Yesterday I walked in what will probably be my last graduation ceremony. I had decided not to do it – my undergraduate graduation was a pivotal experience and this just wasn’t the same (I’m 34, 10 years into my career, etc.). Then I was selected as the “honor graduate” for the department and discovered I was actually going to be sitting on stage during the ceremony. It was quite an honor. Afterwards, the Educational Technology department had a reception where I had to say a few words. Below is the speech I wrote, however, I am not one to read a speech. I did it so I didn’t ramble on – the gist was the same, but the verbage was a bit different.
Thank you. I am honored to be here. I took a bit longer then most to get through this program – five years – and I have met so many talented and wonder students and faculty members.
Three major words have defined my stay in the North Education.
1. Let’s start with Diversity – When I started, I thought I would be taking classes with other teachers. I was surprised to find nurses, instructional designers, elementary school teachers, corporate trainers, and people from the navy and coast guard. Some were just out of college, some changing careers after 20 years. My interaction with those people in the ed tech department widened my world view and strengthened my experience.
2. Word number 2 – Dedication – In order for you to be here today, you had to have been dedicated. This was not an easy program. Most of us worked our day jobs, before heading off to class at night. We shuffled appointments and time with our friends and family to meet with groups to finish class projects or study for the comps. We spent endless hours tinkering with Dreamweaver or iMovie so our finished projects were just right – even if we were the only ones who noticed it. We digested learning theories and spent. And we spent a very long weekend trying to bring it altogether in no more then 3500 words each.
3. Finally we have Evolution – This department isn’t just teaching us the cutting edge technologies and theories, they are helping to define it. And we are helping. All over the Internet, people link to projects we have created. We not only learned the fundamentals of instructional design, but I think we have the tools and the know how to keep up with the changes.
So now it is finally time for us to reintroduce ourselves to our families. Wow, my boys have really grown. Family members, welcome them back. If they start saying words like Blogs and wikis know those are real words, and ADDIE is one of our central instructional design models – no it isn’t the department mascot. Fellow graduates, thank them. Thank you.