Archive for May 2009

I wonder if every PhD candidate feels the same way when they commence their PhD candidature… full of hope and aspirations, with ambitions that appear unreachable. How many actually get there and reach the top of their game? Or is it something like the one depicted below?



Source: "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham


Well right now, I do have ambitions, though I should say not at the Nobel Prize level. But I am also full of fear… fear of the unknown. I’ve embarked on what appears to be very much a solo journey but should it remain to be so? Perhaps it is because of how I am approaching my journey – somewhat closed – like putting a password to my blog on the framing of my PhD. Why did I do this, what was my fear exactly? That someone might adopt my ideas before I could secure a candidature? Perhaps. 

Dare I say I’ve had an epiphany… that despite my advocacy for social networking in this brave new world, I didn’t practice what I preached. I’m embarrassed to admit this but I’m glad that I came to the realisation sooner rather than later. How can I grow if my world remains closed, how can I reach my life ambition in a closed world? 

I need someone to share my journey, in fact I need the whole world in this journey… so I will use this space to share anything and everything I could to chronicle my PhD-related work, and anything in between.

Being passionate about my belief is one thing, finding a reliable source for validation about such belief is quite another.  The wisdom of Punya Mishra goes a long way when convincing others about the value of contextual learning:

Teachers learning to use technology for pedagogy is best achieved by situating them in contexts that honor the rich connections between technology, the subject matter (content) and the means of teaching it (the pedagogy). This led to a pedagogical approach we have called Learning Technology by Design.

I have been a follower of the TPACK approach for sometime but can only manage to apply it in a one-to-one project-based situation, e.g. when involved in major course redesign projects. The TPACK framework has become intrinsic in my practice, so much so that I no longer think about it, it just happens. Time and again I’ve observed the holistic development of those with whom I collaborated, becoming advocates and mentors themselves. Reconnecting with Punya’s writing tonight reinforced once again why we need such a framework.

In the coming weeks, my goal is to continue the journey that I’ve started, collaborating with academic staff to learn technology by design. This time though there are opportunities to foster community of practice.

I felt it important to record my thoughts here about approaches to academic development as I take part in an institutional-wide project , a big component of which is shifting existing mindsets about the use of learning management systems and associated tools and features.

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