On this page you can read the first of three essays reflecting on my goals and learning.
Technology Goals and Leadership
September 20, 2016 I had several goals when I applied for and began the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) at Michigan State University. My goals were both directly and indirectly related to the program, some of those initial goals have been achieved, and some have evolved or been set aside. In this essay I briefly outline the evolution of my goals.
I stated a number of goals in my application essay and in a personal growth plan developed in CEP 810. My general goals included improving the qualifications on my resume for applying for stable university positions, spending several months in Michigan to combine studies with support and care of my aging parents, renewing my study of gender issues and qualifications for teaching related courses by completing the Graduate Specialization in Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change, and improving my understanding and application of educational technology. With respect to educational technology, I aimed to become more knowledgeable and better at using it not only in my own teaching, but also in order to help train future teachers and to become a resource for colleagues. Specific skills I listed as wanting to accomplish included proficiency with Google’s suite of resources and other alternatives for both individual and collaborative work, increased effectiveness leveraging digital sources of information such as podcasts and RSS feeds, and the ability to create shared resources such as blogs and websites.
Of the goals that I set aside, the most significant were those related to spending time in Michigan. Shortly after I started my first MAET course, I was offered an attractive full-time position in a local university. Accepting the position meant giving up my plans to spend an extended time in Michigan. Unfortunately, I was therefore unable to spend time much time with my father in the last years of his life nor was I able to renew my studies of gender.
In contrast, I achieved or surpassed several of my goals. I learned to use much of the Google suite as well as several other resources for collaboration in my teaching and other professional practice. My resume has been improved not only by the qualification earned in this program, but also by the presentations, papers, and teaching materials that I have produced as a result of my learning. I have become someone local colleagues turn to, and beyond that have presented at several international conferences and written a chapter for book to be published by a leading academic association. I have become somewhat recognized as a leader in the language teaching profession in Japan and also moved into a tenure-track position at my university.
The achievement or abandonment of goals does not mean I have no current goals. To the contrary, I have expanded or adapted some of my technology-specific goals, such as wanting to build an online course connected to my current position teaching Business English. Also, I continue to want to keep improving my application of technology to my teaching and research practice, to keep expanding my professional network and my contributions to the field, and to grow as a leader in language education.