Getting to know you . . .

My husband may be the only person reading these words, but if you aren’t my husband and you’ve found your way here, welcome! (Robb if you’re reading this, you can consider yourself welcomed as well.) To start off, my name is Kimberly and I’m a some-time student and some-time teacher. As a doctoral candidate, the teacher/student roles get a little fuzzy, but any way that you look at it, I’m always a learner and that’s what this blog is going to be about–learning.

I’m about 2/3 of the way through the Instructional Psychology and Technology Program at Brigham Young University, which means that I should be an ABD (all but dissertation) student by this summer. My research seems to be taking shape around the interplay between institutional measures to manage knowledge through course management systems and individual measures to manage knowledge through personal learning networks.

My “day job” is as a part-time Instructional Design Assistant at the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning, where I help evaluate the use of the Blackboard CMS on campus. As I’ve looked over the Blackboard data we’ve collected, I’ve become interested in the decisions that teachers make to use or not use certain features. My basic impression is that as a whole, faculty are using course management systems as an administrative rather than a pedagogical tool.

My other day job is an instructor of teacher education courses in the IP&T department. My favorite of these courses is called Instructional Technology in Teaching. When I started teaching it last semester I felt a little fraudulent. Sure, I had six years of experience as a secondary school science teacher, but I had been out of the classroom for three years and technology changes fast. In the process of trying to learn about current trends in teaching with technology, I’ve built a personal learning network to help me learn about the tools available to me. I’m more impressed with the potential of learning networks than I am about any of the individual tools that I’ve found. I want to teach my students how to create strong networks for lifelong learning, in hopes that they will teach their students the same skills. Since I believe in teaching by example, I’m trying to figure out how to build the strongest learning network that I can. Wish me luck!

If you’re reading this, please introduce yourself.

About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
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4 Responses to Getting to know you . . .

  1. Mr. Sheehy says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere. It’ll be interesting to see how your “day job” influences your dissertation . . .

  2. kamccollum says:

    Thanks for leaving my first comment!

  3. Greg Sadler says:

    This is really interesting, I love your writing style. I’ll need to catch up on your old posts!

  4. @Greg — Thanks for the compliment.

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