Final Thoughts


I started this Master of Distance Education as I was mainly interested in technology in education; however, the more I read and the more assignments I worked on, I realized that it was always the educational theory that sparked my interested. Now that I am finished, I can see that in the beginning I was dazzled by the bling of technology. This bedazzlement distracted me from the importance of focusing on education/learning theory. Now, I can apply this knowledge of education/learning to use technology to augment learning to a greater capacity, or in some cases to not use it at all.

Karen Stephenson states:
“Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (undated).”

Through the creation of this e-portfolio, I have gained more understanding of what it means to be part of the greater community. No matter how little knowledge I may feel that I have, I can always share. Communities are build through sharing and I have shared what I have to share. I have shared even though I knew I was a novice. I shared even when I was scared to death. I share even when I felt vulnerable. Perhaps through this sharing I will have inspired others to share as as well. Through all of this messiness of continual sharing of knowledge online we can foster connections, and through these connections we can foster environments that can foster the creation of communities, and some of these communities can foster communities of learning.

I can do it.jpg
Years ago, my youngest daughter taped this to the shelf above my home office desk so I would see it every time I sat down to study.

To reach this end, I had to be more than just curious, but value the pain of hard intellectual work, suffer through endless hours of frustration and confusion, endure the discomfort of discovering distorted or underdeveloped assumptions that were limiting my other ways seeing, wear the shoes of others even when their ideas felt threatening, and each time I stood at the very edge of what I believed was my limitation I had to continue on and bravely take that one more step. My daughter knew I could do it, even when I didn't.

Gratitude


I worked on this Masters for over four years and when I started my eldest daughter was ten years old and youngest was six. There have been many times that I have had to work on my MDE rather then spend time with my family. Additionally, for years I was not skillful in creating boundaries between my MDE work, my job, and family life. So, first and foremost, I have want my family to know that I have deep gratitude towards them for having patience with me and also understanding how much it meant to me to engage in deep learning while following this program, rather then just satisfying criteria. Also, I am unable to express how much gratitude I have for all of my husband's help over the years, doing so much when I couldn't. Thank you.
My mom and eldest daughter.JPG
My mother and eldest daughter.
My youngest daughter crop.JPG
My youngest daughter.
My husband, dog, and me on Halloween night.JPG
My husband, dog, and me on Halloween night.