A year can seem like a lifetime when you are working on a project. I know this first hand because I’ve worked on a few in the past three years. I have to say it’s much like a relationship with parents or siblings: you absolutely love them but there are times you can’t stand to be near them.
Luckily I mostly love my projects (and relatives!). I find that completing the project is not the most satisfying part. The whole party for me is having the idea and seeing it come to life. Of course, that part is the hardest as well.
This brings me to my latest project. I started working toward a Master’s degree in Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in fall 2010. My first course was called Principles of Learning and an assignment for that course was developing a vision paper – how I envisioned education in the future. I had never written one and was a bit stuck. After tossing some ideas out and getting feedback from my husband, I decided my vision would involve educating girls in a developing country using iPods.
Here’s a presentation I put together explaining the idea:
I will admit to experiencing imposter phenomenon at that point. I didn’t think my vision for education had much merit and, in fact, I thought people were going to think that I was hitting the happy juice when committing the idea to paper. Yes, my husband had told me he thought it was a great idea but… he’s my husband. I needed validation from someone outside my inner circle. I was really unsure about the whole thing until receiving my marked vision paper from my professor, Dr. William Hunter. His first comment was: Wow! I love it, Anna. Only five words but that is what I needed and so I started to believe in the idea.
I took a few more courses in the MEd. program and my initial vision paper evolved into the research project I would need to complete to graduate from the program. There were several assignments including a literature review that I completed based on my iPod idea. I had also read many papers on the subject and had thought endlessly about how I would execute the whole project. Again, that’s part of the fun.
This next part may come as a surprise. In the summer of 2011 I decided to nix my research project idea and come up with something new. So much work, a ton of positive feedback and here I was starting from scratch. Painful? You bet! But it was necessary and I will explain why I decided to do that in another post.
After making the decision to not move forward with my iPod project I began searching for a new idea. I happened upon a very scary statistic from a 2008 report from the Canadian Council on Learning: forty-two per cent of Canadians between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills. Forty-two per cent! That’s almost half the population! That number was just staggering to me. I mentioned it to my husband and he said something about a company coming out with a new e-reader that was more like a tablet.
A-ha! Literacy and digital tablets!
(to be continued…)
P.S. – If you want to read that report from the Canadian Council on Learning, click here.
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