I am currently at Bath Spa University (UK) finishing my PhD and learning how to be an open researcher/educator.
In my research, I am looking at the informal digital learning spaces students bring to the university but also use in their personal space. While exploring those spaces I am also looking at how their digital literacies in academic settings are quite different than some of the skills Jenkins (2006) has thought about, e.g. play (as the capacity to experiment with ones’s surroundings -I am thinking of digital surroundings- as a form of problem solving) and networking. Jenkins thinks of these skills as the ones needed for a full involvement in the new participatory culture. A culture that is shifting the focus of new media literacies from individual expression to community involvement. How can students improve those literacies in their academic space and strengthen their digital agency.
I am exploring ways in which undergraduates can reflexively engage with digital practices in a research-rich context and how can their digital literacies be enhanced in that process. Students will, through designing and developing their own open digital learning space improve their digital capabilities (inspired by the human capability approach) in academic settings. Enabling student-generated content as well as student-generated learning contexts can be a means to bridge formal and informal learning environments. For this, I will use a critical participatory design approach using Critical Realism/Realist Social Theory as my theoretical framework.
I am originally from Venezuela, where I worked for 15 years, teaching Mathematics at different levels of Secondary School. My initial interest in educational technology coincided with my move to teaching Mathematics at the University Simón Bolívar. Here, alongside teaching a bridging course and undergraduates, I was part of the bridging course development team. This interest in educational technology became the theme of my master thesis: designing a website with cognitive tools to support disadvantaged students in their mathematical learning, as a part of the bridging course.
My PhD brought me to Europe in 2011. After a short stay in the mathematics faculty, at the University Complutense in Madrid, I attended a summer school at the Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education part of Utrecht University, in the Netherlands. There I met Prof. Dr Jan van Maanen (now Emeritus Professor) an expert in mathematics education and the history of mathematics. I was able to stay for a year and a half as a guest researcher. It was during this period that the core ideas of my PhD began to mature into what is now the thesis of my dissertation at Bath Spa University.
My supervisory team at Bath Spa University is: Director of Studies Dr Darren Garside, a Senior Lecturer in philosophy at the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University (his blog) and Dr Mary Stakelum, who also works at Bath Spa University as head of research at the Institute.
Here is my first Blog, an attempt at a digital drawer for my links and documents when I started to draft these ideas.