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Getting to know each other.

As we are coming together, from working in a range of projects, for the hui, it would be great to start getting to know each other before we meet face to face.

How about introducing yourself and saying what you are passionate about in relation to education.

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  • Hazel Owen (View all users posts) 27 May 2013 4:04pm ()

    Ko Hazel Owen taku ingoa, no Kerikeri ahau. I can't wait to catch up with everyone whom I have already met, again, and am very much looking forward to meeting folk who are new to the VPLD and/or DA programmes.

    A little bit about where I am from, and how some of those experiences have shaped how I feel about learning.

    I emigrated to NZ in 1996, and then worked with exceptionally gifted children (with Rosemary and Rory Cathcart at the George Parkyn Centre), did some time in industry, and then trained as an ESOL tutor before heading over to the Middle East for 6 years (Doha initially and then Dubai). Working with a huge range of learners gave me an an ever growing awareness of the importance of non-cognitive skills, culture, identity, as well as how they impact learning.

    Way back in the mists of time I studied in the UK both face-to-face and distance (using good old text books, and experiencing all the loneliness etc.). I then worked for the Open University there, and started to build awareness that learning is often social and that conversations are essential; also, support at a time when you are struggling can turn your engagement in a programme of learning right around. It was formative to see how a more tailored approach that recognised how varied my students' backgrounds, experiences and requirements were, worked.

    Just over 13 years ago I started to work with ICT enhanced learning and teaching, and it was then that I gradually came to realise how social networking, multimedia, ePortfolios etc can empower learners of all ages and backgrounds - helping them to communicate, recognise and celebrate their experiences and expertise, as well as scaffold their learning journey.

    As a learner myself - I was studying an MA in Applied Linguistics with the University of Waikato in distance mode - my epiphany was when one night after a long day at work I was just trying to get my head around my final research paper. My tutor at the time had not provided a marking rubric to indicate what he was looking for, nor had he provided models, examples, or guidelines, and I was ready to weep - and to chuck the course in. Luckily, one of my classmates was completing another paper in the early hours of the morning in NZ and I popped in to chat. She was amazing!!! She had completed the research paper the year before for this tutor, and was able to give me some great guidelines, and let me have a copy of her paper to give me an example of the type of thing that was being looked for. It turned me around. I understood how much, even though I am an independent learner with a preference for working alone, that we are social. We all need help and support, whether we are learning formally. non-formally, or informally.

    Looking forward to finding out more about everyone else, and to working with you all at the hui Cool

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