Southern Summit and My Dissertation

Southern Summit and My Dissertation

I’m about to go to day 2 of the Google in Education Southern Summit. This summit in 2013 was my first ever and it became my latest addiction. If I were to win the lottery, after taking care of my family and bills, I would go to every GAFE Summit I could get to. It’s like getting innoculated to the drag that the educational system has become. Being around all these folks who are excited about learning and getting fired up about new and interesting ways to help kids is refreshing.

Dissertation Getting Closer

I started grad school (EdD in Instructional Design and Technology at The University of Memphis) this past August and they start us early narrowing down topics for our dissertation. Still in the preparing the proposal stage but here is what I am considering. I would LOVE comments and opinions from anyone as I continue to focus on the final proposal.

Being a degree in IDT, I will be designing an instructional unit, implementing it to gather data, and then use that data to address my research questions. The unit I have in mind would explain how exploring all kinds of informal learning (especially the building of a PLE/PLN) and guide them through getting started.

Informal Professional Development: An Antidote to Teacher Burnout?

The Problem – Teacher burnout is a serious issue. Formal professional development (PD) is often focused on the latest mandates (e.g., evaluations, standards, testing) and is not differentiated for varying teacher needs and interests. Emerging technologies have led to an increasing number of methods for informal teacher PD and learning. Educating teachers about the different methods of informal PD could contribute to a more focused and productive personal learning environment (PLE). Learning methods for managing the flow of information may lessen the overwhelming nature of an active personal learning network (PLN).

Research Questions: 

  1. How do participants currently utilize various methods of informal professional development?
  2. How are participants currently impacted by teacher burnout?
  3. When comparing participant understanding of informal PD before and after unit completion, in which areas was the greatest and least improvement demonstrated?
  4. What are the current participant perceptions of informal professional development?
  5. How did participants’ perceptions about informal professional development change, if at all, upon completion of the unit?
  6. In what ways, if any, are participants considering using knowledge gained through completion the unit to impact their own informal professional development?


What do you think? I’d love feedback on either side of the discussion. Still very early in the construction of the proposal.



Filed Under: IDT

Leave a reply