DOIT at Brighton: Some thoughts from the Coordinator:
I want to personally thank all of DOIT’s participants at the ECE July 2013 conference beginning with thanking Prof. Sue Jackson who extended an invitation to all of us to participate in this conference. In addition our DOIT team members: Prof. Izabella Petriashvili, Prof. Nino Sozashvili, Prof. Nino Chiabrishvili, Dr. Tamriko Jojua, Dr. Manal Abu Ahmad Yazbak, Dr. Hanan Maoz, Dr. Roxana Reichman and myself (Dr. Rhonda Sofer) actively participated in the conference.
We can be proud of all of our presentations that reflect different aspects of our work. On Friday we had two presentations of DOIT team members. I presented a joint paper that I have been working on with Dr. Laura Sigad examining the role of technology in developing our collaborative culture of interaction of DOIT. I used this presentation as an opportunity to introduce DOIT and believe I did ok!
Manal also presented her research on Friday describing a program that aims to promote inter-cultural understanding of Arab Israelis and Jewish Israeli students of education (pre-service teachers) through an interactive joint course. Her model will serve us well and we also hope to model it within DOIT’s programs.
Hanan's presentation was on Saturday and discussed Sapir's action research of the development of our portal. DOIT has stimulated innovative approaches not only in course development, but also in the use of technology to support collaborative educational enterprises and that also needs to be documented and disseminated. Hanan and his team are doing this.
On Sunday we had three presentations: our panel, our Georgian Team and Roxana’s presentation on Curriculum development.
The panel discussion I believe brought out interesting issues and stimulated even more ideas. Although it was not well attended, it was taped and thus has the potential of wider dissemination. I think every member of the panel felt that they gained by this "roundtable discussion" and once we get a copy, I recommend that you all should view it. I believe that other international collaborative teams will gain by listening to our panel discussion. If deemed “Worthy” by the IAFOR committee, it will be uploaded to their website and also their facebook page (which has 3,000 members). It may also be uploaded to You-tube. Let’s see what happens with the tape and I will update you all.
Our Georgian team's presentations were important but like the panel was not well-attended (the logistics of a Sunday Morning schedule affected the attendence). BUT, we can all look at this as an "initiation" process of entering into the dissemination stage of our project and the "practice" of presenting, will give all of us additional tools for the next time around. Indeed, I think the Georgian material reflect "curricular reform in action" and that in itself is exciting. Their presentations just marks the beginning of our wider dissemination process and we will continue to present how DOIT’s program is affecting the curricular reform in ALL of our institutions. Indeed, the Georgian team are LEADERS for DOIT in putting into action our vision. Great and exciting work!
Roxana’s presentation on Curricular Development of DOIT was well grounded in theoretical models as well as in our practical work. It was very well received and stimulated discussion among the audience. We complemented Roxana's presentation by offering an example of our curriculum with our course on “Children’s Rights in and Through Education”. We were able to use the flyers made from the poster sessions that we had in two previous conferences. These flyers were almost all taken!).
In summary, the conference was invigorating. It reinforced my own feeling, which is shared by other members of the team, that DOIT represents an opportunity for all of us academically and in terms of development, design and research. We (DOIT’s consortium) must take advantage of THIS OPPORTUNITY and not let it slip through our fingers. We need to document our work and results in a methodological sound way as required by research, and publish our findings in academic journals so that our innovative approach and work gets validated and disseminated. We need to see research about our process and finding as a concrete way for dissemination. I invite you all in this endeavor and we should think about this in a collaborative manner—forming teams of interest in analyzing different aspects of our program. I believe that the portal team has already set up something for this kind of collaboration.
Let me use this note as A REMINDER ABOUT THE MIDTERM REPORT. I am beginning work on it today and will be working on it bit by bit every day. Thank you.
I am looking forward to this next stage of our collaborative work together. WIshing all of us a productive and nice summer!