Learning & Development
Foundations of Education
Evidence and Documents
Neil Hokanson Summary
In the end...
(Personal Reflection, April 2006)
My journey through the instructional technology program at the
University of Wyoming has been great! Two years ago I made the decision
to apply for the program, and I could never have imagined the wonderful
experience that I would encounter. From my first weeks in foundation
courses and trying to figure out what instructional technology was to
designing a full fledged unit of study using a systematic instructional
design process I have come a long way. Do I know everything? Obviously
not, but I have built upon a foundation of learning that I gained as an
undergraduate student and public school classroom teacher. I have grown
in so many ways: as a continued life-long learner, an improved
collaborator, and as a student of the learning process. I have come to
realize my role as an educator must expand to be a better teacher. I
must learn to manage and facilitate the learning process by increasing
my knowledge in the area of school administration. This instructional
technology program has led me to that cause, and I never expected such
a chain of events. I know this master's program has prepared me well to
become a better instructional leader, and my hopes are that I will add
to this reinforced foundation.
To summarize, I believe an excerpt from an e-mail I sent in the Fall of
2005 to my advisor Dr. Landra Rezabek sums up my feelings and describes
my capstone moment in this program of study:
It has been quite a ride up to this point, and I have learned so much!
I cannot express the gratitude I have for this opportunity to work
toward a master's degree in an online format. It is a blessing to me,
and literally has saved me professionally. I recently reached the young
age of 40 in November, and I had searched for quite some time to
increase my personal professional development. This instructional
technology program has turned out to be a breath of fresh air and just
the right thing for me at this time in my life. As a father of 5 small
children, being a full-time teacher, and the spouse of a full-time
speech-language pathologist I never imagined being able to reach my
goal of a master's degree while living in a rural area. I realize I
have a bit more to do, but I wanted to express my feelings to you and
the department and give thanks for this wonderful program of study.
Every professor I have encountered has nurtured Jane Vella's 12
principles of learning, and my appreciation for that is now well
understood. My classmates have all been an inspiration and a great
source of support too.
I truly believe Sir Isaac Newton’s phrase applies to my journey
that is not an end but a new beginning: “If I have seen
further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."
It will never be enough to all who have enabled me to learn and grow in
such a valuable and enriching way, but I simply say thank you!
Furthermore, this is not an end but a beginning.
To be continued...