University of Cambridge – England
In February 2008 I started to undertake the Schoolteacher Fellow position I had been offered at Selwyn College within the University of Cambridge. The scheme is designed to give practising teachers in secondary schools, sixth form or further education colleges an opportunity to spend time in Cambridge for a period of study and reflection. This period of residence may be divided into one or more sections which constituted the pattern of attendance I undertook between the dates of 1st February and 31st July.
The theme of my study was “An exploration of educational issues in relation to the onset of e-learning mechanisms within the pedagogical medium”. I was particularly interested in how this technology was being implanted with the University as an educational resource and anticipated my studies being focused within this remit. This was in concordance with the other elements of my time on sabbatical and formed the basis of being the recipient of the Whiting Memorial Award for 2008 from the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry.
However, the Schoolteacher Fellowship has a wider scope than that of being purely one of academic involvement. It also offers the opportunity to engage with the wider daily aspect of life within the University which included dining and socialising with other members of the Selwyn College academic community.
On my arrival I was greeted by Dr James Keeler who acted as an advisor throughout my time at the College. In particular he introduced me to the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies within the University which proved to be source of great interest and led to me meeting Dr Patrick Carmichael and being introduced to the work being undertaken on the Semantic Web within the University. Dr Carmichael also arranged for me to join the CamTools community within the University which is something that I am still involved in and forms part of my ongoing studies and research.
While at Selwyn College it was brought to my attention that they were activities that had been organised from the beginning of the academic term in 2007 to celebrate their 125th year since being founded as a College within the University of Cambridge.
One such event, the 125th Anniversary Garden Party, was organised for Saturday 5th July. This was an ideal occasion to complete my time as a Schoolteacher Fellow and offered the opportunity to invite my wife Jan, and other family members, to visit and see this charming Cambridge College. If you would like to take a virtual tour of Selwyn College please visit www.sel.cam.ac.uk/college/artistsimpression.html
In the summer of 2008, on the conclusion of my time on sabbatical, I was awarded a Teacher Study visitor position at Pembroke College, also within the University of Cambridge, to continue my work within the area of learning technologies. This will take the form of visits to the University over the next three years.