Do you have an interest in research and digital learning?

We are pleased to announce the “Next Generation Research Symposium” on 1st November, 2016, in The Helix at Dublin City University.

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Why a Research Symposium?
There is still considerable debate about the value, benefits and long-term impact of digital learning. Amidst both the promise and the peril of the digital era it is important that we pause to critically reflect on what we have learned (or not) over several generations of research on the use of educational technology. Moreover, what should the current generation of postgraduate students and new and emerging educational researchers be investigating as digital learning evolves and has become a key component of national and international policy? Also, with an eye on the future, this Symposium aims to help build the next generation of researchers as we seek to identify, discuss and debate some of the big issues likely to face educators from first to fourth level, and beyond. In many respects there are still many more questions than answers and to help frame the conversation the research symposium is structured around the following five broad questions:

•  What do we know from the research literature?
•  What research is currently being conducted, particularly in the Irish context?
•  Who else is conducting research in my area and how does it relate to my own work?
•  Where are the gaps and methodological weaknesses in the current research literature?
•  What are likely to be the future questions, challenges and possibilities in digital learning research?

Who should attend this free event?
The Symposium is designed for people from all educational levels and sectors. It aims to build capacity in digital learning research by establishing connections and fashioning stronger bridges across and between different generations of educators and researchers. Hence the event is aimed at current and prospective postgraduate students, including doctoral candidates, new and emerging researchers, experienced practitioners, industry stakeholders, and academics working in the area. More specifically, the Symposium will be of particular value to people:

  • Considering embarking on research in digital learning
  • Currently on a research journey such as doctoral or masters students
  • Recently qualified research graduates or discipline specialists relatively new to the field
  • Both new and experienced researchers seeking to build collaborative partnerships
  • Responsible for policy-making and in educational leadership roles
  • Developing educational solutions or working in training contexts

Who can contribute to the symposium?
The Symposium aims to give voice to a wide range of Irish educators and researchers across all sectors. Submissions for concise papers (300 word abstracts) and rapid fire presentations (150 word abstracts) are welcome from first-time participants, those researching new and emerging issues, adopting novel methodological approaches, close to completing their doctoral study or teams working on major research projects. Postgraduate students at earlier stages of their research are particularly encouraged to submit proposals to present their planned and early stage work to others in short elevator style pitches. Recently conferred doctors are also invited to share the experience of their journey. We are also keen to invite those working in the IT industry to share their work with a wider audience of educators.

What is the format?
The Symposium will follow a participatory approach where attendees will be encouraged to actively network around research ideas and themes. While several high profile keynote speakers will help paint the bigger picture of research across several contexts and different generations you will have the opportunity to meet peers and leading scholars from relevant groups and professional bodies—namely the Irish Learning Technology Association, the Educational Studies Association of Ireland, and the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University. Through a combination of panel responses and roundtable discussions participants will build connections with colleagues nationally and internationally who are engaged in similar and related areas of research as themselves. Accepted presenters will have an opportunity in a safe and collegial environment to present their research for feedback and to help validate and shape their ideas. A published book of proceedings, including a number of carefully selected research-related publications, will be available to participants.

How do I get involved?
Those interested in attending this unique free event should register as soon as possibleas places are strictly limited. Early bird registration closes October 3rd after which a fee may be charged to late registrants to cover additional catering and printing expenses. Those interested in presenting in one of the formats should submit a short abstract by September 16th.
What does it cost? 
This is a free event thanks to the support of our three sponsors. However, numbers are strictly limited by the nature of the venue and our intention to encourage interactivity between participants. We kindly request that you update your registration details by no later than 48 hours before the Symposium if you find that you can no longer attend the event (i.e., cancel your registration) as this may allow us to extend participation to those on the waitlist.

The Research Symposium is a joint collaboration between the Irish Learning Technology Association, the Educational Studies Association of Ireland, and DCU’s Institute of Education and National Institute for Digital Learning.

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