Academia, Conference, Distance Education, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Professional Development, Research

The EduTech research group at #FURC2019 (@UTinquiry)

This past weekend The University of North Florida hosted the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC). Many undergraduate students from The University of Tampa presented topics in which they engage on research. One of these students was Renata Sindicic, who has been working with me and collaborating in research since last August 2018. I feel extremely proud of Renata, #FURC2019 was her very first time presenting in a conference! She worked hard on the design of the poster and practice her presentation prior to the event. I am thankful to have her as part of the research team!

Renata presented preliminary results of our research related to the use of social media by undergraduate students.



Academia, Education, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Multimedia, Professional Development, Seminar, Seville, Teaching, Travel

Greetings from Seville! #CIEEIFDS @CIEESeville

Thrilled to be in Seville, Spain for another CIEE International Faculty Professional Development Seminar. Thankful for the CIEE Alumni Scholarship which helped sponsor my participation in this seminar. The title of the seminar is “Communication Strategies in Context: Culture Learning and Community Engagement through Digital Tools.” I hope to provide regular updates throughout the week related to the seminar.


Also, as part of the seminar I have a bit of homework and will be sharing (or at least try) to share it every day. The homework consist of audio recordings of sounds, conversations, audio reflections, interviews, and other audio recorded during the next few days in Seville. Each audio recording should be no more than two minutes long.

Now it is bed time. Buenas noches!

Museo del Baile Flamenco (Sevilla, España)
Academia, Crowdfunding, Education, Educational Technology, Grant, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Research, Teaching

Older Adult Neuro Research [#Crowdfunding]

Here is the quick version: One of my research collaborators JoAnne Scott started a  crowdfunding page ( to help support a portion of our research project related to Geriatric Learners. You can watch the video below to learn more about the project and to understand how the funds will help cover the expenses of the project:

Jo and myself are very passionate about this research project! I hope you consider supporting this effort. To keep all of you (who ever takes the times to read my blog — ?) inform on this project and how things are moving along, there is a Facebook Page for the project:

Thank you in advance!

Academia, Conference, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Professional Development, Research, Seminar, Travel, Writing

New Faculty Mentoring Program: 2015 Cohort [Research, Teaching, Collaboration, & Support] #AERA15 #AERADivC

During the AERA 2015 conference in April, I attended the Division C New Faculty Mentoring Program. I had attended a mentoring program in the past at AECT 2012. The AECT 2012 mentoring program was a two-day seminar with three mentors who volunteered their time to provide advance graduate students and new faculty with words of wisdom and practical advice for the tenure track journey. It was also great for networking. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Sandy I was not able to catch my initial flight from Norfolk, VA (where I was living at that time) to Louisville, KY (where AECT was having the conference). My flight was delayed an entire day, this meant I was not able to attend in person the first day of the mentoring program. Instead, I joined the discussing via Google Hangout but it was not the same. I was relaying on hotel conference room wi-fi which was “okay.” Also, it was hard to be part of the conversation because it was not something the organizers were expecting. I did manage to join the conversation the second day of the mentoring program at AECT 2012 [Sorry, that was my “blast from the past” portion of this post].

Back to AERA 2015: This year during the mentoring program at AERA15, the organizers [Gwen & Rayne] emailed us in advance the program with the different sessions and speakers. I was thrilled about the sessions and excited to meet my cohort. We were a very diverse group based on our universities and our cultural/regional backgrounds. The first day of the mentoring program we all provided a brief introduction of ourselves and what we hoped to get out the program. Then, worked on an exercise about our identities, which by the way was very difficult to write. I mean — How often do you think about your identity (in your community, your institution, your department, and your field)? We also had various sessions related to grants and external funding opportunities. We talked to faculty members that have in the past successfully acquired grant funding. They definitely shared some insight into grant writing, selecting a collaborator, what happens after you get a grant, and myths about grants/external funding. The best advice we got (from my perspective) was to have a good budget, have a great idea, select a collaborator that you want to interact with on a very regular basis, and polish your project management skills. We also had a session with two program officials. One from the National Science Foundation and one from the Spencer Foundation. This was just amazing because they shared some of the programs that their institutions offer to new faculty (at least within the first five years of appointment). One of the best recommendations given to us by the NSF program officer was to volunteer as a reviewer.


One of the most interactive sessions was definitely the session related to teaching. We had a speaker from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Penn State University who talked about strategies we should consider, the amount of time we spend preparing our courses, evaluations, resources our universities provide, and other related topics. One of the highlights of this session was that we were sitting in different tables (about 4 new faculty members in each table) and we were sharing our information with two teaching mentors per table. This mentors were individuals in field that are well known for their teaching. This is pretty unique. We often hear about research mentors but we rarely hear about teaching mentors. It was nice to have the small group discussion with our colleagues and the teaching mentors.

We also had a discussion session with faculty members who have been publishing for over 30 years and gratefully shared some much needed wisdom on putting together your research agenda (post on this coming soon), writing habits, submitting to peer review journals (and re-submitting, revising, getting rejected), and just been scholars in our field. I loved the informal environment of this discussion. It was more than anything a Q & A session.

Of course, we spend the two day program with Gwen and Rayne who not only organized all the sessions, the speakers, our delicious dinner, and happy hour but also provided their own wisdom and experience. Thank you ladies for your work and dedication. BTW — Gwen will be the main organizer of the NFMP next year so make sure to check in November and December for an email from Division C. If you are a new faculty member, this program will be very refreshing, eye opening, and definitely worth your time/energy. As a cohort, we have managed to stay connect (I know it has been less than a month since we met). We took steps to ensure we can reach out to each other if we have questions or need feedback or are struggling with an issue — you get the point. To help us stay in touch we started our social media group and we are currently working on starting a writing group.


Last, thank you to the AERA Division C for their commitment to their members!

Academia, AECT, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Professional Development, Webinar

#AECT #RTDiv Professional Development Webinar (May 7 at 11 am EDT)

From the Research & Theory Division:

You are invited to attend the first AECT RTD Professional Development Webinar of 2015!

Dr. Nada Dabbagh

May 7, 2015 at 11 A.M. (EDT)

Registration Link:

Strategically Designed Personal Learning Environments (PLEs): A Process for Engaging Students in Self-Regulated Learning Using Social Media

Personal Learning Environments or PLEs enable the development of personal and social learning spaces to support learner-centered and personalized learning experiences empowering students to direct their own learning and develop self-regulated learning skills. They do so because they are built bottom-up, by the student, starting with personal goals, information management, and individual knowledge construction, and progressing to socially mediated knowledge and networked learning. A PLE can be described as a process that helps students organize the influx of information and resources they are faced with on a daily basis into a personalized digital learning space or experience. However, students must possess the knowledge management and self-regulatory skills to effectively create and customize a PLE for their learning needs. This presentation will address this critical issue focusing on the use of a three-level pedagogical framework that assists faculty in scaffolding student PLE development using social media technologies in order to support self-regulated learning.

Hope you can join us!

Wei Wang, M.S.
Fei Gao, Ph.D.
RTD Professional Development Coordinators

Academia, AECT, Conference, Higher Education, Instructional Design

#AECT2014 Early Career Symposium

AECT’s Research and Theory Division is proud to announce the call for participants for the 2014 Early Career Symposium sponsored by the National Science Foundation: Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies. The symposium will be held at the annual AECT International Convention on Tuesday, November 4 (full day) and Wednesday, November 5 (half day) at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida. The symposium will engage participants in a day and a half of focused career mentoring and networking.

The symposium will reimburse each participant with the following:

  • $200 for transportation
  • 2 nights at the convention hotel (at convention rates)
  • Convention registration fee ($195 for graduate students, $400 for faculty)

For more information, please click on the link:

Academia, Higher Education

My Personal Learning Network #EME605

Last night in our last Adobe Connect session, a team of students was presenting a webinar. One of the topic covered in the presentation was Personal Learning Networks (PLN). The team had a very nice activity in which the audience was asked to develop their own Personal Learning Network using a concept mapping tool ( — available online free). As the instructor, I always like to participate in the activities that the presenters have for their audience so I created a concept map of my PLN. I realized after I created it that I learn, on a dialy basis, from so many different groups of people including: colleagues (that I know personally and some that I just know via social media), students, family, published content (paper and online), informal conversations, informal published content (online) and many other sources. Below is an image of my PLN:

Romero-Hall PLN