Here I lay out the stepping stones that have brought me to the labyrinth. Lo, I have become a 'tool' through which others may learn. My journey to self-actualization includes steps taken to openly share my experiences and create multimodal reflections as part of my learning journey. This story showcases some of the tools through which my academic and scholarly 'self' has been crafted.
But lo! men have become the tools of their tools. ~ Henry David Thoreau
This portfolio lays a foundation for the path and direction of my PhD journey, just as a labyrinth frames the path of a walker. I echo the sentiments of Freire in that "I have a responsibility to provide whatever light I can on the subject and share my ideas with people" (Bell, Gaventa, & Peters, 1990, p. 105). In the past ten years, and in completing a Masters in Educational Technology at the University of British Columbia, I have created media in multiple locations, with a multitude of tools, for a plurality of purposes. This is an introduction to previous media-making stories which are a prequel to this PhD story which demonstrate a commitment to actively work, struggle, learn, and share my self-actualizing journey toward the PhD program.
My Renovations [see this work at My Renovations]
This media-making story is a capstone project presented as a digital portfolio for the Masters of Educational Technology (MET) program at the University of British Columbia. This project outlined three years of learning and scholarship using the metaphor of renovations. This metaphor focused my research abilities, academic thinking, and digital competencies. Looking back, I now see this story as a starting point for subsequent academic inquiries since I gained confidence in my ability to think and write as a scholar. This PhD comprehensive portfolio's theme and metaphor are influenced by the MET portfolio and continues my renovations in academic and scholarly work.
My Year of the MOOC
Once I completed the MET program, I serendipitously explored opportunities to continue learning and media-making while connecting to people and ideas in digital spaces. I became enamoured by massive open online courses (MOOCs) that were open to all. They offered opportunities for deeply intellectual and exploratory activities. Predominantly in 2015 but continuing into 2017, I joined and participated in a range of MOOC courses on topics that captured my interest. Here are my MOOC media-making stories and how they impact my current PhD work.This introduced me to critical and radical pedagogies, authors and thinkers in digital spaces. It was here that I began blogging to share my writing and media productions. This was foundational to my practice as an academic blogger and is a primary influence for the Step By Step blog site I maintain as I go through the PhD program. It was here that I recognized the importance of applying a critical pedagogy framework.This MOOC was offered by the Mobile Technology Network within the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). As a long standing member of this organization, the topic of personalizing learning experiences mirrored my own personal learning journey. It was here that I explored new media applications such as interactive maps, Twitter and Twitter chats, interactive images, and curation tools to collect media and digital information sources. These technological explorations continue to influence how I manage and share PhD resources and openly communicate with others in the PhD program.In this small open online course (SOOC) experience I encountered the importance of making media with purpose and passion, while ensuring equitable access and honouring the needs of all who may engage with digital and media technologies. Here, a relational ethic of care was exemplified in the open, accessible actions of others through modelling, dialogue, practice, and confirmation (Noddings, 1988). Universal design principles were explored with intention. This experience led me to take on a leadership role with the Inclusive Learning Network (ILN) within ISTE, which I continue to maintain. My initiatives include the annual book study hosted online and organized through social media, and personally connects to participants in a variety of media-making ways.
- HumanMOOC - Humanizing Online Learning (2015, 2016)