Monday, September 4, 2017

Three reasons ed researchers should create digitally

I have a large digital footprint with hundreds of blog posts and video series with over 100,000 views. In addition I put everything I publish online without pay walls the second I am allowed to. I have profiles on Academia.com, LinkedIn, Google Scholar and Researchgate. If you are an educational researcher you are most likely to have less of an online  presence. Many researchers do not have any. Here are three reasons to have a meaningful online presence:

1. You gain readership. Let's face it, most professionals and amateurs start learning about any topic using a simple google search. If you want to find your audience and your audience to find you, you MUST be online where they can find you. Once they find you (through a piece you wrote, a blog post etc.), they can follow up on anything else you published on that or any other topics. They might even register to follow any updates you make. This is a great way to connect and have an impact. Because:
2. Educational research is highly contextualized. As a result it has limited shelf life. That means that you need to reach your audience quickly. In a few decades (or even less) contexts changes enough to render many of our conclusion invalid. If no one consumes (read, watch, listen) to ideas, and results now they may be obsolete by the time people find them. Which brings me to my last point:
3. We need to talk to a wide constituency. It includes students, teachers, administrators, policy makes and the public. Writing for a wide audience is much more effective through digital channels that give everyone free immediate access to research findings and thinking.


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