As the Spring term is wrapping up, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the past two semesters – well… namely because of our upcoming annual reviews… (but not only).

I feel that this year has been pivotal for me in terms of my scholarly work.  Looking back, I see many lesson learned, questions answered, mysteries solved, and missions accomplished.

I presented at my first conference (better late than never I suppose); thus consequently (and quickly) jumped on the conference band wagon and now have three other conference proposal submitted and one in the works.  I learned how valuable presenting at conferences can be in terms of meeting new people, making connections, and sharing my work.

I finally decided on a specific research path: mobile learning/learning using mobile devices in out-of-school settings.  Yes, I know that that’s still largely broad but seeing how I struggled in the past – I feel that this is a first step in the right direction.

I decided that I would like to pursue a career in the research field of user experience (UX).  My long-term career goal would be to enter the design field in UX – but that’s at least 5 years from now.  This allowed me to recognize what I am missing in terms of skills and background knowledge.  Thus, I am planning on enrolling in classes in human-computer interaction, interaction design classes, or simply buying/reading the books on the subject.  I have also applied to several internship positions as a UX researcher.  It’s a start…

I have thoroughly enjoyed my work in the CEPSE/COE Design Studio this semester.  The environment in that glass cube on the fourth floor is where I feel most comfortable working – it is a creative, vibrant, and dynamic space.  Not only did working in the Design Studio introduce me to a lot of new people, mentors, and friends, it exposed me to new ideas, potential research paths, problem solving strategies, applying creative solutions.  In fact, working in the Design Studio gave life to several of the concepts that Punya and Danah shared with us in CEP 917 (Knowledge Media Design).

CEP 981 (Research in literacy and technology) was another influential class for me this semester.  It complemented my interests in mobile learning really well (specifically with information literacy), introduced me to a wide array of literacies and methodological tools, and allowed me to work with others and go beyond literal interpretation of journal articles and book chapters. CEP 981 was another creative and collaborative space.

All in all, this academic year was a year of beginnings, creative spaces, and a push in the right direction.

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