Becoming A Public Scholar: A Reflection of my AACE Review Internship

Introduction

I’m the instructional designer, trainer, and learning management system support at Spring Hill College (SHC) in Mobile, AL. I completed my doctorate in instructional design in 2017 from the University of South Alabama. I was interested in blogging for the AACE Review as a way to transition into becoming a public scholar. I’d been active in the association’s conferences for the Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and World eLearn and heard about the internship through email updates. It has been a worthwhile adventure researching and writing about current topics and interviewing technology innovators. So far, I have addressed grit, computer-assisted language learning media selection, disinformation, Hoaxy, API speech recognition specific to children, Appalachian State’s Free Learning Conference, community of inquiry, and a lesson plan for online personal data curation. I enjoy writing for a broad audience. Besides this venue, I’ve written 181 posts for my personal blog, Teacherrogers, and several for the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), international association.

Personal Learning Goals / Projects

As for professional development, I need to update my Quality Matters’ Peer Reviewer certification for their latest rubric. If you’re like one of my colleagues in higher education who teaches online but unfamiliar with QM, learn more about it on Teacherrogers’ blog. I value the peer feedback and interactions made through a shared understanding of the QM rubric of quality online distance education standards. My college doesn’t currently subscribe to QM, but I hope one day that it will.

I’d also like to complete the Google Educator Level II certification. SHC is a Google for education school, so I need to know as much as I can to share it with my colleagues. Google’s online training is free with a small certification fee ($10). Read my blog to learn more about it. I’m impressed with their ability to provide training on their applications and supporting ones, the instructional integration of technology, and how to use technology to save time and resources. I just need to set aside time to complete these goals.

Upcoming Conferences & Publications

In February, I’ll present at the Emerald Coast TESOL conference in Pensacola, FL. I’m on the ECTESOL Board and serve as their professional development officer. I’m giving two presentations: ESOL Professional Development and Career Opportunities and Language Writing Frames to Aid ESOL Elementary Students’ Research Projects. I’ll share my slides on my blog afterward if you’re interested.

In April, I’ll attend the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) 2019 conference in Toronto, Canada where I’ll give a poster session on my Online Community of Inquiry Syllabus Rubric. I went to AERA last year for the first time and kept thinking to myself that I should have attended sooner! For instance, attendance at AERA during my doctoral studies would have supported my learning of educational research methods.

In the fall, I hope to attend the Association of Educational Communications in Technology (AECT) conference in Las Vegas, CA; it’s one of the prominent ones for instructional designers and instructional technologists and the professors for this field. The call for proposals is open until February 18th, 2019. AECT is including more of the practical application of instructional design in their call for proposals. If you’ve never been, I strongly encourage you to go!

I also plan to attend AACE’s World eLearn in New Orleans, LA since it will be close by. I was excited to see that it has a special interest group (SIG) for Designing, Developing, and Assessing eLearning; it’s chaired by AACE Review’s Dr. Stefanie Panke and the University of Hawaii’s Dr. Curtis Ho. World eLearn’s call for proposals opens in July. I attended this conference the last time it was held in New Orleans and was glad to meet so many instructional designers and educational technology professors there.

I have my first publication of an instructional design case study in an forthcoming edited book with Routledge titled, Universal access through inclusive instructional design: International perspectives on UDL (Gronseth & Dalton, 2019). Drs. Gronseth and Dalton shared this call for chapters and snapshots in AACE’s SITE SIG for the Universal Design for Learning. For that, I am very thankful!

Classes, Courses & Workshops  

I supervise two students for a 1-credit hour sociology internship that supports a community service project that I initiated at SHC in 2015. It’s the New Day Experience Re-entry Resource Map of local service providers in Mobile County. Our purpose is to assist the previously incarcerated re-enter society successfully to reduce recidivism. We hope to eventually develop an app that can be accessed across platforms (Android and Apple) and updated by the service providers.

Additionally, I co-teach an interdisciplinary college course with a dozen instructors at SHC on how technology effects our lives. Read my AACE blog about Wired IDS:394. Besides teaching students about curating their online personal information and navigating media manipulation benevolently, I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to observe my peers teach their lessons on how technology is influencing their fields of expertise.

Books to Read

Albeit an older publication, I just read Jane McGonigal’s (2011) Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Last fall, it was discussed on Educause’s Games and Learning SIG Book Club via Twitter. As a gaming educator, I had read portions of her work as it related to my research. Consuming the book all at once was inspirational to say the least. It gave me an idea for future research and the names of many more cool games to play! McGonigal shares ways we can hack into happiness based on positive psychology.

Another inspirational read is a chapter in the edited book, Culture, Learning, and Technology: Research and Practice (Benson, Joseph, & Moore, 2017). It’s called Critical Pedagogy and Educational Technology by Amy Bradshaw. She provides a dichotomy of characteristics on transformative (e.g., Freirean praxis) versus transmissive (information dumping) education. In this chapter, she asks those involved in educational technology to be mindful and intentional in their work:

Transforming our field to be more inclusive, equitable, and empowering will not happen by accident or without intentionality, commitment, and ongoing willingness to engage, struggle, make mistakes, and try again, all with a central focus on fairness, equity, and freedom to become fully actualized human beings while empowering others to do the same. (Bradshaw, 2017, p. 19)

In closing, I appreciate the readership of the AACE Community. I also enjoy reading the AACE Review blogs of my fellow interns, especially those by Angela Brown. Here’s to a mindful, positive, and transformative 2019!

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  1. I would like to join this community. It is interesting for me to learn more

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