Thursday, March 24
Today was all about trying to get the concept for these blogs pinned down, and re-learning how to use some common apps and media, notably Audacity.
I’ve had a few moments in recent months where I’ve wondered if the doctorate in education was worth it. This has been the source of much personal and professional pride over the past 4.5 years… and also the source of much despair.
I’ve stood very still in the center of my apartment late at night and listened… to see if there could be any clue what I should be doing.
Context is everything, and as an educator who in the absence of an institution or classroom, finds themselves pacing their apartment in the middle of the night… this too shall pass, you might say under such circumstances.
Or maybe you just get up in the morning and try to teach your way out— or better still, through—
What did I learn?
- I feel like I’ve been punching air repeatedly. I’m feeling the weight of a dozen midlife stereotypes bearing down on me… heavier than a feather… enough to overflow a thimble…
- My qualitative research in MOOCs is / was of almost no value in my past role. In fact, it was— or it felt like— a liability— “you’re supposed to be some kind of authority on this… technology thing”.
- My doctoral thesis which delved into constructivist theories of teaching and learning, and relied on multiple quantitative and qualitative research methods IN NO WAY HELPED with my ability to assist people with Moodle… similarly the same doctoral thesis was equally un-helpful in figuring my way around Audacity today.
- And that may be the crux of the issue… I spent more than 5 years STUDYING ed tech… rather than DOING ed tech…
- And— a personal note— over the past 4 years that I was meant to be doing ed tech, I felt I was constantly doing a lousy job…
- And, despite many kind plaudits from dozens of various people throughout the university, my “lack of efficacy” was poorly regarded by a small but vocal minority of colleagues… and perhaps rightfully so.
- As somebody who spent 2-3 hours huffing and puffing and labouring to download a royalty-free music file from Pixabay— and then add this to a voice recording… through Audacity… and then trying to sync the music to the voice… and to try and have appropriate volume levels for each… and then trying to figure out how to do a brief fade in and fade out… and then export the finished audio clip for use in this blog…
- And somewhere during the afternoon I downloaded at least two other audio packages on a trial basis… which were much more bloated and far less streamlined than Audacity. To the point that either my computer has slowed down or I am imagining that it is… either way I will need to uninstall…
- Sorry, I was kind of zoning out there…
- I feel like the person who hasn’t gone to the gym in months. I achieved what I hoped to… less the sound of my phone beeping on the audio track… but it took a lot of effort to accomplish what might previously have been… less effortful.
- Even just trying to figure out the right terms or words for this blog post was something tiring.
- Tired in a good way, obviously. I mean, it was a day that was well-used.
As part of the… vortex of horrific depression… which characterized my final months at the university, I left in my wake a passel of un-or-under-finished works… including…
- A repurposed, recontextualized version of the Ontario Extend modules… repurposed within an LMS for local, institutional use.
- A short story for Surveillance and Society’s special issue on “Surveillance Stories: Imagining Surveillance Futures.”
- A story for The Conversation Canada on the difference between Hyflex and Hybrid and Blended… because at one point that was a contribution I was trying to make, particularly through last summer’s BCcampus FLO micro-course.
- An online radio station modelled after DS106 Radio.
- A review of a scholarly article for IRRODL.
And I feel like there are likely many more. I don’t know that I can retroactively do anything about these… but if I can teach myself how to do these… there might be some value. There might be a podcast comes out of it.
And so, to that end, buying a proper-ish podcasting mic. And this is more for these little interstitial and ephemeral and weird pieces I’m sort of thinking on… than for a podcast as such.
I’m hoping to expand my DOING of ed tech over the next while… in whatever way… and so this blog… to document my progress… or lack thereof… or even just for “knowledge dissemination”.