By Wendy Wei, Program Assistant, National Center for Education Research
How can practitioners and policymakers apply education research to their everyday work if they never hear about it or do not understand it? Communicating and disseminating research findings plays an integral role in promoting the education sciences and advancing the field.
That is why we made communication and dissemination a major theme at the IES Principal Investigators’ Meeting held earlier this month (December 10-11). The two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., featured five sessions that focused on communications – ranging from data visualization techniques to effective dissemination strategies to hearing journalists’ perspectives on how to share scientific results with the general public.
There was a lot of talk about social media during the meeting and plenty of tweeting about the presentations. We used the Twitter hashtag, #IESPIMtg, to foster an ongoing conversation for meeting attendees and to share findings that emerged from sessions. Any tweet that included #IESPIMtg was automatically pooled together, generating a live Twitter feed that was on display in the lobby throughout the meeting.
You can see all of the #IESPImtg tweets online, but here are some highlights:
"There is a tremendous sense of urgency to bridge the gap between research and practice..." --John B King #IESPIMtg
— Leah Wisdom (@lifelnglearner) December 10, 2015
.@StanfordEd's Sean Reardon: Good partnership work can lead to new knowledge, change policy+practice, improve data quality #IESPIMtg
— Bill Penuel (@bpenuel) December 11, 2015
#IESPIMtg Practitioner partners play a critical role in making sense of data and analyses in RPPs.
— Jennifer Russell (@Jenn_L_Russell) December 10, 2015
And we can get a little bit meta now…communicating about how to communicate:
Hirsh-Pasek & Golinkoff urges researchers to create "'edible science' that is accessible, digestible and usable." #IESPIMtg
— Tomoko Wakabayashi (@twakabayashi264) December 10, 2015
Awesome presentation on #DataVisualization by @jschwabish: Show the data, reduce the clutter, stop distracting attention. #IESPIMtg
— Rudy Ruiz (@RudyRuiz_BMore) December 10, 2015
.@KavithaCardoza Explaining your research--Don't think of it as "dumbing down." Think of it as simplifying. #IESPIMtg
— Dana Tofig (@dtofig) December 11, 2015
And, of course, what's Twitter without a little fun? When we tweeted this picture...
The poster session is going strong. Principal investigators present findings from #iesfunded research. #IESPIMtg
— IES Research (@IESResearch) December 10, 2015
...Chris Magnuson, Director of Innovation for Live It, Learn It, posted this reply:
@IESResearch careful...photo looks like it was taken on Death Star! May the force be with all grantees! #SBIR #IES
— Chris Magnuson (@cromagnuson) December 10, 2015
The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) have made a commitment to be active contributors in communicating with and engaging the general public in the exciting findings of NCER- and NCSER-funded work. Over the past few years, we have been active on Twitter (you can follow us @IESResearch), and this past year, we launched our blog (the very one you are reading!). These two platforms have provided us with an outlet to share research findings, provide updates about events and deadlines, and connect with audiences we otherwise might not reach.
For those of you who could not make the PI meeting, videos will be posted on the conference website in about a month. So stay tuned!
We hope you’ll continue the conversation started at the PI meeting by following us on Twitter at @IESResearch or sharing your thoughts with us at IESResearch@ed.gov.