emotions, I reckon, is very tricky. I am fine about doing research with position, but I do not support research with emotions. They may not be critical enough to discuss the whole thing, and points can become tendentious. Till now, I cannot choose my position, which makes me prefer to carefully see all arguments. The more I read, the more I feel uncomfortable. I see more written emotions than rational analysis. I see more written attacks than powerful points. I started to question myself, is a position for me is necessary? I find it can be too simple. Picking position doesn’t matter, and changing position doesn’t matter. To me, I just wanna keep my eye opened, keep my ear listened, “keep calm and carry on”.

23 Things for Research. Getting started

It’s a great to blog again! I just find out my last blog was published 2 months ago… Yeah, I am lazy blogging again. It’s hard to pick up a habit that you’ve already gave up.

23 Things for Research & Blogging

My motivation to blog is my enrollment to the ’23 Things for Research’. I had a look at the programme structure. It has covered the fundamental issues for a researcher to make full use of the digital world. Thanks for the CreATE team’s efforts. I love this idea of academic blogging. I found some great ideas here when I was in the process of narrowing my research topics, such as Stephen Downes‘ distributed knowledge (http://www.downes.ca/), and George Siemens’ connectivism (www.elearnspace.org/blog/). I do have a collection in my OneNote for these great scholars’ blog.


I assume my audience of this blog would mostly be my ‘online classmates’ in the programme whom have no idea who I am, so I am going to have a very brief introduction of myself. I am Jiansheng, locating in A238 Epson Campus, UoAuckland. I started my PhD journey in Feb 2014. My research interests include mobile learning, BYOD, instructional design, teacher knowledge, informal learning, HRM & HRD, and the undiscovered interests etc:) Recently, I am writing up research proposal. My research topic is about NZ science teachers’ instructional design for a BYOD environment. This is the third time that I’ve changed my research topic, from adults’ mobile informal learning, Google Glass in the class, to my current topic. To clarify, I am not going to give up my the previous two topics. I would like to continue some work one day. It’s true, for a PhD candidate, we need to weigh a lot: our time, our experience, our capability, our limitations, our networks, ethics, methodology……. tons~~~ There’s a need to find the best balanced point to get started. I don’t like to change topic actually, but I once struggled, confused, doubted, and rethought. It’s kind of an interesting experience to find where we are. Now I would think the Jiansheng in Feb is so ambitious and like to do a lot in a limited time, so as lots of new PhD students. My research topic is different from my MSc and BA backgrounds (training & development, labour & social security). I love my comfort zone, but I prefer to get out of it and explore another comfort zone.

Social Media: Identity

I wrote almost everything of my life in my 5-year blogging, and it’s really funny to look back (Sadly, that blogging system has gone and all my data is disappeared…). But who cares? Me? If only I care, then why I post it? This has led me to think the self identity issue in social media. You can be a top professional on LinkedIn, spreading your wisdom on Twitter or blogs. You can be a cynic to keep criticising the society and the reality. You can be a extreme position-er to claim the priority of your ‘group’. Where’s the identity? Who are you? Where can you find yourself in the mass? Professionism, love, hate, food, cat… What to post? What’s the image of you? For whom? Sometimes I even confuse that should we really need to make different identities? Audience. Yes, identity responds to audience. Your images and your posts need to match your identity to audience.

My blogs here are to record my PhD journey, e.g. my thots, some little things that inspire my mind. I would like to explore people who are similar to my current situation, students and teachers. Making connections and sharing seems to be the same thing we are doing on social media. Yup, that’s my identity in the blog:)

Social Media: The Power and the Danger to Speak

I have doubts about social media. It’s huge as ocean, and it’s really difficult to locate nice and valuable resource, e.g. blogs, and twits. I respect people’s rights to express their feelings on certain matters, and their share of posts. But, as a starter, you may find it hard to navigate the pearl. I have been following what’s going on is the western social media and the Chinese one. I sometimes feel afraid and nervous about the explosion of discussion. I am grateful that the social media shows us the beauty of our world, it can be the collective help in the Sydney train station, it can be the nice performance in the public. We are all publisher, and entitle our own power to say, to influence, to spread. This is also dangerous. Sometimes I would feel uncomfortable about that. People like the spotlights, they like the extreme and passion, especially from the ‘normal class’ in the society. I remember when I went to the NetHui, there was a lady from gov making a speech and there was a Twitter wall behind her. Someone didn’t like it and twitted an ‘f@#$@’ word on the wall. It got deleted. But I was really uncomfortable, seriously. I shared my concerns with someone online and he said they were the politicians and public figures and we should judge them. Ok, so ‘do not judge’ principle cannot apply here? But my point is that, they are human beings after all, no one is special. Why we cannot treat all as the same? We all have parents, kids, friends, people we love. I would not say that I am sensitive, but I just wanna be simple and keep a good mind. My point here about the social media is, we all have got the power to make our statement and positions, and I do not encourage to over-use the it to express the extremes. Keep emotions personal instead of say it loud. It is after all a public space, just like a public park, I don’t like to huge noise from someone to annoy my mood. I am against censorship, but I am for self behave and self regulation (not sure if the word is used properly tho). I feel that social media, especially the Weibo, has been starting to be guided by certain topics and the discussion be led and overwhelmed by certain positions. The public seems to be too crowded and people don’t even bother to carefully evaluate the issues. Be careful to simply be a follower.

If you mange to finish reading this, I am really impressed and thanks for your time. Your should go get a cup of coffee or tea to refresh a bit. Once I blog, I cannot stop, and may lose my logic… LOL, that’s me. Now you can leave a comment or just close the web. Enjoy the rest of your day! See ya soon.