Academia, Distance Education, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Lucerne, Multimedia, Professional Development, Research, scholarship, Scholarships, Switzerland, Teaching, Travel

Almost Two Weeks Later, Still Soaking It All In

Final thoughts and message from our official study abroad blogger: Marquis Holley. Love how Marquis captured complete and totally random moments, objects, scenes, and people from our study abroad experience in his photos. I think his writing and images show his background in communication and instructional design. It fills my heart with joy to know that this short experience will have a lasting effect in him as a participant in the program.

UT Spartans Abroad

It’s hard to believe, but this week will mark two weeks since we’ve all returned from Switzerland.  What a journey it was.  Here are a few more images to provide a closure of sorts for our trip.  We’re truly thankful for you following us, as well as your commentary.  Please know that education was the reason we as students decided to study abroad, and we learned more than we could imagine on this trip.  Special thanks to the University of Tampa for allowing this trip to take place.  Furthermore, the Instructors that accompanied us during this trip are to be commended. Much appreciation to Mr. Frederic Palazy, CIS representative, as a true help and guide during our stay here.  And to all of the teachers, students, administrators, and people we met on this trip, much love and gratitude to you for making it one to remember for a lifetime.  Once…

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

Reflection on the #Switzerland #StudyAbroad program

The study abroad program to Switzerland was everything that I expected and many things I did not expect. Just for reference on what I am taking about, here is the link to the post with info about the study abroad program: The official flyer: #UTampa Travel Course to Switzerland [Spring 2018]

Your can read about our experiences during the program in this blog (Main Author: Marquis Holley, UT ID&T, ‘14): https://utspartansabroad.wordpress.com

Here are a few thoughts on the experience:

Challenges

  • Jetlag sucks and it is important to take it into consideration. When I do this again, I will plan to have very light activities on the first few days.
  • It is very different to travel with students that have a high interested on the theme of the program compared to students have some interest. In the group with had a 75% of students with very high interest on the theme of the program.  The other 25% were participating mostly for the experience.
  • The leadership team of this program are very active individuals that had no problem been on-the-go. It can be challenging to accommodate for others who do things like “nap” or are not very active. If you want to participate in this type of programs or recruit students to participant, make them aware that to make the most out of the experience you will be spending very little time in the hotel room posting on Snapchat.
  • Just like with any group, there are students who tend to be more vocal. Therefore, they tend to drive the direction of the group. It is important to give the other students options or opportunities to voice their opinions/choices.
  • In making connections or plans to meet with schools, university research groups, or others, it is at times difficult to know how casual or formal the visit will be. Asking for as much information as possible before hand will help give the students context.

Good Times

  • I cannot say enough about my assistant coordinator for the program: Merrie Tankersley. I already miss her! Having a good traveling partner to bounce ideas will make your study abroad program an amazing experience. Merrie was an absolutely joy to be around. I will miss our time together in Switzerland and I look forward to our experience next year in Belgium.
  • We organized most of the logistics through a study abroad service provider, CISabroad. As part of that arrangement, we had a on-site representative all the time. We met at the airport in Zurich after arriving in Switzerland, his name is Fred. Fred was honestly the best. He was very resourceful, friendly, and extremely patient.
  • The weather was just perfect. We would have made the best out of rainy days in Switzerland but I am glad that every day we were blessed with good weather.
  • Although there were some challenges with group dynamics, I was very happy to see that the five girls in our group grew so close together. They were also very inclusive of our male student. Overall, I am glad we had each of them in the group.
  • Aside from an strain ankle and a student with a cold, we had no major incidents during the trip. All students were always on time, respectful of the program rules, and participated in all required activities.
  • Switzerland is a beautiful country (and pretty much that sums it all). Our side trip to France was a treat. I strongly recommend visiting Colmar, France.
  • I am EXTREMELY thankful to every individual and organization that welcomed us during our visit in Switzerland. I plan to spend a good chunk of my pre-departure time at the Zurich airport writing thank you emails.

I am sure there are other comments I want to write about this experience, but this is all I have for now. Here are some of the pictures I captured:

 

 

Academia, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Multimedia, Professional Development, Research, Switzerland

International Scholar, Hanspeter Erni, from @PHLuzern visits @UofTampa @UT_IDT

This week the UT Department of Education and UT Instructional Design & Technology Program hosted, Mr. Hanspeter Erni. Mr. Erni is the Director for the Center of Teaching and Learning and the Head of Computer Science and Media Education at PH Luzern. I met Hanspeter during my visit to PH Luzern last year.

During his visit to The University of Tampa, Hanspeter, did a presentation for the UT College of Social Science, Mathematics, and Education (CSSME) faculty, staff members, and current UT IDT students and alumni. It was a great presentation on the importance of informatics and computer science. He also discussed the project “Mini-Beaver.”

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Music Room, Plant Hall [University of Tampa]
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Music Room, Plant Hall [University of Tampa]
In addition to the presentation, I was lucky to have Hanspeter join one of the UT IDT classes. Other activities included: visits to local schools, meeting with the UT CTL Director, and meeting the UT Ed Tech department.

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Instructional Multimedia Class Session

We are collaborating on a special project that will help internationalize the educational experience of UT graduate and undergraduate students. This includes the addition of a travel component (optional) in the curriculum for education graduate and undergraduate students (and potentially UT students with others major who find the topic interesting. More information on this 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.