Though I couldn’t make it to the Academy this morning (a cumulative hour and a half on the train not worth one hour at the museum), so I’ve been at Barnes & Noble, trying to put together my Google Earth file. I met with my thesis advisers last week, and we set up a much-needed schedule to keep me on track with my progress.
- Finish GE file (with > 15 expeditions) by November 14
- Begin educational supplement over Thanksgiving break
- Finish educational supplement by the semester’s end
- Write introduction & methods chapters for my thesis over winter break
- Rough draft due March 19
- Final thesis due April 9
And, of course, along with these overarching goals, I have smaller things to complete (journaling about my visits to the Academy & my progress, creating an outline for the paper itself, meeting with people at the Academy to collect content for the file, etc.).
My mind is in a tizzy, but I’m excited to finally have some structure set in place. I was hoping that the Google Earth file would be a bit more comprehensive (although I know 300+ expeditions is a little unrealistic, hello, Sara!), but everyone has their limitations, right? (Breathe, breathe, breathe! Let perfectionism and control issues go, oh my holy goodness.) I’m excited to see how this turns out… especially since I’m finally making visible progress on the GE file. Once I gather a few more pictures, I’ll be able to show some of it to you guys. Get excited!
#ISTE11 and Emerging #EdTech
Before I write up an entry reflecting on the past two weeks as a counselor/director for a middle school theater camp (our performances of Guys & Dolls were successful! Thanks for sending over good vibes!), I wanted to pop this video up on my blog.
Last month I attended the annual conference for ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education. During one of my breaks between sessions, I was approached by Eric Stoller and Jen Wiggins, and they asked if I’d answer a few questions. I happily obliged and fell into a great conversation where Eric asked me about my views on technology in education — what it is, what it means to me, and where I think it’s going. (What’s funny is that I mentioned in my interview that I thought Facebook was on its way out and that something new had to be in the works and about a week later, Google+ was launched… we’ll see what happens!)
I was so excited to see Eric’s tweet this morning with a link to the final product. I was interviewed along with some of my fellow conference attendees, and their words are enlightening and inspiring to me, as a future educator.
It’s always a bit uncomfortable for me when I attend conferences or participate in twitter’s weekly #edchats. As an undergraduate, I’m never quite sure what to hold on to… what applies to me and what doesn’t, or how I can make meaning of the brilliance that I’m lucky enough to interact with. I only hope that conferences like #ISTE11 will make more room for undergraduates and acknowledge our place in the pre-working world!
At 7:45PM my brain officially turned OFF for the night. The first day of the ISTE conference in Philadelphia was an amazing day full of motivating talks and interactions with brilliant people.
It’s funny… my experience at ISTE so far has been a real-life manifestation of today’s #edchat on twitter. In honor of ISTE, #edchat moderators hosted a special chat to discuss the topic: How are education conferences to stay relevant in a free internet-driven PD atmosphere? My knee-jerk reaction to this question turned out to be the consensus: as influential as online personal learning networks can be, face-to-face interactions are invaluable. The synergy that develops at a conference like this is something that can fuel long-lasting motivation for innovation and change in the classroom (or whatever discipline/platform it may be!).
My involvement with the community of educators on twitter (found through the weekly #edchats) has been sporadic, at best. Over the past year, I’ve spent my time on the outskirts of the community I so admire. I have, however, participated in a handful of #edchats, synthesized information from some of them here on my blog, and even tried to connect with a local teacher with whom I’d talked about the potential use of Google Earth in her classroom. Unfortunately, my involvement with the community suffered, what with my pressing school schedule, trying to balance my online identities (personal vs. academic social media accounts), my part-time jobs at a retail store and a local middle school, and my desire to find the right life-path for myself.
As I approach my senior year of college, I’m faced with the daily struggle of WHAT-DO-I-DO-WITH-MY-LIFE?! My interests spread far and wide: from the highest end of the fashion world to the musical theater stage to online communities, environmental, ethical, and social issues, and educational uses of social media and modern technology. Although my interests have a common thread, I vacillate so easily. One day I want to be a citizen journalism advocate and write on environmental and social issues, and the next day I want to be a middle school math teacher or a curriculum developer for a school district or museum.
The reason, for me, to continue education conferences is to provide meaningful connections that open new doors and windows… and help people like me see the paths less traveled. Simply watching these influential innovators mill about, exuding energy and passion for what they do is inspiring for me to watch. It’s so important for me to meet people like this at conferences like ISTE’s. The interactions I’m having give me purpose.
psubrandywine: “Students share how scholarships have helped them succeed and grow at Penn State Brandywine. This video was created by alumnus Justin Carrington.”
I totally forgot about this! The final product is really great :)
A little self-disclosure: it’s been a rough semester.
As much as I’m enjoying my classes (particularly the Water: Science & Society and comparative religion courses), it’s been tough managing my time and my priorities, with various jobs, classes, school work, and thesis prep… and as a result, my emotions about being so busy/overwhelmed/CRAZY-STRESSED!
I know this happens to everyone at some point, whether it’s in college or not: what am I doing with my life? I need to soak everything up and do everything I can! I need to do my absolute best or else I’m going to disappoint not only myself, but others, too!
It’s tough going through these existential crises, especially if you think you’re alone. Communicating with my adviser has been paramount in getting through these tough times. Even though periods of discontent and frustration come in waves (and unfortunately affect my progress in school), it’s my determination that taps me on the shoulder every once in a while and says gently, “Hey Sar, you need a little extra help! You can do better than this!”
It’s these times when I’ve turned to my adviser and mentor for a little extra push. Not only that, but understanding too. A little aside: One of the students in our honors’ program is what we call an “adult learner.” She has a family of her own: two sons (who I believe have finished college?), and a daughter currently studying abroad in New Zealand. This is the first semester I’ve had classes with her. One morning, before diving into the deep meaning of cosmology and cosmetics (a story for another day!), she turned to me and said, “Sara, I don’t know how you all do this! I’m taking 15 credits and I can’t ever do this much again! It’s so much work… and you all manage jobs and social life, too? I can’t imagine!”
It’s true: college students are the ULTIMATE multi-taskers (albeit the ultimate procrastinators, too). Not only are we all juggling school, work, family and social life, but we’re going through an intense shift in power: we are now in control of our lives. As liberating as it is, it’s scary, too! And this is why college can be so hard if you don’t have someone to talk to, someone who understands what you, specifically, are going through. They can help tailor your college experience to fit your needs, your strengths, and your dreams!
So… this is a long-winded way of saying: GO FIND A FRIEND IN A FACULTY MEMBER. Find someone you trust, someone who is easy to talk to, someone you respect. Ideally, the trust and respect will be mutual, and can only help foster an amazing undergraduate learning experience.
I need to pick two of the following:
- WMNST001: Introduction to Women’s Studies
- PHIL008: Philosophy & Feminism
- ANTH045: Cultural Anthropology
- PSYCH221: Intro to Social Psychology
I absolutely want to take PHIL008, but I’m already in class 3.5 hours straight right before that one… and I’ve never taken a night class. Not sure how my attention span will fare.