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.


3 thoughts on “23 Things for Research. Getting started

  1. HI Jiansheng, Welcome to 23 Things and thanks for including links to Stephen Downes and George Siemens writings. These may be helpful resources for others doing the 23 Things programme. Your dissertation research sounds very interesting and is also of great interst to us here in CreATE. I would be pleased to meet with you and chat some time. Cheers, Steve

    • Thanks, Steve. I would like to have a chat with you. I heard about some works of CreATE from Lucen, she locates next to my office. I am quite interested in CreATE, to see how it can help the digital environment for HE section.

      • Certainly, just pop into our offices in R201. If I am not around at the time any of the rest of the fantastic new team will be able to field your questions.

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