…. some new beginnings
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!
Before I go into the new year though, let me summarise what happened in the last few weeks of 2010. It’s been a while since I last posted here, but there are reasons for this. I am truly engaged with my PhD research now. I am nearly finished with all my research interviews – one more to go everyone!! – and then it’s time to start doing the analysis. In my mind, my notebooks, and sheets of paper I have scattered all over my house, there are already some analytic conclusions taking shape. The house is a bit of a mess right now, but I’ll keep it like that until my mum comes over for Easter. I know exactly where each is paper is at the moment. I guess, I am organised in my own mess!!! oh well…! Anyway, all of this to justify myself for not blogging more often. Balancing a full time job and doing a PhD in the evenings and spare time does not leave me as much time to blog as I would like, especially now that I am writing more for my own dissertation and papers I want to publish. Still, I want to keep this blogging going. Slowly. At a random pace. Result of my current incapacity to do better. Still, I feel this is my thinking spot, where you all help me advance my ideas at the same time you challenge them. So, I ask you: don’t give up on me. I have definitely not given up on you nor this blog.
…anyway, let’s move on to other topics.
In November, I went to Lisbon to present a paper on Digital Identity with Ricardo Torres. I also met my good friend Linda Castaneda there, who invited me to work with her on the #madhouseofideas project. Since then, we have been collecting twitter stories for the blog which will then be converted into a book. You can still submit yours.
Last December I went to Saudia Arabia to talk about Social Media at the Effat University. It was a very special experience in many senses: culturally, emotionally and academically. People at the University were extremely kind and keen. Along with Graham Attwell and John Smith, I participated in a workshop on developing a case study regarding the Use of social Media in the 2009 Jeddah floods. I also did an open session with students. We discussed social media related topics they were interested in. I also ran a staff development session on using learning technologies to design new learning contexts. Due to VISA problems, I did not make it to the first day of the event where I was supposed to talk about my 3 top platforms, but John Smith did a great job on my behalf, using the slides I had produced.
Short after I came back from Saudi Arabia, it was time for the Christmas Break. I spent most of the time writing the first draft of a possible new article on Narrative Inquiry. I am now trying to find a publishing home for it. I could use the feedback to improve it too. I would really like to put it in an open access journal. I will let you know how I get on with it.
Meanwhile, Ricardo Torres and I started writing a paper on Digital Identity as a result of our presentation at the TIC Educa conference in Lisbon. Since then, January has come. Busy, Busy, Busy. Professor Sharon Ruston has just hosted one more LitSciMed workshop. I have 2 days of lectures and workshops videos to edit!!! The Virtual-Doc is taking shape. The enterprise group is now really engaged in it, and so is our Research Librarian, and students from Media and Creative Technology. Many are blogging. I will start working with the Health group soon, and hopefully other groups at the University will follow. The Language Abroad project is almost ready to take off and there are a couple other projects in the horizon which I can’t still say much about, but which I am quite excited about, if for nothing else because of the inspiring people I will be collaborating with. I am also excited about the ECE conference. Can’t wait to see Alec Couros inspiring the crowd again and to meet up with some good new and old friends who will attend it and then roam with us to Southampton for the PLE conference. News on the PLE conference will follow very soon.
Now, a bit about my personal achievements and adventures…
Last Thursday, a very special letter addressed to me came through the mail. It made me wear a smile from ear to ear that day. Mind you, I am still smiling! It is official now, I have been invited by Professor Carol Haigh to be a Visiting Research Fellow at MMU to which I could only say YES!! I am truly honoured by the invitation and can’t stop thinking of all the cool collaborative ventures we will engage in. To start with, we have a couple of ideas for research papers, which I will explore further in a future post. I am sure many other ideas will follow. This is one more step in my career to get me to my next dream: to get back into a classroom, where I can learn with students, and have research time allocated in my own workload. Things will come with time. So I hope. I know Rome was not built in a day, and there’s a path ahead of me to be threaded. I take the opportunities as they are offered to be. I feel privileged. I want to continue to give my best as not to disappoint those who have trusted me. For that I thank them. Trust and professional freedom are the two elements of my practice I cannot live without, and with which I perform my best. Thank you all for those who have been part of this journey.
I hope 2011 will be full of good surprises and incredible opportunities for us all. I’ll see you around. Hopefully on this blog too!