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Thank YOU for the #OEAward2021, @YearsEd Community!

Last week, I learned that a podcast project I helped to produce won an award from the Open Education (OE) Global community. Clint and I shared a thank you message (in audio format, of course) for awarding the 25 Years of EdTech: The Serialized Audio Version project a 2021 Open Education Award of Excellence for Reuse/ Remix/ Adaptation.

2021 OE Global Award of Excellence for Reuse/ Remix/ Adaptation

Here’s a bit about the award from the OE Global Awards site:

The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition of outstanding contributions in the Open Education community, recognizing exemplary leaders, distinctive Open Educational Resources, and Open Practices from around the world.

OE Global Awards

The award was given to the project in the “Open Reuse/Remix/Adaptation” category and, according to the adjudicators, the project is an outstanding example of the power of OER reuse for the following reasons;

  • Remixing the physical book into an audiobook has increased accessibility by providing the text in an alternate format.
  • Drawing together the open education community around the reading of the text sparked the companion “Between the Chapters” podcast, providing a deeper dive and critical analysis by experts into the topic of each chapter. This has added an additional layer of richness to the original book. 
  • The weekly podcast release schedule, and accompanying critical analysis created a fundamentally new way to experience the book – slower and in bitesize chunks. 
  • Each episode of the main recording or the companion podcast also now exists as an OER available for future use / reuse.

Although I am honored and delighted to receive this award, I share similar sentiments with my audio project partner-in-crime, Clint Lalonde. We are grateful for the nomination and award; however, the real motivation and “win” was getting to be in community and conversation with all of you. From chats with guests on the “Between the Chapters” episodes, Twitter threads/banter, and reading/hearing your reflections on the topics for each chapter — I was overwhelmed by the interaction, engagement, and offering a space for others to give voice to these issues and ideas. I hope this remixed project inspires others to continue the conversation, as we have learned that ed tech history often repeats itself.

As Clint shared, we could not create an audiobook without the generous contributions from the ed tech and open ed community. I’m so grateful for those of you who were willing to participate in this pandemic podcast project, as your stories and thoughts about this book helped bring new ideas and perspectives for the podcast episodes. It was such a lovely time talking, editing, and producing the “book club chat” aspect of the project. Many thanks to my the “Between the Chapters” guests for your candid conversation and willingness to share:

Lorna M. Campbell, Phil Barker, Lee Skallerup Bessette, Catherine Cronin, Sukaina Walji, Grant Potter, Brenna Clarke Gray, Maha Bali , Caroline Kuhn, Anne-Marie Scott, Alan Levine, Jim Groom, Mark Brown, Clare Thompson, Jessie Stommel Mark Guzdial, Kelvin Bentley, John Robertson, D’Arcy Norman, Laura Gibbs, Bonnie Stewart, Maren Deepwell, Judith Pete, Virginia Rodés, Bryan Alexander, Alexandra Pickett, Sarah Frick, Orna Farrell, David Wicks, Sue Beckingham, Chrissi Nerantzi, Tanis Morgan Autumm Caines, Rebecca Hogue, Christian Frierich, Helen DeWaard, Dave Cormier, Rolin Moe, Amanda Coolidge, Dragan Gasevic, Joyce Seitzinger, Chris Gilliard, David Kernohan, Audrey Watters, sava sahali singh, Clint Lalonde, & (of course) Martin Weller.

If you’re just learning about this audio project, know that you can still find the 25 Years of Ed Tech: The Serialized Audio Version wherever you catch your podcasts. All episodes are archived and available on a number of podcast platforms. You can subscribe to listen to both the book chapters and the “Between the Chapters” conversation episodes now have detailed show notes and transcripts (new!) now available from our discussions.

Follow @YearsEd & Subscribe/Listen: https://25years.opened.ca/

Attributions

EdTech, Podcast, Reflections

#25YearsOfEdTech: Call for Audio Reflections

Preview in new tab

So, I’ve been helping with a fun audio project to fill the gaps in my social schedule during the pandemic. #25YearsOfEdTech has been a fun way to connect, learn, and share with a community of brilliant professionals — so here’s our reflection as we get meta to podcast about the podcast.

We are about halfway through this audio book club project now that chapter 12 is out. In this bonus episode of “Between the Chapters” Martin, Clint, and I take a pause to get meta — it’s a podcast about the podcast. We share about our audio labour of love, specifically as we discover what it means to augment text to audio and how to share an aural history of ed tech through these episodic personal/professional reflections.

X-Ray Specs by @visualthinkery is licenced under CC-BY-SA & Remix by Laura Pasquini.

Questions for the @YearsEd community:

  • What location should the TV/film version of this book be shot?
  • Who should play Martin Weller in the film/TV adaptation of the podcast?
  • Anyone want to help with the graphic novel version?

Call for Community Voices: BONUS “Between the Chapters” episode for the 25 Years of Ed Tech book

  1. READ a chapter (or the whole book) to find a topic/year/idea that interests you. You can also get meta to audio reflect on one of the “Between the Chapters” episodes too!
  2. REFLECT & SHARE YOUR AUDIO THOUGHTS via Vocaroo or your own recording device you can send us via a URL (e.g. blog post, website, Dropbox link, etc.)
  3. SEND us the link to your recording so we can add your voice to the podcast! You can do this via the website contact form or DM @YearsEd or laurapasquini on Twitter.

Audio reflection questions/prompts:

  • How are you involved with this ______ topic/chapter/year?
  • What were your reflections back to a particular year in the book?
  • Share your experience with this particular technology, practice, or ed tech topic. 
  • What ideas and concepts most interested you from a specific chapter?
  • What is missing from a specific chapter or the book that we should talk about now? 
  • What questions do you have for the author, Martin Weller? And/Or what questions or thoughts do you want to pose to the @YearsEd community?

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Between the Chapters: A Podcast Book Club for the 25 @YearsEd of #EdTech

It all started with a Twitter DM on June 10, 2020. Contrary to popular belief, this social media platform does have the power to unite and bring folks together. Clint Lalonde reached out to inquire to a group of us to ask if we’d like to narrate the 25 Years of Ed Tech book written by Martin Weller and published by Athabasca University Press. With a Google doc and an interested community, multiple messages on this group thread helped to weave what would be an audiobook version for this text. As I saw a number of volunteers to voice each chapter, I chimed in to ask how we could bring other voices who weren’t in this thread to discuss the book itself (typo of Martin’s name included):

I’m grateful for Martin’s willingness to be such an open educator with how this book is published AND his encouragement for the audiobook + book club podcast. Additionally, I was thrilled to play in the audio sandbox with Clint, who is stellar in his radio-style production, wrangling of audio chapters, and ideas for enhancing the behind the pod project (e.g. “how to” guidelines narration, keeping me on task/schedule, finding guests to chat with about each chapter, etc.). My sincere gratitude goes out to all of the people and processes required to execute this pandemic podcast project. I am learning so much from y’all during every conversation. Whether it’s our recorded chat or the post-production editing, I can honestly say that working on these episodes really brightens my work week. I am honoured to spend some time with some brilliant, funny, and thoughtful members of the ed tech community. I am learning so much and love digging into what is and is not in each chapter. Some people bake bread, I make podcasts (and, okay, bake bread) in lock down.

Thanks to many of you who have and who will continue to contribute to the 25 Years of Ed Tech podcast serves as a serialized audio version of the book 25 Years of Ed Tech. The @YearsEd podcast is our gift that keeps on giving, as there will be 2 episodes released each week from November 2020 through May 2021. Every Monday you will hear a new chapter of the book that follows the written text — read along! Then on Thursday, you will find bonus episodes in the same podcast feed I host, called “Between the Chapters.” These “book club” episodes allow us to bring other folx on to discuss the chapter topic, ideas, the year, and what was happening around these issues for teaching, learning, and technology at the time. 

Follow @YearsEd & Subscribe/Listen: https://25years.opened.ca/

X-Ray Specs Montage

Attributions

It has been a delight to catch up with the “Between the Chapters” guests — some of which I’ve grown up with in ed tech and learning design — and others I am just getting to dialog with for the first time. As of now, I have just over half of these bonus episodes recorded and/or scheduled — and more are to come. I have been talking with Clint for how to bring additional voices into this audio project — so I am open to suggestions and hearing from you, if you want to offer some audio reflections. Finally, a BIG THANKS goes out to everyone who has contributed to this audio adventure overall: book chapter narrators, guests for the book club discussions, X-ray Specs remixed art creators, your blogged reflections, promotional publications, tweeting out episodes, and those of you digitally cheering us on!

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Learn/Perform Mixtape Podcast

As I mentioned, I am actively reviewing all things learning and performance to prepare for the first Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) exams. As I apply and interview for new opportunities, it has been fun to refresh and review theories, models, and concepts I studied in my PhD program. The CPLP shows up on a number of jobs descriptions and it seems to be sought after within industry for a number of learning design, organizational change management, and other talent development roles. To help me review all the Areas of Expertise (AOE) and sub-topics in the Association for Talent Development Competency Model, I decided to create a new podcast that focuses on workplace learning and performance called the Learn/Perform Mixtape.

Learn/Perform Mixtape – Podcast Trailer
Podcast Art for the Learn/Perform Mixtape

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE to the Learn/Perform Mixtape podcast: https://learnperform.transistor.fm/subscribe

FFor the 80+ hours of prep, I will be preparing for these exams “out loud” by writing study notes and audio commentary about what I’m reading and reviewing. Processing the concepts and concepts from the ATD Learning System: CPLP Edition + reviewing books and journals in my own library, notes, and experience as individual podcast episodes has been very helpful for me. As a podcast host/producer, I always learn so much recording, editing, reviewing, and writing up the show notes for podcast episode. Since I use Transistor.fm to host my current podcasts, I thought why not share what I’m reviewing about learning and performance for others to hear? [FYI: A subscription to the Transistor podcast hosting platform allows you to to create and manage multiple podcasts with their own RSS feeds from one single account.]

There are a number of suggestions for how to prepare for the CPLP, like in-person workshops, online courses, and creating a local CPLP study group. Knowing myself and the time that is left, I thought the best accountability for me would be to document my progress as I prepare for the CPLP Knowledge and Skills exams. I am a voracious reader and avid podcast listener, because I just I love to learn! As self-directed learner and somewhat of an autodidact, I figured it would be fun to pull back the curtain on my study techniques to share what I am learning and how I am thinking about learning/performance today. I am less concerned about how many downloads or subscribers of the pod I have. Really, the Learn/Perform Mixtape is designed to map out the 99+ sub-sections of the 10 AOE and the Foundational Global Competencies. Also, it offers me another study tool to make these concepts and topics portable and accessible later — in both audio and written format.

Are you studying for the CPLP exams? Let’s Connect! Maybe you can join me to chat about how you are preparing or even discuss one of the AOE topics for a podcast episode. If you are listening to the podcast — thanks! Let me know what you think and share some love by posting a rating/review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you subscribe! If you are getting some value or it’s helping you to improve learning and performance for your work, I also welcome gratitude/donations as this podcast is self-sponsored labor of love. Thanks!

Career, Job Search, Reflections

The Fool Leaps (I Quit My Job)

School was out for the summer. The last few months I designated as an intentional “break” to archive projects, wrap up research, draft/edit/re-submit manuscripts, and continue my own learning. The Fall/Spring terms are full-on with a large course loads, so this pause from instruction offered me some mental space to reflect on my professional practice. My career questioning had me reflecting on my own interests, talents, and support. Like others, I’ve been rethinking what professional success looks and what really constitutes meaningful work for me.

Over the last five years I’ve been a non-tenure track faculty member, a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer who doesn’t really lecture, facilitating, designing, and creating digital learning experiences for a diverse, working adult population. I’ve also been able to collaborate with a clever group of researchers to understand more about how we educate online and explain/animate these practical outcomes/findings of our scholarship. Lately, I’ve been questioning my own direction. I’m not sure if more teaching is the right fit for me now — so I’ve come to the “what now?” and “what’s next?” crossroads. This professional itch definitely is driven by my goal to find a new challenge and a possible career change.

So, I spoke with a number of friends and peers in my professional learning network, to learn about their career changes, pivots, and moves. And, since I have a podcast (or two) and very gracious colleagues (who let me record these conversations), I decided to share what I was learning on the #InVinoFab podcast for a series called #CareerChangers back in 2019.

I’m so grateful for the candid sharing of their life experiences for me and the pod. I have no doubt that listeners (and maybe future listeners) will find these stories just as fruitful and interesting as I did. On #InVinoFab episode no. 44, I highlight my lessons I learned. Really, SO much more advice was offered — but I will let you listen and learn on your own. Here’s a quick preview of career changing advice:

  1. Find organizations that will help you to learn, grow, and thrive. ~ Diane
  2. Align your career with your personal and professional values. ~ @Kristin_Roe
  3. Build your community and expand your connections to support. ~ @GoogleGuacamole
  4. Be open to new opportunities, identify fit, and know this journey may not always direct. ~ @HRGore
  5. Consider how your collaborations and creative ideas can shape your body of work. ~ @DrHelenKara
  6. Assess, know, and play to your strengths to find ways to kindle your passions in work. ~ @ValerieHeruska
  7. Reflect on the “things” (the verbs) you enjoy doing daily: activities, tasks, and projects. ~ @JaimieLHoffman
  8. Always be learning and be a curious learner throughout your working life. ~ @Carol_Ed_Dev

This is just a slice. There was so much more I gleaned from these brilliant women (and many others) who let me bend their ear. I appreciate all of you who answered my questions, offered me professional advice, and provided me with insights to consider as I contemplate my career plans. Thanks y’all!

Beyond these informational interviews/conversations, I’ve been listening to and reading loads on the topic of career transitions/pivots. Here is my short list of podcasts and book recommendations, on the topic of career exploration/development, professional pathways, talent discovery, and what it means to get through this process:

With all this reflection/learning about careers, I thought I should mention…

I Quit My Job!

I decided to take a leap and I turned in my resignation in August. After spending 10 years at the University of North Texas, as a graduate student, staff, and faculty member (sometimes in a couple of roles, concurrently), I knew it was time to say goodbye. This end to a decade of work, did not come without all the feelings (good and bad); however, I thought it was time to make the move. Oh — did I mention I made this leap without the safety net of another job offer or another role lined up? This is true. Brave. Impressive. Stupid. What? These might be a few of the things going through your head (and mine) — but make no mistake, this decision was by choice and not just by chance. I am not lucky but rather being purposeful of what I do next — with the option to do so for once (i.e. no visa restrictions/requirements). p.s. If you email Laura.Pasquini@unt.edu — you are out of luck, as this address is gone. 🙂

The purpose of this career leap is to search, apply, and seek out a new professional experience to really excite and challenge me. Life is too short to “sort of” like what you do, as we spend a great chunk of our lives working. Since I gave my notice, I have a had an offer, negotiated for salary, turned down an offer, had discussions about another role to be created, and then some. I am not defecting from work. I don’t want to start my own business. Nor is this a move to ‘disrupt’ careers in higher ed. And, you will not find me outside your office window with my boombox protesting for a job reunion. All this, is to say:

I am officially on the job market.”

I am looking for an organization where my skills and talents will be valued, and I can thrive in a thoughtful and creative culture. I am a solid multipotentialite who would be a perfect intrepreneur for any organization, if you are in need of a Laura-Of-All-Trades related to learning design, research, training, performance, and creative works. I know that I thrive in a multifaceted role that offers some agility and growth. And, I definitely want to be part of a collective that is seeking to improve the status quo and loves to have a curious learner around to think about things a bit differently. My future professional role is not industry-specific, nor does it require any set location.

I am MUCH MORE concerned with the VERBS (the work and what I’ll be doing), rather than the NOUNS (the title, role, or label) for what comes next. And looking back at my “Idea Job” description, I blogged about few years back and I smiled as most of these attributes and interests still hold true (+any opportunity to join a media/audio/podcast production team). 

I smiled a bit when I heard the Overcoats song called ‘The Fool’ as I could identify with the sentiments and purpose of this song’s goal towards new beginnings:

JJ Mitchell (of the Overcoats) described how their song ‘The Fool’ (song) is similar to the tarot card: “It signifies taking a leap of faith and jumping into the unknown. Conceptually, it felt like the beginning of the project. We wiped the slate clean and decided to jump. That’s why the video includes the footage of us shaving our heads. We’re ‘The Fool’, and we’re taking our leap.

For now, this “fool” is has leaped and is around and open to the possibilities. What are you thinking about your world of work these days? Are there potential career opportunities I should consider? What questions/emotions/thoughts are you contemplating about your own career path and professional life? Feel free to reach out, I’ve got nothing but time – let’s connect!