Academia, Distance Education, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Lucerne, Professional Development, Research, Teaching, Travel

Faculty Led Experiential Education Abroad Program Approved [Destination: Switzerland]

Last week, I received notification that the faculty led short term experiential education abroad program I proposed to the UTampa Office of International Program was approved. So, who is coming with me to Switzerland? The name of the program is “Teaching and Learning in Switzerland.” The study abroad advisor from the Office of International Programs mentioned that alumni can join as “non-degree seeking students.”

Save the dates: May 6 – 15, 2018

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More info coming soon!

Academia, Conference, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Job, Lucerne, Research, Switzerland, Teaching

The “Quick Update” Post

I wanted to write a couple of posts about things I experienced this last semester and then life happened! So, I am merging it all into this post. Please forgive the imperfection of my writing. I probably will not take the time edit and re-edit. What you are about to read are the words as they flow from my brain to the keyboard to this blog.

Since I last wrote a blog post (not an announcement but an actual blog post) I became a mom. This time last year, I was in Switzerland in a Faculty Exchange program. It was exactly during the exchange that I discovered that I was expecting a baby. Yes, the pregnancy test results read “Schwanger.”

 

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Many things have happened in my personal/professional life in the last year (since I found out I was pregnant) and I want to share them in my blog. However, I am still trying to figure out how to best express those experiences and feelings in a blog post (or maybe more than one). I hope to take some time to write about this experiences in the near future.

What I do want to share in this blog post is that I have officially completed my third year in  a tenure track position. At the beginning of the Spring 2016 semester, I submitted all my materials and by mid March had received all the pre-tenure letters. This is a minor milestone but I still consider it a milestone. I guess the questions that I need to answer now is: what is happening past pre-tenure? Well, pretty much just keep on working hard. I have a long term “to-do list” that I have to tackle and of course, the everyday “to-do list.”

The last three years served to connect with really amazing faculty and graduates students with whom I have found common ground (topics of interest) to work on projects. Some of these projects are strictly related to the instructional design practice and others are more multidisciplinary. I am very excited about this projects and some of them will presented in conferences later this years (currently working on getting some manuscripts out for review). Other projects are just starting so more details coming soon.

I also want to quickly mention that I also started professional service with the AERA SIG Design & Technology as a Technology Liaison. I am excited for this opportunity and very much looking forward to working with colleagues in the SIG. This previous sentence reminded me that I wanted to mention how much I enjoyed attending AERA 2016. I did not present a paper but instead had the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program sponsored by the AERA SIG Design & Technology. I met two outstanding graduate students, Amanda and Yi.
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I hope the SIG continues the mentoring program in the future. It was a great opportunity to share my graduates student and faculty journey. Most importantly, it was an opportunity to listen to the concerns of graduate students and, hopefully, provide guidance. I also learned from the graduate students in the process. Both graduate students, Amanda and Yi, shared conferences, resources, and research groups that were completely new to me.

During the conference I also participated as moderator in a panel discussion on the past, present, and future of the design and technology field. The panelist included Elizabeth Boling, Pat Hardre, and George Veletsianos. It was nice to listen to the panelists’ perspective on the current state of the field as well as suggestions for graduate students and faculty doing research on topics related to design and technology. The current Graduate Student Representative of the SIG Design and Technology board, Shonn, live tweeted the panel presentation. If you are interested in reading more about it, you can check out the AERA SIG Design & Technology Twitter stream.

That is all I have for now. Hoping to be post more in the near future. Hopefully, future post will not be as lengthy.

Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Lucerne, Research, Travel

Faculty Exchange to @PHLuzern (Switzerland): Overview

Grüezi Mitenand!

In May 2015, I participated in a faculty exchange program at PH Luzern in Lucerne, Switzerland. I was very excited to participate in this exchange because it involved giving a series of guest lectures, a workshop, and several meetings with administrators, faculty, and students. The faculty exchange was initially setup by the Dean of the College of Social Science, Mathematics and Education in an effort to increase the international perspectives and awareness of the faculty at UTampa as well as collaboration between the two institutions. After getting permission from the Dean and setting up the initial contact with the International Office at PH Luzern, I was put in contact with one of the professors in the Informatics Department (Hanspeter). The result of several months of email was a two week program.

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Traveling to Lucerne was nice adventure that included flying into Zurich and then taking a one hour train ride from Zurich airport to Lucerne. At the train station, I was greeted by Hanspeter and we walked to a nice restaurant by the river were I met several colleagues that I had already met via email. It was nice to finally see them in person. This lunch was immediately follow with a meeting with Prof. Dr. Michael Zutavern (Vice Rector of PH Lucern) and Brigitte Kursteiner (Head of International Relations). During the meeting I was given an overview of PH Luzern including the different programs that are offered, the student body and the Swiss higher education system. I also had the opportunity to talk about The University of Tampa, the Education Department programs, and specifically, talk about the ID&T program.

The days after my arrival in Lucern included:

– Guest lectures to the graduates students in which we discussed the use of use and implementation of instructional simulations and educational games. During the guest lectures the students also shared their projects related to Robotics in the K-12 classroom.


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– A brown bag lecture to faculty in which I share my current multi & interdisciplinary research efforts and collaborations. It was fantastic to share some of my initial findings and the significance of my research with others. It serve as a way to get feedback and, in some cases, it served to think about potential future collaborations.

– A visit to a middle school with a 1-to-1 tablet program in which students are taught about media literacy. It was nice to learn about the collaborations of the school with universities in the U.S. and to learn about the implementation of the tablet program for specific parts of the curriculum. Spending the day in the middle school also gave me plenty of time to talk to the teachers and to discuss the challenges and benefits of the implementation of the tablet program.

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–  Several meetings with administrators and other faculty members. I met with the EduWeb team which basically serves as the instructional design and educational technology support for the faculty and staff at PH Luzern. I also met with the head of research and development at PH Luzern (Werner Wicki). We discussed some of the research projects that faculty members have published and some upcoming projects for the future. During my meeting with Dr. Wicki we also discussed our own research interests and topics.

– Cultural activities such as Ascension Day traditions and celebrations, hiking the Titlis and Burgenstock, the Swiss Museum of Transport, the Rosengart Museum, cruising Lake Lucerne, and exploring the beautiful city of Lucerne.

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I want to thank my colleagues at PH Luzern for their warm welcome and hospitality during my visit in May. It was great to learn about the higher education studies in Switzerland and to learn about the programs offered at PH Luzern. Also, thank you for giving me an opportunity to share some of my research efforts and my knowledge with the faculty and students.

I truly enjoyed the experience! It was more than a professional exchange, it was also a cultural experience. I was able to learn about your holidays, geography, food, and the people of Lucerne (and surrounding areas). Again, thank you all for taking the time to meet with me. I look forward to our planned future collaborations (coming soon)!