My Learning Journey Continues…

September 8, 2009

A Quick Intro:

The Professional Stuff:

My name is Michelle Clarke and I’m an adult basic education instructor for Parkland College in Saskatchewan. I am taking the ECI831 course as part of my requirements for my Master’s degree in Adult Education through the University of Regina and this is my 3rd or 2nd last class until I graduate.. I think… I started in the fall of 2005 and life has been hectic and interesting these past 4 years, so please forgive my memory. I have a good memory, it just happens to be short!

This year is an interesting one for me professionally as my instructing activities have changed a bit from what they were when I first started working for the college. I’ve been involved in developing and delivering online courses for our Adult 12 students and this year is the first year I will be instructing students strictly in an online environment. For the past 5 years with Parkland, I have had a mixture of face-to-face students as well as online students and I anticipate being able to incorporate a few more new features that I’ll learn about and use in this course into the existing programs I have created for the college. Needless to say, I am excited and I am anticipating a fun and absorbing few months with my fellow classmates!

The Personal Stuff:

I am the mother of two girls, Ana, who is 14 years old and lives with her father and his new family in Regina, and Lexie, who is 7 years old and lives with me in Esterhazy in a house I am about to sell with two dogs, who need new homes, so if you know anyone in the market for 2 miniature American Eskimo dogs, a male and a female (brother and sister), 5 years old, very smart, neutured and spayed, shots up to date… they are available for immediate loving to a good home, free of charge!

Hobbies and Pastimes:

I have a secret second life. It’s true. I got hooked onto Second Life last year and during my spare time (what I get outside of work and being a mother, that is) I’m online immersed in that virtual world. I have developed a character in a role playing environment and I collaborate with others on writing fiction based on her interactions with the other characters in the sim. So instead of passively watching TV at night or after work, you can usually find me online writing fiction with other people in this environment. It’s a bit hard to explain this passion to people who haven’t experienced it for themselves, but I find it incredibly rewarding, stimulating and it hones my writing skills in ways I can’t begin to adequately describe. It’s an entirely different way of writing than scholarly writing and I thoroughly enjoy the break and the utter escape I find in this other world.

Reaction to the Class Orientation & Introduction:

Wow… there is a lot of stuff I don’t know and a lot of tools I don’t know how to use yet, including this blog site. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to edit this initial post now.. hopefully the changes I make here will end up being saved by the time I get to the end of the edit I write.

I’m really excited to be learning about these technological tools, though. For me, I suppose I am like any adult learner out there. I will use things I see the value in utilizing and I will likely discard the rest. Once I can see and realize the potential a piece of technology has for enhancing the learning experience for myself and for my learners, and once I have gained a handle on how to use that piece of technology, then I know I will incorporate it. So this class will be ideal for me in this respect as it will “force” me to explore some technological tools I’ve heard of but not yet either had the time or the courage to explore on my own yet. Time is always a big factor these days for anyone, but I think teachers in particular tend to feel the pressure to get more done in a shorter amount of time. I don’t know how the rest of my classmates feel about it, but I know for myself at least, I have not had the time nor the opportunity to do as much technological investigation as I’d like to and I’m excited that here is a golden opportunity for me to do some of that exploration.

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4 Responses to “My Learning Journey Continues…”

  1. Allison Treble said

    Hey Michelle. It seems you’ve figured out enough to make your first post. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the various applications we’re learning about.

    • Michelle Clarke said

      *Laughs*

      Sure! I am a teacher after all… anyone who asks me for what I think about something will most definitely get an opinion! For right now, I’m just learning how to use a lot of these applications, such as this blog page, Delicious, Google reader, etc. (I haven’t signed up for Twitter just yet but will.) I don’t know that I know enough to give a very informed opinion on them just yet, though I already know I’m loving the blog! The rest I’m sort of reserving judgement on for the moment. The thing with the blogging is, there are SO many blogs out there that it is hard for me to be discerning in what I want to read about. I could get lost in the edu blog sites quite easily and find I’ve read several hours worth of posts from various people and found many interesting things to think about, but almost find myself overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing one to reflect upon, really. Perhaps it’ll get faster and easier with experience and I won’t be carefully reading each word I come across in every single blog site I open up. I’ve learned to refrain from opening up the Archives. Some people have been doing this for years. I’d never surface again!!!

  2. Bettina Welsh said

    As a distance educator, it is fabulous that you have continued your growth!! I look forward to reading your thoughts!

    • Michelle Clarke said

      Thank you very much! I hope to get a new post out on the Blog here in the next 12 hours 😉 I’m dealing with a chicken pox covered child at the moment though, so it’s hard to find the time/energy to compose!

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