What is in a Title?

Story telling fascinates me.

Joe Finch explaining to the audience how to build the pizza oven.

Since January I have been using the title of “Devise and evaluate an e-learning model for the teaching of traditional crafts such as ceramics” for my research. It is a good title for a research project, but it isn’t what I tell people what I do when I talk to them and explain my work, it isn’t at the crux of the matter in my mind.

I had my annual review this week for my research project, and as I described what I was doing, they said that my title was very applicable to my work, I looked at them puzzled and they showed me my title “Learning ceramics in the 21st century: The benefits of digital technology in learning a traditional craft”. I explained that hadn’t been my title for a while and in fact there had been a different title in November and December but it has long since been forgotten.

It was suggested I go back to “Learning ceramics in the 21st century” for two reasons, one it fits better my passions, and two evaluate is a very loaded word when doing research. A yearlong research project doesn’t give enough time to evaluate; analyze, yes there is enough time to do that, and that has to be done no matter what.

To be honest I’m not that interesting in creating a model for e-courses for an academic project. Don’t get me wrong, I am fascinated by e-learning and at some point want to make an e-course, but that isn’t my only focus and I don’t want to have to justify every little bit of that process.

So what does “Learning ceramics in the 21st century: The benefits of digital technology in learning a traditional craft” mean for me? I am not quite sure, am I the learner or merely an outsider looking at this question. I have learnt so much from using new technologies; I am sure before the days of all these technologies I never would have learnt about. No matter what is decided, I know I better decide quickly, as the project needs to be written up soon.

Most importantly to me is that “Learning ceramics in the 21st century” allows me to tell stories like the first two talks on this blog.  I find the stories behind things fascinating and that is often why I will acquire an object because of the story behind it.  Digital objects capture my imagination in the same way.

Boiling something down to a simple model just doesn’t do it for me. As Kevin Craig captured best when he interviewed me about my research “I’m not the Guru of E-Learning”

About Joseph Travis

Maker of ceramic objects, Ceramic Researcher and full time dad to two boys
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