Monthly Archives: June 2012

Introducing Ibrar Bhatt

Ibrar Bhatt, PhD Scholar, University of Leeds (School of Education)

My name is Ibrar, and I’m currently a post-graduate research student at the University of Leeds.

My ESRC-funded doctoral study explores the digital literacy practices arising when adult learners complete writing assignments for a course at a UK Further Education college. It establishes whether learners use digital tools agentively and decisively in their daily lives to transform their classroom practice. This includes questioning the relationship between learners’ everyday and classroom digital literacies as parallel, and the extent to which the learners’ own social digital literacy practices are used as a resource in curricular work.

As social and educational life is increasingly played out in digital environments, I’m very interested in how digital methods of research can help give us a more composite picture of our research contexts. In this respect, multimodality is a key element of my work, alongside theorisations of how learners’ Web-based activities in the classroom disrupt the apparently spatially separate entities of ‘college’ and ‘home’ and the digital literacy practices attached to each domain.

It’s a pleasure to be part of the Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology team and I look forward to attending the events and supporting the organisation.

Introducing Carole Kirk

Carole Kirk, Cultural Industries PhD Scholar, University of Leeds

I’m one of the postgraduate network members for the Digital Methods NMI seminar series, and I was excited about applying because it appears to be a natural extension to the work that I’ve been doing.  I’m currently coming to the end of managing the Digitalis project, which has been looking at the use of digital technologies to enhance and embed creative reflection.   As part of this, I’ve been looking at the potential for technologies such as digital storytelling to reflect upon, and evidence practice-led research in the arts.  I ran a day-workshop for practice-led research students and staff, and produced a video tutorial looking at some of the ideas from that workshop.  I’ve also developed a short e-learning resource.  Throughout the project, I’ve been developing a model of digital reflection, and have been lead author on a paper co-written with Professor Jonathan Pitches which has been accepted for publication in the journal ‘Technology, Pedagogy and Education’.

In terms of my PhD work, I have been awarded a scholarship for a practice-led PhD in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries from 1 August.  As a painter, I’m interested in creative processes and their contribution to knowledge.  My research addresses the question of whether it is possible to develop a theoretical understanding of creativity and its relationship to knowledge that accounts for both human agency and sociality.   I plan to do this by applying a lens of contemporary theories of mind to my own painting practice and to a case study of a performance practitioner.  My PhD methodology will include digital reflection as a method of documenting, sharing and reflecting upon practice.  This would enable me to explore the value of social networking in the creative process.  It may also yield insights about the potential for digital reflection as a way of documenting and evidencing practice-as-research processes.

During the seminar series, I’m hoping to gain ideas, experience and knowledge from other disciplines that would help me to develop and refine my ideas on digital reflection and how I could use it as a method within my PhD research.  I’m also hoping to further develop my social media networking skills, and learn new software (for example, Storify, which I will be using to document the seminar series).