Hi, I’m Olivia. Yep, that’s me in that pic up there. I live in Sydney, Australia. Consider this is my professional blog.
My professional knowledge base is fairly eclectic – I studied engineering and business at university before deciding you know what, maybe I should consider teaching. The 2 years I spent working towards my teaching degree was a revelation to me in many ways – the core of which, is this .. thing called education.
I no longer teach in the classroom. Instead, I manage the design, development and the implementation of education projects and programs for government agencies. Though my days are now spent project planning, organising events, managing contracts, negotiating projects, compiling reports, building relationships, I still maintain a strong interest in education.
I am particularly interested in the process of learning, especially with technology. Does technology help? Does it hinder? How do I harness technology for learning? Can I do without? What leads to that lightbulb moment? How do you design technology-based resources to best advantage of the medium?
These questions simmered at the back of my mind for many years before I finally made a move to answer them. I enrolled in a part-time Masters to study that process of learning with technology in 2012. I can tell you now, in 2013 as I rewrite this introduction, that I have even more questions about the process of learning with technology.
How do you structure a complex topic so that learners aren’t inadvertently creating inaccurate mental models of it? How does conceptual change occur? What triggers conceptual change? How do you structure collaborative learning in informal education, and find out if it works? What’s best – full virtual learning environments, or augmented reality? Can we gamify learning? Is it appropriate to gamify learning? What triggers interest? What triggers deep, long-lasting interest? How do you move students past extrinsic motivators for learning, and instead rely on intrinsic motivators to keep them going? How do you shift behemoth education systems to a new learning and teaching paradigm?
So, as you can see, this blog is largely about what I’ve gleaned from my coursework and how it can or could be applied to the work I do. I need an outlet to vent some days, and writing is very often it. Writing about it helps clarify my thinking. Or at least I hope it will.