E-Activity 1.2: Selecting a Research Topic

Post Two: In this post I will attempt to clarify my research topic and reasons for choosing it. I have chosen to follow the activity description to the letter so as to not miss anything out.

  • STATE your research topic and identify the specific digital technology (or technologies).

My current area of interest is the process and procedures schools are following with the implementation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) 1 to 1 device programmes within their institutions. However “investigate BYOD” seems very broad. As such I have narrowed my focus to:

What are the pedagogical and leadership implications for the implementation of a 1 to 1 BYOD programme in Years 7-10?

I felt that the focus on the middle years will enable the research to inform the years below or above.

  • WHY did you choose the topic? What interests you about it? Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?

I chose this topic as I am working with a number of schools who are currently implementing BYOD, and have observed that a number of them are not able to clearly articulate their goals for this change. How will their staff be supported? What are the curriculum learning outcomes for this change? How will students be supported with the change to their learning model?

I find the entire realm of BYOD to be fascinating it seems to be a foregone conclusion that “this is the future” and I look forward to discovering if the research backs this hypothesis.

  • WHO are the information providers on this topic? Who might publish information about it? Who is affected by the topic? Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?

The information providers on this topic will be predominantly schools or institutions who have made the change and discovered the pitfalls and challenges. I know of several institutions who have done this and look forward to working with them on this research. Those affected by this topic will be any school looking towards BYOD in the next 5 years.

  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic? Is there a debate about the topic? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?

Major Questions:

  1.  What are the considerations for the device, how can we select a device that will best function in our institution?
  2. How can we support our staff to develop both the technical skill required and the pedagogical approaches to ensure best practice?
  3. What infrastructural considerations need to be made?
  4. How will the Students and their Parents or Whānau need to be supported, who is the “first port of call”?
  5. Why are we making this change, how does it meet the vision of our school or institution?

I believe this is a topic that will need serious debate in the near future, particularly when socio-economic factors are taken into account, I will not be investigating the equity of these schemes.

The different viewpoints for this issue are those of the different stakeholders: School, Senior Leadership, Teachers, Students, Parents/Whānau.

  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level? Are there specific places affected by the topic?a

The topic is particularly relevant in New Zealand at the moment, I am also aware of international schools who are making the change to a 1-2 or 1-3 (1 student multiple devices) who will inform some of the debate.

  • WHEN is/was your topic important? Is it a current event or an historical issue? Do you want to compare your topic by time periods?

I believe this to be a completely current issue, as the SNUP and UFB infrastructural upgrades are completed schools have the infrastructure to make this change to their learning environment and with the pending release of the N4L as a fantastic tool for New Zealand Schools the issue is at the forefront of current thinking. I will be looking at the issue in the current time period.

So thats my topic, I welcome any feedback or questions people may have on this topic, particularly as it will help me to firm my own thinking on the topic.


Image retrieved from: http://www.icomm.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Byod.jpg


One thought on “E-Activity 1.2: Selecting a Research Topic

  1. Wayne

    Hi Timothy,

    A very relevant and topical area of research and I like how you have narrowed the focus to zoom in on pertinent questions. An important area of research as New Zealand schools move forward with UFB implementation.

    Look forward to seeing your research project develop.


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