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International conferences hear of academic’s findings

Does a fear of what others might post on social media platforms influence your actions?

This is the question which Dr Hazel Beadle, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management in the Institute of Education, posed to those attending the Asia Pacific Institute of Advanced Research's 2nd International Conference on Theory and Practice in Melbourne, Australia, at the end of October. 

Under the conference theme of 'nurturing knowledge without boundaries', Hazel drew on her recent research which highlighted that little more than a perception of there being a risk of being on the receiving end of cyber bullying can result in a reluctance to engage with the use of social media in a professional role, even when social media is a tool which is regularly used by those same individuals in a personal capacity. 

The research revealed three factors which are significant to the perception of risk; the empowering nature of social media, the effect of being on the receiving end of a negative online focus and an increased on exhibiting fulfilment of the professional role.

The University academic’s own research contribution looked at the influence on the educator-role of technology's power: identifying the need for educators to not just have established but also to come to terms with their own relationship with technology.

It also focused on the way that technology facilitates interaction so that educators might effectively support the development of others.

Dr Beadle's paper, "Learning to deal with it: One case study workforce's perception of the risk of cyber bullying" will shortly be available for download from the Asia Pacific Journal of Advanced Business and Social Studies.

Imagining diverse futures for adult education: questions of power and resources of creativity

Dr Hazel Beadle spoke to the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) which promotes and disseminates theoretical and empirical research on the education of adults and learning through networks, conferences, and publications.

The highlight of the ESREA calendar was its eighth triennial conference which, in September, was held at Maynooth University a few miles from Dublin. The focus was the theme of ‘Imagining diverse futures for adult education: questions of power and resources of creativity’.

The conference, which coincided with graduation at the University, saw a huge increase in Maynooth's usual population of 12,500. Dr Beadle, who was appointed to chair the conference's Technology, Work, and Learning stream, facilitated a debate relating to the relationship between blended learning environments and social capital - as well as an examination of the experience of engaging with online learning.

Anyone wishing to discuss Hazel's study should contact her directly at h.beadle@chi.ac.uk