How to Cope Post Residency

Residency was an incredible opportunity for me to jump outside of my comfort zone and join an amazing group of people on an adventure!

I INTRODUCE YOU ALL TO: drum roll please….

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Royal Roads MALAT!

An amazing experience that filled me with so much gratitude and love ❤

I know what you’re going to ask…

What really happens when you get home from residency and the sadness of missing everyone starts to sink in?

How do you cope once your back to your (as we liked to refer to it) “REAL LIFE” and no longer in the RRU dorms being awoken by mating peacocks?

Well to start, you sleep….and sleep….and sleep….and yes, SLEEP!!

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Then COFFEE… LOTS of coffee to get you tackling those remaining assignments!

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Then you set up your MALAT workshop at home, filled with things that remind you of the amazing castle and people you called home for two incredible weeks.

Then you try to find supportive critical friends within your own home…

however; this might not have worked out so well…

so you try to recreate the magic of Habitat’s ORBS…

then you spend copious amounts of time (which you don’t have) on WhatsApp, talking to the people you miss SO MUCH…

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So much so that you engage in an online face-to-face conversation to hear those lovely voices and see those beautiful faces again!

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Once you get your fill, you sign off and hold tight to those incredible rocks we wrote on during our last day…

And you remember this:

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Anyways, that’s how I cope without you…I know things are falling into place ❤

Don’t worry though…

online learning will keep us together!

I miss you all!

Ready for our next adventures together… after some fun in the sun first!

Until next time…

~ Kim

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I AM a BLOGGING Researcher

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When I started my MA, I felt like an imposter. I couldn’t help but feel this way, especially when one of my professors told us we were all researchers. I chuckled, thinking that I would never be considered a researcher and it is finally starting to sink in.

I AM A RESEARCHER!

I wear a lot of hats in my life and I am proud to add researcher!

Today I took the leap being a researcher and shared my MA blog on my Twitter feed (@ClimbandGrow). I refused to do this seven weeks ago because I was too vulnerable but here I am, just going for it! Sharing it to whoever is interested in reading it! Oh the perks of being a blogger.

Regarding blogging, I read an article that stated the following, “we suspect that an average paper in a peer-reviewed journal is read completely at most by no more than 10 people” (Biswas & Kirchherr, 2015, n.p.). TEN PEOPLE!? That’s it!? To me this seems like an outrage! Research is a LOT of work and a LOT of reading and writing, and then to have minimal amounts of people read your work!? Why aren’t all academics blogging and posting their work to social forums like Facebook and Twitter, allowing more people to access their knowledge, especially through hashtags. This trend is spreading and I think it is going to catch on more! Even “professors are beginning to use blogs to establish networks, opening communications between students and the wide Internet audience” (Asselin, 2008, p. 9). The Seesaw application used at my school has a blogging function, allowing children as young as four to contribute to online forums. Knowledge should be shared and accessible to everyone I think. You never know whose looking for exactly what you’ve written…

~ Kim

References

Asselin, K. (2008). Blogging: The remediation of academic and business communications (Order No. 1452706). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304449817). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.royalroads.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/304449817?accountid=8056

Biswas, A., & Kirchherr, J. (2015, April 9). Citations are not enough: Academic promotion panels must take into account a scholar’s presence in popular media. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/04/09/academic-promotion-scholars-popular-media/

 

Experiencing Change: Researcher Jargon

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Now that residency has come to an end,  I have noticed my vocabulary changing, expanding more so, into the abyss of researcher jargon.

When I started on campus, I didn’t know anyone, it was a completely foreign experience for me and I was nervous. On top of that, I had NO IDEA what a lot of my professors or peers were talking about. Thank goodness for my iPhone as I was constantly on Google (how connectivist of me), searching the meaning of words being used that I had either never used before, or never even heard of.

Some of the words that made my head spin included:

pragmatic

underpinning

epistemology

theoretical frameworks

cultures of inquiry

paradigm

empirical 

I felt COMPLETELY vulnerable in this area and blogging about it now, showcasing that vulnerability online, is terrifying. Heide Estes (2012) explains this well, stating that “blogging helps me to bring together aspects of my academic and non-academic lives, as well as to start thinking about issues that will eventually get my academic attention but where I’m still working out ideas in a more casual forum” (p. 974). ABSOLUTELY! I have been a blogger for a few years now with my career, however; I have always been very confident with what I post. Being in a new space now where I can casually express my ideas, thoughts, and opinions regarding academia and how I understand it, is nerve-wracking and a very exciting change. I feel confident knowing that blogging is a space to grow, to learn, and to showcase who I am and who I am becoming in this scholarly journey. It is true what Kathleen Asselin (2008) says, “blogging is changing the way people communicate and blogging is a leading example of how modern communications is being affected” (p. 79).

~ Kim

References

Asselin, K. (2008). Blogging: The remediation of academic and business communications (Order No. 1452706). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304449817). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.royalroads.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/304449817?accountid=8056

Estes, H. (2012). Blogging and academic integrity. Literature Compass, 9(12), 974-982. doi:10.1111/lic3.12017

 

Research Paper or Thesis… Decisions…

Today was filled with excitement, some confusion, a heated debate, and a much needed walk to the ocean.

This morning we spent a good amount of time talking about research papers, thesis work and theological frameworks. It was incredibly informative and allowed me to start thinking about how I want to go about completing this program. I have so many ideas that I want to look into with regards to childrens’ learning and technology integration and I am not sure if that will lead me down the road of a thesis or a research paper. Decisions, decisions, decisions. I am thrilled to be given this information early on so I can take time in this process to look at my options, do research, narrow my ideas down, and determine if what I want to do will fit into a thesis stream or a paper.

In the afternoon I completed an unexpectedly intense (although it was silly of me to not have just assumed it would be intense haha) group debate assignment with some, yet again, incredible colleagues of mine (p.s my MALAT crew is AMAZING). We had to research our topic and debate a pro stance for why “connectivism should be adopted as the learning theory for educating students in our digital culture” (LRNT 501 Debate Topic). What a cool experience and an interesting way to go about doing research. I have never been in a debate that was quite so formal and it was so much fun, stressful, but also VERY informative and exciting.

After this, it was crucial to TAKE A BREAK! A few of us headed to the beach for some much needed relaxation. The smell of the ocean and the sand in my toes was exactly the way I needed to end this day.

~Kim

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First Team Project Experience

WOW!

There really isn’t a better word to describe my first group project experience in my Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology program with Royal Roads University! If I could describe it in one word, it would definitely be FANTASTIC!

The dynamic of personalities and skills that each member of my group brought to the table was incredible. We started out with great communication and we all worked well together towards the same end goal, meeting regularly to connect and committing to making deadlines ON TIME. I specifically enjoyed that we acknowledged every idea each team member had, weaning out those that were less desirable in a professional manner that allowed us all to feel heard.

Half way through our group project experience, we attended a team building session. Each member of the team completed Tony Alessandra’s Communication Style Inventory, determining our communication styles (the one that was most prominent in our personalities). Once determined, it was interesting to see that we had two controller/directors and two promoter/socializers. We were so well balanced and it worked in our favour.

Throughout the experience we were able to focus on our work, keeping our desired outcome in mind, while still making time for laughs and enjoyment as a team.

Through this process I also learned a new term that I thought was interesting for future research: digital immigrant. This information was provided by a teammate and we further uncovered its meaning in Timothy VanSlyke’s (2003) work: Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Some Thoughts from the Generation Gap. Definitely worth further investigating for me!

Until next time!

~ Kim

References

VanSlyke, T. (2003). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Some thoughts from the generation gap. The Technology Source Archives at the University of North Carolina. Retrieved from http://www.technologysource.org/article/digital_natives_digital_immigrants/

Here I Come!!!

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What an exciting adventure I am embarking on!

I made it to Vancouver and am now patiently awaiting my departure to Victoria!

All of my colleagues in this program are incredible, everyone so willing to help each other out with getting to campus! I can’t wait to get to Victoria, meet new people and see the incredible Royal Roads campus!!!

See you soon!

~ Kim

Thumbs Up Constructivism

I have been focusing on two complex ideas: cultures of inquiry and learning theories. The way I understand cultures of inquiry is that they are different ways we can conduct research, such as ethnography, hermeneutics and phenomenology, to name a few (BIG words right!?). Learning theories apply more to how learners come to understand information.

The learning theory constructivism is one I would like to share in this post because I feel that, at this point in time (allowing myself to be open to change), my teaching is aligned with this theory. Author Weller (2011) states that constructivism is, “a view of learning that places the focus on the individual who constructs their knowledge through activity” (p. 8). As a teacher, specifically having taught Early Childhood Education, I allow my students to engage in their learning and take ownership of creating meaning from experiences that they have, providing them with support when needed, of course. As their teacher, it is crucial that I  “understand both the demands of the discipline and the needs of the child and then to provide learning experiences to enable the student to uncover the curriculum” (Darling-Hammond, Austin, Orcutt & Rosso, 2001, p. 8). By allowing my students to jump into inquiry-based projects and centre-based activities, I am letting them choose activities that they enjoy so they can then construct meaning from the experiences they have with these activities. This can be individual, or, children can engage with teachers and other peers. I open up these activities to be approached from many different perspectives so each child can feel confident choosing an activity that they feel they will learn from and succeed. Daily 5 is an excellent way that I have incorporated choice into the classroom, so children can construct literacy meaning from activities and experiences that they prefer to engage in. Also, providing children with technology resources, such as Seesaw, allows them to construct meaning on an even deeper level by extending the learning and sharing it with others.

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Until next time…

~ Kim

References

Darling-Hammond, L., Austin, K., Orcutt, S., & Rosso, J. (2001). The learning classroom: Theory into practice. Episode #1 how people learn: Introduction to learning theories (pp. 1-19). Course syllabus, School of Education, Stanford University, California, USA.

Weller, M. (2011). A pedagogy of abundance. Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 pp. 223-236.

Beginning My Journey

My journey for my Masters of Arts degree in Learning and Technology has begun and I am jumping in with both feet.

We started this program with a lot of introductory work, allowing us to build up a community of learners that we will be engaging with throughout the next two years. I don’t feel like I am swimming with a group of strangers, I feel like we all jumped in at the same time and we are ready to make a splash… a BIG splash!

The first two assignments are complex so far… very complex. Lots of big words and complex concepts although, I don’t feel like I am the only one who feels this way so that makes me feel a bit better! There are now only a couple more days remaining until I pack my bags and head to Victoria for two exciting weeks of learning and fun! I am excited to uncover some of these complexities and to meet my cohort, including my professors, in person!

Here’s to the beginning of something new and exciting!

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~ Kim

 

Techy Teacher on the LOOSE

Techy Teacher on the LOOSE!

Welcome!

Integrating technology in my teaching and learning is a huge priority for me.

Through this blog, I will be recording my learning and experiences in my Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology program through Royal Roads University!

Follow me in my learning journey, it’s going to be FUN!

~ Kim