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.

#AECT14: Learning, Design, and Technology

This year the AECT conference was held in the wonderful state of Florida, just 3 hours northeast of the Tampa Bay area, in Jacksonville. It was a conference that I was looking forward to attend because several of the students in the UT ID&T program [Follow the program in Facebook and Twitter] were attending and presenting!

The first day of the conference for me was the Wednesday afternoon, two grad students from the UT ID&T program were presenting and I wanted to be there for their session. They wrote the initial version of their proposal as part of a midterm paper assignment in a course I taught in the Fall 2013 semester (my first semester as a faculty member). The topic of their papers were mainly related to motivation elements in the learning process. Their session was well attended and I felt extremely proud of their first conference presentation. Several attendees of the sessions had comments and questions about the topic of the presentation as well as feedback on their research topics. It was also nice to see the support from other UT ID&T classmates and faculty that attended the session. This was definitely a highlight of the conference for me.

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Another important part of the conference was to meet with my colleagues and friends from the AECT Research and Theory Division to discuss important topics related to future conference proposals, the professional development webinars, and future elections. I was not able to attend the RTD board meeting but I was there for the membership meeting, which included all the board members. It was nice to catch up with all of them, I know some of my fellow board members for many years now. One of the decisions that was made during the meeting is that the division will continue to elect a PD webinar facilitator for future webinars. I am glad that the RTD Professional Development Webinars started by Dr. Min Kyu Kim and myself as a suggestions Dr. Michael Grant will continue to be a part of the RTD division mission. While at the conference the PD webinars were recognized by the AECT leadership as well as the RTD board members.

I will continue to participate in the RTD board for one more year as Secretary. One of my primary roles will be the RTD newsletter and I am excited to make it happen. I want them to be fun, creative, and interactive. I am considering running another RTD position in the future but I am still thinking about it.

During the conference I presented in two sessions. One of the sessions related to a new research effort on the use of social media initiatives and strategies for professional development. In my particular case, I discussed the social media initiatives started for the ID&T program at the University of Tampa. The presentation discussed the current strategies implemented for the professional development of the instructional design graduate students. I also discussed the second phase of this research effort which includes data collection using qualitative and quantitative data. The other presentation that I had during the AECT conference was an informal panel presentation in which a group of international faculty (including myself) discussed with international graduate students the lessons learned during the first year in a tenured track faculty position and the tenure process in different universities. I am halfway through my second tenure-track year so it was nice to share my experience of the first year with the audience. In a way it helped me reflect on my experience. It was also nice to hear the experiences of other colleagues.

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One of my favorite social gatherings during the AECT conference was the UT ID&T dinner. We were a small group of seven but it was such a nice and relaxing time. We talked about the AECT experience, the people we had met, the topics of discussion in different sessions, and we talked about our own program. As I mentioned in my tweet about the dinner: “Good food and good conversations!”

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I look forward to AECT next year (as I always do)! I hope the UT ID&T program continues to have a graduate student presence and that the students in the program continue to present at the conference. I also hope that next year I have more time to chat with so many colleagues and friends. It was very nice to see them and it really reminded me of how lucky I am to be part of such an amazing professional family. See you all at #AECT15 in Indianapolis!