So I totally missed blogging during the month of April and May. What the heck was I doing?
In April, I was winding down the semester with my #tech21 class. My one struggling student finally broke through and was making progress. One student needed some extra support as she finished up her grad studies. A few others had phone calls and Skype chats with me a few times to talk about projects. There was more real-time contact with students this year than before. What I learned this semester is that there are going to be students in this class with less technology awareness, less digital media understanding, and less know-how than in prior semesters because the #edtech program has been closed and all the program courses are now electives. That’s OK – it is still important to offer the courses and maybe it’s better that they are electives because we’ll be able to provide this important curriculum to more student teachers. What I’ll need to do is tweak the course format to include more what-how before we get into the why-what-outcomes. It can be done.
I also traveled a great deal. Beginning with late March with a trip to New Jersey, quickly followed by a trip to New York City, then Vermont, then Connecticut. I also made a few visits to Boston schools and of course, Salem and Providence. Between work travel and school travel, I was on the road visiting people in the northeast. I also made a trek out to Utah, to work at the home office for a few days. I also swung down to Arizona, using my frequent travel miles to visit my sister for a long weekend. We hiked, we saw ruins, we did the Grand Canyon, we hung out and talked and talked until we were both scratchy throated. My last visit to AZ was in February of 2007, right before I applied to and began graduate school. Doctoral programs were on my mind when I was there again in April, having just found a program that was so new it wasn’t in my original EdD program search 2 years ago. I felt in my gut that was the right program; thinking about it thousands of miles away from home, talking it over with my sister confirmed that feeling.
In May, I focused on getting my program application done and in the mail. I had phone calls and emails with current students at Endicott and talked with friends who are doing their programs at different schools. My gut tells me this program at Endicott College is where I want to be. I like the idea of it being a new program, that I may be in the second cohort, that there is room for refinement. I am happy to have found this program at Endicott because no other school or program in the northeast gave me a similar good feeling. I went through this process when selecting a graduate program. I was absolutely satisfied with my masters program, my student experience at Salem State and have continued to be engaged with that school community. I want the same for my doctoral studies experience.
At work I started transitioning to a new role, working now with the MOOC side of the LMS arena. I have much to learn, I have much to give, there is much work to do. I am very excited to continue working with the company in this new capacity. There is excitement and energy; the team assembling is bright, powerful, happy and eager to make this work. We’re already making significant progress in just a few weeks. My doctoral program choice is much like my choice of employment – new, exciting, fresh, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
So now here we are, June.
Getting ready for Beach Week 2013 – our annual tech-free (yeah, right; not since smartphones) week at the beach. We rented a new house this year, one street closer to the hollow road of our favorite beach and a roof deck that overlooks the Atlantic. I am looking forward to reading books, taking naps, sipping coffee and watching the stars come out. The winter here was very bad and the Cape suffered extreme coastal damage. The walkways down through the dunes to the water were washed away by wind, rain and surf; the local news shows that there isn’t much left of our favorite beach. But we’re hopeful. Last year we walked out to the Marconi Station a few times (once in a dense early morning fog that made coming upon the site a bit spooky) and I’d like to do that again, if we can get down there. At the very least we’ll have the roof deck and we can hit any number of beaches every day, for an entire week. Yeah, can’t wait!
Following Beach Week 2013, is the company’s annual conference out in Utah. This is the third conference and I have attended all three – the first two as an attendee; this is my first as an employee. I feel like I have graduated from camper to camp counselor. I still get to be there but I am involved in the planning and execution of the event. Looking forward to seeing many of the people I have visited this past year during my work travels, seeing old friends and making news ones. It is very much like summer camp in that the relationships may be brief, but they are meaningful because there is a little magic, a lot of excitement and tons of positive energy when people get together in a beautiful outdoor space to live together, learn together, share and celebrate together.
April and May were good, busy, productive. Friends, family and everyone in our circles are doing well. There have been expected and unexpected opportunities. As always, I am ready to take on new challenges. I am ready for summer, and if accepted to Endicott, this is my last blast of fun before 3 years of classes begin.
Hey, June! Let’s go to the beach!