Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My history - in brief the extended version

Wordle: Learning Journey
I am currently working on my MANIFESTO and am trying to work out who I am and what I am about to put it down in writing to put forward to the world. A work in progress, once I work it out I will let you know

I thought it best to start with some history of who I am and how I got where I am today.
1971 I was born, it was a good year for me.
Primary and secondary education in Catholic schools however my family were non religious, completely non-denominational. I lived with my grandmother and mum in a terrace house in Paddington Sydney (the kind that could have done with some renovation). Many family members lived in the same street (uncle next door and aunt 2 doors from him) and I grew up an only child however often had many cousins around me, to entertain and tease me. Very few of my family were university educated, I had one older cousin who was School captain and went to Uni to study Arts/Law, I thought she was amazing and I knew that one day I would go to Uni. I don't know how I knew but as a kid I wanted to expand my vocabulary to be able to express more clearly what I thought of the world. Dinner conversations at my house were not centred around the Arts or worldwide current events, but that was okay. I learned bucket loads about people and their strengths and weaknesses by coming from a working class family.

My Education
My primary school education was sheltered, as it should be, and I was always top of the class. High school revealed that it aint so easy to be top of the class when there are plenty of other girls (yes high school was an all girls school) who have always been top of the class too. My HSC results were average - possibly based on my subject selection and scaling but I was not going to play the game, I selected subjects based on my interests and skill level rather than dumming myself down to maintain a higher average (it was all about 'scaling' in 1988). When I left school I went to TAFE to complete a Visual Merchandising course (Ticketwriting - the ancient art of scribing price tickets and Window Dressing). I always had at least one job to support myself in my studies and when I was 19 I headed off overseas to travel and work, I returned home after 6 months with many wonderful memories and no money. Of course it was time to move out of home. I decided to apply for a Uni course Bachelor of Art Theory (I liked 3 unit art history at school and I could also do some 'fluffy' stuff like painting and photography), I never expected to get into Uni but it was meant to be and I was a poor student living out of my family home, which was under 1km away from the Uni campus, needless to say I was back home within a few months.

University...continuing to be 'educated'
My time at Uni is remembered fondly, the campus was small and comfortable, with some quirky characters  (performance artists), different to the main campus which had massive lecture theatres and was like a mini city. I enjoyed many hours on the library balcony reading and sunning myself (mainly the latter). The little on campus coffee shop had a personal touch, there were always exhibitions on campus or in nearby art galleries, so I was immersed in art and culture. There were no exams in my course, just assessments ie. essays and reports, which kind of felt like I was cheating but that was also part of the 'beauty' of a fine art college. I considered for a time transferring to Art Education as I was fascinated with Art Therapy, but I was not ready to commit to another year of study. After 3 years it was time to 'get a real job', and that is exactly what I did.

Working life
In the following year I moved out of Sydney and got a job in a call centre for a Bank, I never could see myself working in that sort of environment but I have been working in the finance sector now for 15 years - go figure. I now live on the Central Coast and have been working for an insurance company in their local office as a Training Coordinator. I am one of those very annoying people who 'loves' their job. I enjoy imparting knowledge and teaching skills to help people do their jobs.

Where I am now
Over the past 18 months I have been on maternity leave from my job and I have enjoyed every moment, not only for the obvious reason of spending time with my baby, but I have embarked on an online learning journey. I completed an OER (free) online course through Otago Polytechnic (NZ learning institution) called 'Facilitating Online'. I have learned how to learn independently, I now have a clear understanding of the distinction between 'education' and 'learning'. I have been tempted to re-enrol in Uni to complete a Dip Ed but I have come to realise that I do not want to be an educator even though the line between teacher and trainer are blurred and I suppose I am an educator. I have decided to take on independent learning and am keen to use those resources at my disposal via the internet to guide me in learning about 'instiructional design' and 'learning theory'. This is an exciting journey but as I am only answerable to myself it will be a task of self-discipline and regular (daily) access. My current addiction to learning online should assist me in this learning journey however I must remember to stay focussed on the chosen topics.
The tools that I will use to monitor and record my work/learning are ...
  • Kim's thinking blog - to record my thoughts and experiences and chew on the info
  • Delicious - for bookmarking links to my research
  • A trusty 84c notebook for scribble and scrawling thoughts, references etc ( I am not yet ready to let go of the old ways)
I am sure I will pick up various other tools along the way. Wish me luck ....who knows maybe one day this info will all go into a Wiki and I will be able to present this in the form of an online course. Wish me luck!

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