Monday, July 9, 2007

The Beginning of the Journey

I always had a hard time beginning a project or a paper because I never knew where to start. That is why I have not written the introduction to my Master's Project yet. Then this morning I was reading No Plot, No Problem, A Novel Writing Kit and I discovered an answer to my life long problem...Where to begin? The answer was just plain--START ANYWHERE! I have started.

Why get a Master's Degree in Distance Education? Having started seven years ago in this quest, I am not really sure anymore why I started. I remember taking that first course with Gene, Foundations of Distance Education, and coming away with the idea of transactional distance. I began my exploration of distance education by trying to figure out how to reduce the instructional distance between the teacher and student in distance education to the same distance as it was in the face to face classroom. That was my quest.

I hope in this Blog to trace that quest to where I am now and take you through my Master's Project with me as it develops. I am sure that this is not traditional but then not much of my degree quest has been. More later.

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A Blueprint for change...

"A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known. Such a system would require the application of constitutional guarantees to education. Learners should not be forced to submit to an obligatory curriculum, or to discrimination based on whether they possess a certificate or a diploma. Nor should the public be forced to support, through regressive taxation, a huge professional apparatus of educators and buildings which in fact restricts the public's chances for learning to the services the profession is willing to put on the market. It should use modern technology to make free speech, free assembly, and a free press truly universal and, therefore, fully educational"

-Ivan Illich