2009 in retrospect

2009 was undoubtedly the worst year of my life both privately and professionally. The illness and death of my mother clouded the entire year, but as I’m not used to life being easy it is not a complaint, but rather an explanation as to why I didn’t reach all the goals I had set for my work.  Looking back on some of the posts I wrote early in 2009, I had hoped to enter a phase where I would be able to dig deeper, analyze and reflect more critically on my findings and start working on my strategy for remediating people, places and practices, which essentially is the goal of my PhD. And so the question is, what did I achieve professionally in 2009?

  • I managed to write 56 posts – on average they consist of more than 500 words, so even though it was less than the previous year (72 posts), I think it is ok
  • I managed to write a few posts, where I compared some of the findings from my research cycles, and even though I clearly need to dig deeper, it is satisfactory that I started this part of the work
  • I managed to start the work on a model for remediation that I will use as part of the strategy, and even though this also needs much more work, the important point is that I got off to a good start on this
  • In January I participated in a PhD Master class on Knowledge Media where I had the opportunity to meet one of my professional heroes, Terry Anderson. This later lead to an invitation to collaborate with both Anderson, Ross McKerlich and Brad Eastman, and this collaboration is something I’m really looking forward to continuing in 2010
  • In June I was invited to participate in a research group on Dialogic Education and Research. Unfortunately, I only managed to find the time to participate in one meeting with this group, but it did influence my thinking very much, so the work with this group has not been futile
  • Together with co-facilitators, Heilyn and Roland, I ran two very successful 6-week courses in-world in the fall and they both provided valuable data for my work – this is the work I’m most satisfied with … and proud of
  • Together with co-editors, Ulla, Søren and Lone I managed to finish the work and publish an anthology on ICT and Learning. The anthology has been well received and this is also something I’m quite satisfied with
  • I managed to write a Danish article on my first research cycle (Fall 2007), which was set to be published in 2009 in an anthology on Knowledge Media. The publication has been postponed, but it was nevertheless satisfying to wrap-up that particular research cycle
  • Once again I participated in the SLCC, which I consider to be highly relevant and important for my work as a means to strengthen my invaluable network. In SF I also had the opportunity of meeting Professor Tringham and later I received a scholarship to visit her at UC Berkeley spring 2010. I’m convinced that my work with Tringham will strengthen my PhD, so of course this is also something I’m very satisfied about
  • Besides these achievements that are directly related to my PhD, I also managed together with especially educational coordinator of the Master in ICT and Learning (MIL), Winnie to rewrite the curriculum and write an accreditation report of the education
  • Again together with Winnie, I managed to get a rather huge grant for the MIL education that will enable MIL to further develop and research its use of especially video-tools
  • In June I took over the responsibility of managing the local part of a research project I have been participating in since 2008 together with several colleagues from e-Learning Lab. Even though we have managed to deliver what was expected of us, I personally found this work dissatisfying – mainly because I really do not care for management tasks
  • In June I also took over the responsibility of daily management of the MIL education in close collaboration with Winnie. Even though MIL plays an important role in my work and I care deeply for the education, I don’t think daily management is compatible with being a PhD Candidate, and one of my best decisions in 2009 was if fact to discharge myself from this responsibility in the future. Starting this month the daily management will be conducted by Winnie, my PhD colleague Ulla and the rest of the steering committee – and I will return to being a full time PhD Candidate for the remaining of my project period.

In retrospect, I think I did ok in 2009 given the circumstances, but there’s plenty of room for improvement.  I had hoped to find the time and energy to immerse myself into theoretical and methodological aspects of my PhD, and I didn’t. I did, however manage to start on some of this work, and so I enter this New Year with an optimistic sense of being on the right track…

/Mariis

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