to be a graduate.  It’s something I have not experienced since January 1981 when I earned my BS in Economics.  I have loved having that degree!  It opened doors to professional experiences; but, it also opened my mind.  I think that Bachelor’s degrees are great – I know that some folks think community college and trade schools are appropriate for most of us.  And some think that it is a bad thing to push 20-somethings into higher education.  I disagree, and would argue that we don’t know what we don’t know – so we should not turn away from something we are unable to define.

I certainly never imagined myself being an economist and now I wear that badge proudly.  As a sign of the times and of my heritage, I went to college and majored in business because that is what my high school boyfriend was doing.  Who knows what path my life would have taken if he had set-sail around the world, moved to Colorado to paint rocks, or whatever.  I’m pretty sure I would not have gone to college right out of high school and I am soooo glad I did!

Fast-forward to today, my daughters are women-of-the-world and my two-year academic focus resulted in an MS in Instructional Design and Technology.  My goal is to help teachers inject technology into their courses.  Not just technology; appropriate technology, that fulfills a specific purpose.  My favorite new concept is Community of Learners – I see it as a challenge (and an important aspect of the learning environment) to take a disparate group of learners (perhaps disparate by time and place) and encourage them to form academic relationships wherein they can reflect on their learning, share experiences AND create their own knowledge.

Wow – does that sound like it’s miles away from the sit-still-repeat-after-me and now write-this-exact-thing-on-your-test-paper – – – I hope so.  I hope that technology can be our vehicle for personalizing learning; think of it as one-size fits-one.  Here’s what it sounds like:  “Tell me a bit about you and let’s explore how algebra could fit into your world.  You like to cook?  Ok, if we have 6 eggs, how many batches of cookies can we make.” etc.

That’s it.  Me, the new Master’s Degree graduate.  Watch-out world I am passionate and have many tools with which to embrace you.