Skip to main content

Starting a PhD

 

This month I began a PhD at the University of Sheffield. At last! I have wanted to start a PhD for a long time and have waited for the right opportunity to arrive. Working alongside the exciting team at the School of Education in the area of digital literacy was too good an opportunity to miss. 

The focus is children’s identities as authors through digital technology. In teaching children about creative writing, I have had ample opportunity to reflect on how they might experience authoring texts in school, at home and at play. Digital texts - such as videogames and films - are hugely important components in how children experience storytelling and yet these experiences are largely neglected by schools. As a keep computer game player myself, I am curious about the way playing sandbox (e.g., Minecraft) and openworld games and creating naratives within them might mirror storytelling in print. And, of course, I am interested in what schools might learn from it. As my fieldwork will be carried out in and around Leeds, this will likely involve exploring the experience of EAL learners in digital literacy and authoring. Having started my teaching career in a diverse area of Birmingham, this is something close to my heart.

I am going to use this blog as a place to digest and deposit my weekly reading. Writing here is primarily a way of making me accountable to myself (keep reading, keep writing!). If it also proves interesting for you, reader, that is a happy outcome for both of us. 😊

Popular posts from this blog

Filthy wretch or poor thing? Rethinking the Island, KS2, Week 1

A treat for the final half term - a new workshop at a delightful school in Leeds! This half term I am working with two Year 5 teachers to develop a cross-year group, cross-curricular writing project based on my favourite picture book, Armin Greder's The Island . I've done this book many times and every time the response is different! This week, we got to grips with the facts, possibilities and mysteries of the story. What do we know about the story so far? (we only ever read up to page 6 to leave it on a knife edge...) What doesn't this story tell us and what could we infer or predict?     We looked at the crowd of islanders who 'welcome' the stranger's arrival. As in every class, country or community, no group ever sees the world the same way and we discussed how the islanders might react differently to the man. Is he a poor thing who needs to be rescued? Is he a curiosity? Is he a threat? We each adopted an islander and took on their perspective f

Creative writing based on Hokusai's The Great Wave

The Great Wave - Creative writing workshop, Year 6 Week 1: Vocabulary development Inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai's masterpiece The Great Wave , Year 6 are starting on a creative voyage to bring the iconic print to literary life! We spent some time poring over the features of painting: the spray, the wave, the boats and, well hidden, Mount Fuji. After reading an account of Ellen MacArthur's sailing voyages, we began to generate some cutting edge vocabulary to give our writing some sparkle. This was the process: Children labelled the features of the picture, including parts of the wave (crest, barrel, swell, lip) We chose personified verbs for the different features. 'Grabbing', 'scratching' and 'grasping' for the finger-like lip of the wave; 'screaming', 'slapping' and 'whistling' for the wind. The group selected similes for each of the features. The wind became 'a bellowing dragon', the boats w

Open? Reflecting on an experiment to give away my teaching resources

In August 2019, I started an experiment . Rather than sell my teaching materials online via a platform, I would share them in a pay-as-you-can arrangement. One year on, I reflect on the experiment and why (spoiler alert!) it has left me poorer. ⌚ 7 minutes Last summer, I read the excellent book called Open: how we'll work, live and learn in the future by David Price. This book discussed how developments in technology are altering how we share and gather information and, as such, have transformative implications for how we live, work and learn. These implications are relevant now, Price argues, and will become even more so in the future. It's a fascinating book. Price argues that the spirit of open enterprise (also called Creative Commons) allows traders and service providers to cut out large consultancy agencies, publishing platforms and so on by speak to their clients directly. If you have a training course to sell, for example, avoid an agency: instead promote it via socia