Today began our foray into the world of research.  Academic research, that is.  In my own career, I research continuously.  Is there a better lesson plan out there somewhere?  What new technology could imbue this old lesson with new life?  Has someone else noticed that predominantly women seem to be attending sessions on interactive whiteboards? Just how many calories are in a Vanilla Latte from Starbucks?

Today began my look at academic research.  As Bill suggested, we need to “acculturate” ourselves to the literature of academia.  And it seems clear that this Masters program will give us all the skills needed to investigate and critique research.

What caught my attention in the lecture today was the idea of deductive versus inductive reasoning. Deductive starts with a theory; inductive starts with the data.  In my mind, it seems infinitely easier to be more deductive than inductive.  But it made me think of the question I raised at the start of this post.  At the Smart C3 Conference I attended a few months ago, it was glaringly obvious that more women were in attendance.  Perhaps that’s the data.  From that, I came up with the theory that the interactive nature of a SmartBoard – the ability to “touch” the equipment – appeals much more to women than men.  And like that, I had used inductive reasoning…

The concept of academic research, and the corresponding academic journals holds a lot of promise for me.  It’s a chance to delve deeper into some of the ideas and theories that have been residing in my brain for some time.  And, its a way to take my learning to a deeper, more academic level.  Certainly, I read education blogs.  Dozens of them every day, in fact.  But what I have been missing is that research aspect.  What I need to do now is to read more educational journals and look at the research with a much more critical eye…

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