Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My PhD Journey - Musing #7 - How to share the PhD passion?

It's Tuesday morning again....7:30am....I have already been working for 2 hours, but not on my PhD work (unfortunately), on marking papers (I teach at the Masters degree level, and final assignments are challenging to mark and deserve alert responses).

In my GMail this morning was confirmation that I will be presenting a L2Talk at the forthcoming Learning2 Conference in Shanghai (in 2 weeks time!). This conference, designed for K-12 educators with a focus on international schools, is one I have been very involved with in the past as a presenter and as an organiser but have not had any connection for 5 years now. In 2017 it is the 10th anniversary of Learning2 and I am delighted to be invited back again.

I am already attending as a Learning 2 Leader and presenting what is called an extended session. My session, Classroom Connections: From Local to Global, is designed for classroom teachers and also for education leaders (alternate days). I am looking forward to meeting old and new friends in Shanghai! Here is my promotion video....

My challenge before then is to come up with a L2Talk! This is a 3-5 minutes presentation supported by visuals that align with Presentation Zen ideals, and can be delivered from memory - NO reading of notes.

One idea I have is to share my PhD journey.....wondering how boring this might be?....but if I did it in a semi-humerous way, maybe it would work??

This is what I am thinking of so far.....VERY rough notes to get me thinking about a plan and whether this topic will provide inspiration to the conference cohort....

Why you should NOT do a PhD
  • Once upon a time I was a teacher in K-12, and an educational technology leader
  • and everyday I would….collaborate globally, write books about global collaboration, attend conferences and speak...
  • Then one day I decided it was time to put practice into theory - I was witnessing a change in education, a change in pedagogy that was powerful, dynamic and compelling - but only a handful of educators 'got it' so far. Why?
  • Because of that.....
    • I enrolled to do an EdD
    • Honed in on what was important to me
    • Focused on a corner of the world of online global colaboration that I could research and become the expert in
  • Because of that
    •  It took a long time to complete course work, write up proposal, be approved
    • I decided a 4-year in and out EdD degree was not possible
    • I was approved for a PhD - why not? I thought
  • Until finally - 5 years later....and about 1 year out from completion (I hope)
    • Right now I feel like I know less, although I know I must know more.
    • When asked about my 'Theoretical framework'? I respond with baby talk - you know, the full blowing bubbles, incoherent response
    • Member checking? Sure...it's my usual approach....what?
    • Big celebration this week - Chapter 4 is 'done' and Chapter 5 is in a good draft format - these are both data presentation chapters (let's not think about the Chapter 2 literature review I need to redo, or Chapter 3 methodology I need to redo, or Chapters 6 (data analysis) .....or the top and ending chapters)
  • Resolution - 
    • do not do a PhD because it sounds cool
    • do not do a PhD to sound cool
    • do not do a PhD for the pay rise (!) or employment prospects
    • do not do a PhD quickly - it is a journey of discovery - celebrate the small steps
    • Do a PhD for personal growth, etc etc passion, commitment etc
  • A PhD is a humbling experience - you feel vulnerable - you make mistakes - doing a PhD has changed my life
  • But, when I finally get my PhD, it will only be the beginning of the next chapter of my life as an educator, as an academic....as a thought leader....

Thoughts? Does this sound inspiring? Or should I be more serious and do something like this presentation I created for the Charles Sturt University 2017 ThinkPiece series this year?

See you next Tuesday...

Julie Lindsay
PhD student.......thinking about thinking

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