My Brain vs. Instructional Design [ID Blog]

This blog will be my reflections on weekly Instructional Design classes. Whilst my class peers all seem to come from backgrounds in teaching (for the most part) or training, I have come to this degree program from the world of editing. My BA is in Humanities which, at my undergrad school, meant world literature, music, theater, and art history. I loved my undergrad classes but I was never sure what to pursue for a Master’s degree. I’m a total geek and am fascinated by ancient languages, physics (admittedly I never took a physics course, I just love when they explain string theory and similar things on NOVA), and education.

I’ve thought about pursuing a degree in education for many years. Ideally, I would have liked to be a special education teacher for young children. When I first thought of this, my daughter was a toddler. As a single parent I couldn’t work all day and do school at night without it robbing me of sharing my daughter’s early years and milestones. At the time I lived in Florida and they required teachers to constantly take classes on any new developments in education. In fact, there was actually a semester hour requirement per year. 

Years passed and once I reached 50 I thought it was too late to go back. But a cancer diagnosis and treatment followed by a “cancer free” diagnosis changed my point of view. I have plenty of years ahead of me and I don’t want to just exist; I want to learn more, live more, and have a positive impact in the world. 

Why Instructional Design? I was blessed to meet an Instructional Designer at my cancer support group. When she told me about what she did I thought it was fascinating. I went online, spoke with others, read all about the different opportunities in ID and the various environments in which you can use it and I was hooked.  

I will admit to being intimidated when doing the readings for class. A big challenge is the jargon and theories that, for educators, are already second nature. It’s just a matter of time for me to pick it up but in the meantime I admit to feeling awkward using lay terms. It reminds me of my time living on the island of Corfu as an exchange student. As a speaker of French and Spanish I had hoped to go to France but, at that time, France was overloaded with American students. I was offered the options of Greece or the Netherlands. I opted for Greece and conversations were a chore; many Greeks would try to speak in English for me but at times I was the only non-Greek speaker. At those times I would sit and listen and pick out the words I knew, combine that with the body language and tones of the speakers, and in that way I was able to be part of the conversation. It was challenging, it was hard, but the experience I had there was so rewarding. I expect my travels in the realm of Instructional Design will be rewarding also.

 

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