What a great idea! The quality looks pretty good too, which was surprising. I just had to share!
Here is the direct link to the graphic: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/4669055-5tipsandtoolsforrecordingvideo
Below is the embedded version.
“In the summer of 2012, my family and I made the first of what will be many visits to the Cook Islands. The population of the entire country is about 11,000 residents, comprised primarily of Maori natives and New Zealand transplants. It is a rustic and amazing place to lose and/or find yourself.
On the tiny island of Aitutaki (population 2000), our favorite spot to eat, shop and hang out was the Koru Café, owned by an energetic, adventurous couple who left their familiar lives in New Zealand to return to the culture of their ancestors.
The koru symbol was everywhere in the café, including the stylish business card that was attached to every purchase, and I asked the owner, Trina, what it meant. She said it symbolized “a new beginning,” which signified what starting up a new business in a small island country meant for her and her family. In that moment, I visualized everything they had risked, what they had left behind, and how they had to adapt, and would continue to do so, to embrace this new life – a life that discarded the creature comforts to which they had become accustomed but offered a whole new world of simpler pleasures, as well as challenges. I purchased the necklace pictured above for myself and the women in my family as a remembrance of what I had learned and experienced.
Throughout our trip last year, and in the time since, the koru has been a powerful symbol for me. The symbol itself is based on the “fiddleneck” frond of a fern before it has unfurled. A bit of internet research reveals that that its circular, cyclical shape “conveys the idea of perpetual movement” as well as “a return to the point of origin” – in other words, “a metaphor for the way in which life both changes and stays the same” (“Mountain Jade”).
The koru provides an apt metaphor of my transition into online teaching, exemplifying Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s call for us to “be true to” who we are “while embracing the full potential of” the “online learning landscape.” This is a process of continuous unfurling, reaching forward, growing, while always hearkening back to where I began, and what matters to me as an educator in any learning environment.
Teaching online is truly a “new beginning,” for me personally as well as on a larger scale. The transformation that these three classes have precipitated for me has been more profound than I ever would have anticipated. Like the owners of the Koru Café, I am embracing a new adventure that is filled with risks but also great rewards. Hard work lies ahead. But it is also meaningful work, work that is helping unfurl potential I didn’t know I had. I am so hopeful and optimistic that I can help my online students experience a similar transformation and embrace a “new beginning.”
I am immensely grateful to everyone who has participated in this extraordinary journey with me. This process has been unexpectedly cathartic, inspiring me to take risks in ways I never could have in a less trusting, supportive environment. I hope we can all continue to turn to one another as we strive to put what we learned into practice. I would happily share a cup of tea or glass of wine with any of you – either here stateside, or at the Koru Café. In the meanwhile, as they say in Maori, Kia Orana (‘be well’)!”
"I attended Brigham Young in Utah for 2 semesters as a freshman in college. In my family, attending BYU wasn't so much a matter of "if" but rather a matter of 'when.' My family is deeply rooted in the Mormon faith, so as a High School Senior who secretly didn't share the same faith, I was conflicted but I went to BYU anyway. After my freshman year of college, everything reached a boiling point when the pressure came to serve on a 2-year Mormon mission. I knew I couldn't preach something I didn't believe myself, so I used the opportunity to finally be truthful with my parents. I did not share their faith, I was leaving Brigham Young and I was gay. This marked the beginning of a bittersweet period in my life. On one hand, I was free to live a life of my own. On the other, I was left without financial or emotional support to continue my education. After about 6 months of dead end jobs and living on my own to support myself, I knew I had to make a change.As I researched schools to transfer to, I became distraught at the staggering cost of college, expenses I would have to come up with on my own. One day, a family friend told me about how she was attending a local community college and was able to afford it with financial aid and scholarships. I enrolled and began taking classes while working full time. When I arrived on the community college campus, I was ashamedly surprised. In High School, community college has a reputation as the place where "dropouts go" or "a dead-end". However, I saw something very different. I saw a handful of professors that were deeply passionate about their topics and teaching. I saw an opportunity to explore many different disciplines that interested me throughout the humanities and social sciences. I saw a diverse group of students from all walks of life working to overcome adversity and build their futures. I enrolled in the Honors Enrichment Program, and took classes that felt on par (and sometimes more rigorous) than the ones I took at a prestigious private university. Also, I made an important choice that made all the difference while in community college; I sought out leadership roles. Being engaged in student leadership, clubs and extracurricular activities weaves you into the fabric of an institution in ways not possible otherwise. (Sidenote: I'd like to see more opportunities like this for "distance learners". I'm curious how it could be made possible.)After 3 great semesters at the community college, I still had little idea of a major or career path. So I embarked on a 2 year adventure with AmeriCorps NCCC, a national service program that sends 18-24 year olds to serve their country building trails, reconstructing homes and doing disaster relief. The federal program awards a scholarship for every term of service (10 months), and is equivalent to a pell-grant (approx. $5,700). I decided to put online education to the test during my service. With a rigorous and demanding schedule, I was nervous I wouldn't be able to keep up. I was also worried that Online Learning just simply wasn't a suitable environment to learn. This is what I discovered: the online classroom has the potential to teach, inspire, and engage in ways I had previously deemed impossible. However, not all online classes are this way. I took two classes last semester, one from an ENGAGED professor and one from a DISENGAGED professor. One utilized new tech, creative assignments, and fostered a learning community while the other used outdated content and did little to nourish a community of student learning (One sign of this may be that I cannot remember even a single name of my peers in that class, whereas in my ENGAGED online class, I remember many names and personalities).After completing my service with AmeriCorps in late November, I have returned to Southern California to finish the courses I need for transfer. I am returning to the physical campus with a new understanding and faith in online learning. In many ways, being in online classes while traveling across the Southeastern United States kept me engaged in learning and familiar with the habit of studying and deadlines. All in all, I have been incredibly grateful for my time at the community college, whether on campus or online, because it has allowed me to create an affordable liberal arts education for myself that feels much less like a "dead end" and more like the beginning of something pretty awesome."
|Copyright: Rena Palloff, 2014|