Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My wishes for you!

I received a Helen Exley Gift book for my birthday about 2 years ago and I am going through it again and I found some wishes that I would like to pass on as we approach the New Year.

“I wish you the joy of “I see! I understand!!…
I wish you the happiness of ideas, the excitement of reason, the triumph of understanding, the clearing of sight, the sharpening of hearing, the reaching out to new discovery, a pleasure in the past as well as in the present. I wish you the joy of creativity.

May there always, always be something you want to learn, something you want to do, somewhere you want to go, someone you want to meet. May life never grow stale."


I purchased Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope and I am attempting to read it. It has been a little challenging so far because I am not so connected with American History. However, as I reflect on how I react to his writings I question how I learn and what makes me recall certain things over others. For example, in the book he mentions several politicians who he had to go against as well as prominent men in the history of politics. If someone were to ask me to recall the names mentioned I would only be able to recall the ones I was familiar with before like Clinton and Reagan. What has stuck with me is the way he views politics; the fact that he went in search of a personal understanding of the evolution of American politics and has deviated from the traditional divide between Democrats and Republicans. His approach is to look at the problem of the nation and devise the most appropriate solution.Anyone who is familiar with the book can probably tell that I have just completed chapter one.

Well being the Instructional Designer that am, I immediately started drawing analogies between his approach to politics with how we approach teaching and learning. I realized the impact of Schema theory which asserts that we learn by building networks with previous knowledge and new knowledge; this explains why it was so easy for me to recall the names that I was acquainted with before.
The other issue is with theory and practice. It is the belief of some that only one approach is right and apply that approach in all situations. Many of us in the field know that this will not achieve the best results as each situation is unique and should be treated accordingly.

On page 49 Obama says “Unless political leaders are open to new ideas and not just new packaging, we wont’ change enough hearts and minds….” This just made me think of educational technology and the many debates. The fact that has educators we truly have to examine the problem and not just aim to repackage face to face learning but we need to be innovative and develop new techniques especially for the current generation.

I guess I assimilate ideas more than bits and pieces of facts. How do you learn, what do you recall when you read? Do you find yourself always finding links between what you read and your areas of interests?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm back!

It’s been quite awhile since I have made a post; several ideas came across my mind but just never got the chance to put hand to keyboard …..guess it’s no longer pen to paper. I have finished my internship and all’s well that ends well. I am now trying to find my niche as Instructional Design and Performance Improvement allows you to be flexible and can be applied to other areas such as Project Management and Human Resource Development. I got the opportunity to shadow one of the Organizational Development (OD) Specialist and it was great, one of his projects was succession planning. This peeked my interest in OD and this semester I am doing a course on work motivation and leadership. I tried to get in to a HR course too but unfortunately it was full.

So to wrap up this semester I need to present an electronic portfolio that provides evidence that I have met the goals of the program. I am now in search of an open source application that will allow me to do this.

Any recommendations? I am checking out Dr. Barrett’s online portfolio adventure.

Aside: I’m home in Jamaica enjoying the sun, friends and family; I am so not missing the cold!