This past week I joined the DICE Conference to host a workshop on Digital Literacy. The aim was not to enhance the digital literacy of the participants but to discuss how we can organize, collect data, and execute a digital literacy plan. The workshop was hosted at 3 am local Knoxville time. I really did not know how responsive I was going to be, but it is amazing how you feed from the energy of others. The participants of the workshop were energetic, open, and engaged, they made the three-hour session go by so fast. Grateful to the organizers of the DICE conference for the invitation to join the conference and organize this workshop. Here are some of the resources I used during the workshop:
I was honored to join the event as an invited speaker for the day of “Mujeres Innovadoras”. It was a wonderful experience to shared an hour with colleagues in Chile and other Spanish-speaking scholars. The hosts of the event Claudia Osorio Alfaro, Maria Jose Suazo Ocares, and Ignacio Andres Vilos Fredes were amazing and very welcoming. The title of my presentation was “Pedagogia Intersectional Digital: Inclusion y Equidad en la Enseñanza en Linea”. Here are the link to my slides: tiny.utk.edu/CIEDChile
To learn more about the event here are two press releases by the Universidad Autonoma de Chile:
A few weeks ago, I found out that the Tenured Upon Appointment process at The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) was completed. I am grateful to the UTK community for honoring my work and contributions as an Associate Professor with tenure. I look forward to continuing my work as researcher, instructor, and member of my professional community. Also, thankful to the many collaborators so much of the work that I do is a join effort with colleagues and students.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to join a podcast to talk about HyFlex Instruction. I was on travel when I saw the email from the editor in my inbox and, without too much information, I accepted to join the conversation. I really did not know what direction the podcast was going to take. I know HyFlex learning is “controversial” and even “unwelcome” by many, but I really was just going to speak facts. I reviewed some of the research I have done on the topic and the reviewed the literature I have read on the past in preparation for the podcast. I am very happy that the editor had a conversation approach to the podcast and that guided the conversation on the “what comes next” direction. I will be speaking and doing more research on this topic in the upcoming months. So, this is just the beginning of the conversation.
I really do not like listening to my voice in recordings so I just know what I said from the actual recording session. I have not heard the podcast, so I appreciate colleagues who have reached out to let me know that they enjoyed listen to the podcast and the points I shared as part of the conversation. Above is a link to the tweet from Inside Higher Ed and here is the link to the webpage: Ep.91: The Pros and Cons of HyFlex Instruction
This past week, I was invited to speak as part of the STEM education seminar sponsored by the Theory and Practice in Teacher Preparation (TPTE) Department STEM team. I am part of the STEM Education team in the department and this semester a group of colleagues are organizing this seminar with presentations for faculty and graduate students every two weeks. I have really enjoyed all of the presentations this semester. Our STEM Education team is doing really amazing work and I love learning about it.
For my presentation, I was a bit nervous because I was not sure how my work would relate to STEM education. I know educational technology is consider part of STEM education. However, I think of my work as more than just educational technology. I actually see Learning, Design, and Technology as the umbrella term under which educational technology, instructional design, instructional technology, learning engineering, and others similar terms come together. Perhaps one of my main concerns is that under the term STEM, learning design is primarily associated with the “technology” term which I really see as just one aspects of the far more complex ecosystems of the learning, design, and technology field.
The presentation focused on how it is okay to have many areas of research interest. We are often encouraged to stay very narrowly focused on a topic. But, what if you are curious about other topics and want to explore them? So, basically, I used myself as an example of an eclectic research agenda. My research has evolved so much and in part it due to my curiosity to explore other topics. This has also been true in my life, curiosity to try new things or study programs outside my focus has helped me evolve and grow. Here is the link to the slides, in case you are curious.
Last week, I attended the AECT International Convention. It was my first time since 2019 that I attended in person. It was great to see so many colleagues who I have communicated with via email or Zoom for the last three years. Also, I got to meet new colleagues who I had never connected with before.
It was a fairly busy but rewarding schedule for me. I started early every day with a conference presentation or panel session. I am writing this blog post primarily to share some resources and presentation slides from AECT.
CLT- Prioritizing Care, Respect, Empowerment, and Intersectional Identity while in Emergency Remote Teaching: Analysis through a Feminist Pedagogy Lens
This was a presentation with co-author, Dr. Nadia Jaramillo Cherrez. It is work that we have written up and plan to published as part of a forthcoming book on Feminist Pedagogy in Online Learning. Here are our presentation slides.
CLT- Marginalizing What ALSO Matters: It’s time to consider equity factors in design that impact student learning
This panel was great. I do not have slides to share, but here is the link to the recording. Unfortunately, it will only be available until Nov. 15 so please view it before then if you want to learn more about our discussion.
LED- Authentic Practices and Considerations for Mentoring ID Professionals
This panel was organized by members of the AECT Graduate Student Assembly (Mia Knowles, Lili Yan, and Bree Kirsch). Thank you so much for your work organizing this panel. Some of the central questions that Dr. Tutaleni Asino and I discussed during this session were:
How would you describe culturally responsive research, pedagogy, and practice? What are other relevant concepts that show up in your work?
What are your experiences in doing work with culture? Any important stories or challenges to share?
What is your favorite methodology for culturally responsive research?
How would you negotiate the cultural self and the academic self in your work?
Advice/resources for grad students doing work with culture, particularly in our field?
Mia, Lili, and Bree created this slide with a QR code that links to additional resources and readings.
2022 Early Career Symposium
This year during AECT, I was also invited to serve as a mentor as part of the Early Career Symposium. I hope the insights I shared with my mentees are beneficial to them. I also learned a great deal from their experience and knowledge. I am thankful to those who presented during the symposium because I found their presentations useful even in my current career stage as an academic. I hope AECT continues to support the Early Career Symposium. I have served as a mentor twice and was a mentee many years ago. It is truly a great way to give back to our learning design and technology community.
University Receptionand Distance Learning Award
Huge thanks to my colleague, Dr. Rachel Wong, for traveling to the AECT 2022 conference with our University of Tennessee Knoxville poster and goodies to give away during the university reception. We met many colleagues and graduate students during the university reception. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and grab some goodies. Also, thanks to the AECT Distance Learning Division for recognizing one of my recent publications with 1st Place Mixed Methods Journal Award (“Hybrid flexible instruction: Exploring faculty preparedness” published with co-author Caldeira Ripine in the Online Learning journal). Last, but not least, during the welcome reception I put my name in a raffle and won some DDL gear. I never win raffles, I was so excited.
I really do not think that this pictures will properly depict the true astonishing beauty of the Valley of Fire State Park, but I wanted to share them because it was a wonderful experience. I was actually going to hike in Mount Charleston but my ride was cancelled and instead I was given the option to visit this state park. I knew nothing about it and almost decided to decline completely. I am glad I decided to move forward with the visit to the Valley of Fire State Park and I actually want to go back.
Some academics are leaving Twitter. I have no plans to leave Twitter as of right now. I am not on Instagram or Facebook. If you join Twitter one day and do not see me there, please know that I have switched to the next big social network: The great outdoors. I do not feel motivated to join a different social network platform. So, again, if I remove myself from Twitter that just means I dedicate more time to spend outside in nature (i.e., a park, a bike ride, a short hike, a farm, kayaking).
I was already considering a Twitter break later this year. I will see how things go with over the next month or so before making a decision. But honestly, if things go South with Twitter and I just shut my profile down radically please know you can always reach out to me via:
You can also subscribe to this blog. In the main page of this blog (https://enildaromero.com), you can type your email and click subscribe to read future posts. I write professional and personal blog posts. I am not a New York Times best seller but I put a few sentences together and sometimes share some decent content (in my humble opinion).
I really miss having the option to take public transportation.
In the past I have lived in two cities with pretty amazing public transportations systems: Panama City and Toronto. Panama city’s public transportation is fairly inexpensive but it is also very chaotic. I grew up in that system so the chaos was actually fairly normal to me. The Toronto’s public transportation system is pricey and it has a high level of organization that I have not experience anywhere else I have travel to.
For many years, living in Toronto the TTC was my best friend. At that time I resided in Scarborough on the East side of the Greater Toronto Area but worked downtown so daily I would take the Cliffside (20) bus to Kennedy Station and get on the subway going West bound to Young and Bloor station where I would transfer to the South bound train towards Union Station. I would get off at the Dundas Square station.
Commuting to work in public transportation was very relaxing for me (I did not have to use it during the traditional rush hours). This was before smartphones even existed so I would bring something to read or I would listen to my CD player (ha!). If I missed a train, I could easily catch the next one in 5 or 10 minutes. The Cliffside bus would run every 15 or 20 minutes.
Although I have tons of experience with the TTC, I had never tried commuting into downtown Toronto using the GO Train, which is a regional commuter train serving the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario, Canada. I recently took a ride in the GO Train and it was amazing. It is a bit more costly than the TTC ride but if time and comfort are important to you then is is probably worth it.
I wonder why we cannot have the same transportation system in the United States. I lived in Tampa for 9 years and honestly the public transportation system sucked. A bus would run every hour. That makes no sense at all. I do not know if Knoxville has any public transportation system. There is a bus that runs from UTK to downtown but I am pretty sure that is all I have seen.
Having a car is a privilege. There are many people who cannot afford the cost of having a car (i.e., car insurance, car payment, repair and maintenance) or cannot drive because of many other reasons, it would be nice in the United States to have the option to use public transportation that runs regularly and that you can count on if needed. I read this article (The real reason American public transportation is such a disaster) and I think it is kind crazy to me that public transportation can be treated as a “political charge issue”.
Anyways, I do not want this to be a really long post but a reflection on some recent experiences and hopes for a better public transportation future.
I don’t know if most people that know me professionally know this, but I am the daughter of divorced parents. My parents divorced in my adulthood. I was actually just starting my doctoral program when they got divorce. To make things even more interesting, my parents live in different countries. It makes the logistics of “going to visit family” challenging. It also means that I may not see both my mom and dad in the same family trip.
But my divorce parents are really not like many others. Although they are divorce my parents: travel together, sometimes spend Christmas and New Years celebrations together, talk on the phone daily (sometimes multiple times a day), have visited me together, and are very comfortable been in each other’s presence (sometimes it is even hard to tell they are actually divorce). They have taught me so much about true love and care for another person regardless of relationship status. Of course, just like any relationship they also argue and sometimes need their own space.
Recently, I got to spend time with both of them. It was the first time in a long time that I spend time with my mom and the first time in a long time that we were all together. It meant the world to me. Both my mom and dad live in places with fairly strict COVID travel restrictions and thankfully now some of those restrictions have been lifted. Hopefully it stays that away and that way I will have more opportunities to visit them.
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