Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Archive for the ‘University of South Africa’ Category

Dr. Felix Bankole has accepted me as a doctoral student

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I am very excited this morning.  This past year, my doctoral studies hit some snags, as I was having troubles “seeing eye to eye” with my supervising professor within the College of Education at UNISA.  And while the Dean of the College of Education was very understanding, she couldn’t find anyone within the the College of Education who could supervise my research.  Most of this has to do with the fact that my research is interdisciplinary, and heavily relies upon data mining methods.  So, I started looking at the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and wrote to Dr. Bankole, and today I received an email that he will take me on!

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Written by Jacob Walker

July 20th, 2016 at 6:33 am

I have found the Oasis of Knowledge: UNISA’s Online Library

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As a scholar, it is critical to have access to knowledge.  And while tools like Zotero, are excellent at organizing the knowledge, and search engines such as Google Scholar and the Microsoft Academic Search make it easy to find scholarly knowledge, most scholarly works are generally inaccessible to the public, without paying fairly high fees. (One scholarly paper can often cost as much as buying a book).  But I have just discovered the UNISA Library, which claims to be Africa’s largest academic library, and I believe it.  Even when I went to U.S. universities, including Nova Southeastern University, I did not have as much access to journals as I now have.  So this is one more reason, why if a person is truly going to college for knowledge, UNISA offers amazing value.

Written by Jacob Walker

February 21st, 2016 at 11:59 am

My Email to my Appointed Mentor from UNISA

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I was excited today to receive an email from Dr. Abraham Tlhalefang Motlhabane of UNISA who has been appointed to be my doctoral supervisor.  Although, while Dr. Motlhabane has an excellent background in science education, I hope he will have sufficient background in statistical methods to help me get beyond my current limitations, or that maybe other UNISA professors can also help.  After he emailed me, I wrote the following email, which I think is a good self-reflection of where I am on this project.

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Written by Jacob Walker

February 19th, 2016 at 11:59 am

I registered for my Research Proposal Module with UNISA, costing $231.34

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I was successful in registering for the Research Proposal Module for my Doctor of Education degree in Comparative Education at the University of South Africa.  Amazingly, while this module will allow me to work with a high quality mentor professor for a year, it only cost me $231.34, due to the exchange rate between the South African Rand to the U.S. Dollar.  It is this cost differential between developing nations (such as South Africa) and the U.S. that has continued to bring me back to the idea that these nations should be doing Virtual Onshoring of their schools.

Written by Jacob Walker

February 6th, 2016 at 11:59 am

I’ve been accepted into the University of South Africa! (Again…)

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After needing to wait a year, and recently going through a lot of bureaucratic systems (B.S. for short 🙂 , I have been accepted into the University of South Africa’s Doctor of Education program, focusing on comparative education (which focuses on comparing education systems throughout the world).  I’ve written about my proposed doctoral research before, but it is nice to know that the next major step towards completing the research is done.

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Written by Jacob Walker

December 11th, 2015 at 6:01 pm

Why I am choosing to use SageMathCloud as the platform for my Doctoral Research

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sage_iconIn the very first draft of my doctoral research proposal, I planned on using Excel to do the data mining involved in my research.  But, it quickly became apparent that Excel would be a poor tool for such a job, because it is inefficient for such tasks,  does not scale well, is not multi-user, and can become unstable with large data sets. So I started to look at what might be a good alternative, and SageMathCloud seems to be the nearly perfect answer.

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Written by Jacob Walker

November 1st, 2015 at 11:59 am

A “TED Talk” Explanation of my Doctoral Research

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As I work to enter back into a doctoral program with UNISA, I have realized that I haven’t yet had a quick cohesive explanation of why it is so important to me to do the research I am doing.  So here is that attempt to explain why I believe what I’m working on will make a significant contribution to the field of education, and beyond that, why it could be something that truly changes the world, and also how others can get involved.  Who knows, maybe some day this will become a real TED Talk 🙂

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Written by Jacob Walker

September 18th, 2015 at 11:59 am

Re-Applying to the University of South Africa; Refining and Improving my Research Proposal

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My journey to earn my doctorate with the University of South Africa has had many fits and starts, in which over 5 years ago I was starting to think about applying to UNISA, and almost 3 years ago I started on different doctoral research with them, and last year I changed my idea completely about what research I wanted to do, but was a “day late, and dollar short” to get in. But it looks like this year I will be able to start again.

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Written by Jacob Walker

September 6th, 2015 at 11:59 am