I finish my Masters in Educational Technology program at the American College of Education in 22 days. (oh boy). When I started this adventure in higher education/personal growth, the plan was to simply FINALLY get a masters degree. Its the thing people in my family do, we educate ourselves until we either run out of things to learn (good luck with that) or run out of money. I haven’t run out of money yet; I’ll consider what new learning to embark upon later.
As I finish my program of study, I naturally have to write “the” paper: the Capstone Reflection Paper. Its been looming quietly for about 3 months now and I have thought about what to say to my colleagues about what I’ve learned all this time.
One of the topics I had to cover was to reflect upon the individual reflections I had to write at the end of each course. I pulled up all 11 of them (I haven’t written the one for this last course yet; we’re only ending week 2) and I smiled at my thinking about what I was learning. I started out timidly, yet verbose (I can be very verbose, sorry), stating the facts of the matter and commenting on they whys and why nots of my learning. I then noticed, as I got beyond the ever popular “U shaped Hypothesis” of my program, where I hated everything, everyone, wanted to quit and seriously considered putting out contracts on a couple of professors, (shhh) that I started to take a stand on things: I don’t like standardized testing; I’m becoming a very big fan of individualize learning; students aren’t as “dumb” as presented; there IS a conspiracy in education to “blame it on the teacher” when it DOES “take a village” and the village is fragmented; I feel educators should spend more energy in self education, as
we are more apt to absorb, retain and use the information we WANT to learn as opposed to the information shoveled into us. I was speaking boldly, and loudly, and sounding suspiciously like an Educational Technologist and and educational leader.
So I wrote about that in my Capstone Paper. I have become bold, not nearly as bold as I might yet become, but I have opinions about technology in education and I intend to express them. As a leader in education, I have little wheels turning in the back of my mind about how I can make an impact on education as a technologist. I know I want to educate educators; I also want to expose school aged students to the world through the use of technology. I will never stop being “the science teacher/scientist”, so somewhere in that mix, STEM will always rise to the top like cream.
— C. S. Stone (@csstone1161) May 2, 2014
My paper is in draft form. I announced on Facebook to my cheering section that it was done and I was going to let it simmer for about 24 hours before reading it again, making a few adjustments and then submitting it. Its hard containing my thoughts on this journey in “no more than 10 pages and 1500 words”. The wordsmith in me is almost suicidal about this. It is what it is though, right?
In my paper, I looked back at the things I already knew, learned more about, and am excited to take on as new knowledge. I considered where I am in my opinion, still lacking (Action Research, oddly enough) and tipped my hat to all my professors for pissing me off about APA formatting.(I finally wrote papers in the last class where EVERYTHING was formatted correctly, yay me!)
I am not sure how conversational the paper is meant to be; it is a reflection, so first person wording, the occasional joke, and blunt truths are how I do it. My Capstone professor will probably email me and ask me to play nice about a few things; well , at least I got it off my chest.
I’ve made new friends, sorta. Online learning makes it a wee bit difficult to connect with humans on a “human” level; but I will take away connects for my network. (one of the things people criticize about distance learning is the lack of pure, face to face human contact. I will always keep this in mind as I begin creating online curriculum) We need to keep in touch; we’ve been through quite an ordeal together! We’ve learned that we’re intelligent, amazing educators who see the future and run forward unafraid. If one of us trips and falls, someone will pick us up. That’s the way it should be.
The last 18 months of my life have been filled with weeks of consideration of ideas, discussions, assignments, quizzes, exams, curt emails with professors (Again, I apologize to all who had to deal with me there in the bottom of the U) and lots of learning. I’d recommend it to anyone, EVERYONE!
Now I have to find something to do with my weekends that doesn’t involve ERIC or ProQuest.