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...

Hood Ceremony


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2004-2006 © Neil Hokanson