Dissemination of Information from the EDUsummIT 2019
A Report for Unesco
Marie-France Boulay, Alexandra Espin, Audrey Raynault,
and Lawrence Williams
Co-ordinator: Professor Margaret Cox, OBE
EDUsummIT, established in 2009, is a global community of researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners committed to supporting the effective integration of Information Technology (IT) in education by promoting active dissemination and the use of research. Held this year in Québec City, Canada, the co-chairs, Professors Margaret Cox, OBE, and Thérèse Laferrière wanted to effect a wider dissemination of information, and to this end they appointed a small team. This document, written by the team drawn both from the UK (Cox) and from Quebec, Canada (Laferrière) outlines what was achieved through using a variety of ICT tools, detailed below.
The website itself is a useful starting point for the dissemination of EDUsummIT information because, in addition to the usual details about the programme, registration, and so on, the site also publishes information about the 15 Thematic Working Groups (TWGs). Previous work by the groups is posted there, giving access to the ideas that were about to be updated. Following the event, each TWG then provided a two-page summary of their most recent discussions, and these have also been posted on the site, together with still photos, and videos of varying length. The site is also presented in English and in French, thus widening access to the information.
Many international on-line communities of teachers are based in the UK. Pre-eminent among these in scope is the MirandaNet Fellowship. Members and Fellows are drawn from every level of education: primary school teachers, secondary school teachers, teacher trainers, FE tutors, HE lecturers and professors, as well as from libraries and hospital schools. Accordingly, the MirandaNet Founder and Director, Professor Christina Preston, was approached by the dissemination team with a view to allowing information about the EDUsummIT to be posted on the new MirandaNet Blog.
This was kindly agreed, and pre-summit “adverts”, plus a daily Blog were posted on the site.
See Figure 1 below.
Figure 1. Screen shot of the MirandaNet Blog
This Blog was hyperlinked to the EDUsummIT web site, as well as to another international site called World Ecitizens.
The World Ecitizens (WE) Project aims to encourage understanding between peoples and communities, and to share the fascinating diversity within nations, and across the world. World Ecitizens take responsibility for our actions, and strive to make the world a better, more peaceful place, through collaborative learning projects.
There is an obvious synergy with the aims of EDUsummIT, and so the WE Directors willingly agreed to post material about the event. This included pre-event “adverts”, and a new web section. Visitor numbers to the site have increased following the EDUsummIT posting, and are running at over 9,000 since October 1st 2019.
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. A dedicated page on the World Ecitizens website
ICT in Education
Individuals also played a role in the dissemination of event information. A MirandaNet Fellow, Terry Freedman, posted the following article, summarising the event on his web site. See Figure 3.
Figure 3. Article about the summit.
We suggested to delegates that they might write similar summary material for their own academic journals, or local newspapers, and we submitted a short article, ourselves, to In Touch, a journal of King’s College, London.
During the Summit, delegates were asked to disseminate ideas to colleagues by email, sending the web address, together with the Twitter #EDUsummIT link to as many colleagues in their email list as they deemed appropriate. This had the immediate effect of initiating responses from many countries.
Twitter is a digital social network that allows researchers to expand their networks, and enrich their exchanges with students and peers. Its interface allows researchers and others to write messages containing 280 characters. According to the CNRS (2014), Twitter is the preferred social network of scientific institutions, and many researchers keep an account in their own name. Twitter brings science closer to those who do not face it every day. It also makes it possible to synthesize and popularize the research (Cain & Chretien, 2013; Gallo, 2017). “If you’re not able to summarize your work in a Tweet, it’s because you have not understood it yourself, or you will have to use the #Thread” (Gaillard, 2018).
For the first time this year, EDUSummIT maintained the Twitter account @EdusummIT2019 and invited participating researchers to “tweet” using #EDUSUMMIT2019. Analytics show that this communication strategy is proving fruitful both to share this event, and also to widen its participants, to join other researchers, and even to reach the general public.
We recommend using the same @EdusummIT account for each event, taking care simply to change the username to follow the year. In this way, we will gradually accumulate followers, and will not lose any of the data.
Some Twitter Data
Thérèse Laferrière, co-chair of the EDUsummIT2019, is also Director of the PÉRISCOPE network, and a Principal Researcher.
The PÉRISCOPE network (Platform Exchange, Research and Intervention on SCOlarity: Student Retention and Academic Success) aims to cross the perspectives of research and intervention in schooling, student retention and academic success and wants to encourage more synergy between the participants. By participants, we mean students and teachers, school administrators, liaison officers, parents, professionals, volunteers, and researchers. Its guiding thread is participation, and this is organised using the following four categories:
1) the child in the group, the student in the class; 2) the teacher in the school; 3) the parents and the community who collaborate with the school; 4) School participation in decision-making bodies.
The PÉRISCOPE Network, one of the official partners of the EDUsummIT2019, helped to give further visibility to the event, through its Facebook account, as follows.
Facebook PÉRISCOPE (@periscope2016)
Flickr EDUsummIT 2019
Flickr is an image hosting service, and video hosting service.
- The account was created on September 28, 2019.
- The photographic register of the three days of the event (129 photos) was organised in 7 albums.
- The Flickr account was shared by Twitter (EDUsummIT2019) and by PÉRISCOPE’s Facebook account.
- Photos were also shared with the team by a Google Drive folder
- The videos that are being edited will be disseminated by the suggested channels. A YouTube Channel will be created to host this material and to facilitate dissemination.
- All this material was also shared with the dissemination team by a Google Drive file, and the current document was created using Google docs.
Guidelines regarding upcoming publications
TWGs’ two-page documents – will be made available on Sunday October 13th, 8:00AM (Quebec City time) as a contribution to EDUsummIT2019’s Action Agenda for Advances in Education – two-page document template
Ebook – ebook template
ETR&D special issue – instructions from guest editors
CJLT/RCAT special issue – instructions TBA
All two-page documents assembled in one document will be sent to the Canadian commission for UNESCO, and distributed widely with the support of the Canadian commission for UNESCO.
Special issue Learners and Learning Contexts: New Alignments in the Digital Age. Early 2021 — Publication of paper in Online First.
For all inquiries, contact EDUsummIT2019@fse.ulaval.ca
The Program co-chairs are:
Faculty of Education
Université Laval, Québec
King’s College London
We have not yet fully studied the impact of all the data: we are still in the early stages because the video material and the publications will continue to be strategically disseminated through the many different channels in the weeks that follow the event. The full set of these communication actions will serve to highlight the opportunities and challenges of using technology for the purpose of highlighting education in public debate.
Furthermore, this work will ensure that the links between the various communities of researchers and others can be strengthened following the summit. The creative combination of interconnected web sites, blogs, academic journals, book publications, email, Google docs, Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Periscope is potentially a very powerful new working model for the dissemination of information.