Ipad apps for productivity

Previously I wrote a blog post about iPad apps for research in higher education, it was a two part blog post, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.  I want to carry on with this series of blog posts but today I want to really focus on using iPad apps for increasing productivity.

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Best time to publish a Blog post.

As the main writer for this blog I sometimes tend to overthink things, and try to anticipate every eventuality about the blog and how it will be perceived. Hence when I first started this blog back in January I found I was overcomplicating things and I started asking myself What is my Target market? for whom am I writing this blog for? What value will this blog bring to the wider world? Will anyone read it? etc. The majority of the questions were easy to answer, the focus was and is always on PGR students, the value would be for people like me who have struggled with the intricacies of the PHD research process and who in the early days had struggled to overcome the vast leap in terminology from MSc to PHD.

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Using twitter for your PHD or Research

Twitter as a tool has become somewhat of a cultural icon. Over the years since its inception it has morphed into a powerful tool that has caused enormous change from the Arab spring to viral pictures of cats. It has shown itself to be a useful tool across various different industries and disciplines and has caused a huge amount of disruption in areas such as print media. The same industries such as print media now also use twitter to keep it touch with members of the public for up to date information, pictures and videos and news that are occurring in real time.

In my view there is also great scope to use twitter for research, however one of the biggest issues many researchers and academics have about this medium is how can you possibly say anything of relevance within a 140 Characters.  This is quite a challenge for many academics!!

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Sample size for Qualitative Interviews

Identifying your sample
Through the looking Glass

This is one of life’s great mysteries and one that has troubled many a qualitative researcher. How many interviews are enough before i have enough data? What should be my sample size for Qualitative Interviews? During my research this was a issue I really struggled with and found that justifying a sample size was not an easy task and required me to juggle multiple variables.

This short post covers some of the key considerations researchers need to consider and the issue of data saturation and the sample size for Qualitative Interviews.

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How to structure your research approach

This blog post is all about helping you to create a Methodology approach for your Qualitative research.For many identifying and writing a research approach is a personal journey of reflection, exploration and anguish! During my PHD identifying a research approach was one of the most difficult things I achieved. This was also a common phenomena with some of the other PHD students who were also undertaking their degree at the same time as me. We struggled with every aspect of the research approach and for some it was too much.

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iPad apps for Research (1 of 2)

This is the first part of a two part post which talks about essential iPad apps for Researchers and Academics. This post covers apps 1-5 and the second post which should be available in the next few days covers apps 6-10.

As a full time academic member of staff and a active researcher one of the most important factors as part of my workflow is efficiency. I am constantly looking for ways to make my work life easier and more efficient. Hence it should come as no surprise that for me the iPad is now an essential part of my life and my work.

However what are the key apps? After 3 years of playing with every type of app under the sun the following apps are in my view essential for any researcher and academic:
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Using the Cloud for research ….. Dropbox

A few years ago my house was burgled on my Birthday :(. Various Items were taken:

  • My sons Xbox,
  • A few Xbox games
  • Some cash
  • The TV remote (I know!!)
  • My laptop

While the other elements could be replaced quite easily the laptop contained my PHD, which by this time had become a considerable amount of work (three years). It was then that I realised there was no physical backup of my work on a USB, CD or on my work PC. For a fleeting moment there was panic, mad panic but then the calm descended when i realised I had a “virtual” backup on my Dropbox account.

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Research Reference Management with Mendeley

Book Stack
Books to reference

When starting my PHD a few years ago (2009) one of the first challenges I encountered was the problem around reference management. My original plan was to store all my references in a Word document, and to amend and edit the document as and when needed. However as the research expanded and my reading increased this quickly became unmanageable and unsustainable. Hence it became important to develop a reference management process. I looked at quite a few different tools but mainly Mendeley and endnote.

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The purpose of this site

When i first thought about creating this site i came to the conclusion quite early on that i need to have a site that has a clear purpose a sense of direction that can help me drive forward my professional interests and passions and a place which i could call my online home.

The main purpose of this site is for me to create a “safe” space on the web where i can freely discuss my research, its impact and how i intend to take it forward.Thus the intention is to update this site on a regular basis with discussion primarily focused on the following key areas:

1) Mobile teaching and research

2) Research methods

3) Culturally responsive teaching

4) Academic SEO

5) The use of technology within higher education

The plan is to publish once a week at least every Tuesday and if i have a lot to say then maybe twice! I am always looking for collaborative opportunities so if you are interested please do get in touch via my institution webpage.

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