I must admit the DLL/ADL program threw me for a loop and took me well out of my comfort zone. I am a former math/science teacher who dealt with absolutes, equations, proofs, and experimental theories. As a veteran and air traffic controller, I still see things logically. I process as through vectors, altitudes, airspeed, and check-in points while using instrument flight rules (IFR) and avoiding other in-flight aircraft traffic through radar and collaboration with other controllers.
At the beginning of the program, I could see the destination. But, I couldn’t visualize the interim steps or landmarks to reach the final goal. I felt as though I was flying solo, using visual flight rules (VFR), and unable to see a thing. I didn’t understand the expectations, which I considered landmarks. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and yet, I couldn’t see. I was more disheartened when a professor would tell me, “I don’t think you quite understand” or “You may have missed the mark.” It was during this low time I had an epiphany. I need to take ownership of my learning by personalizing my learning.
I realized that I used the terms “ownership of learning” and “personalized learning” synonymously. I often found myself interchanging and intertwining the meanings in discussions. I now realized I possessed knowledge but lacked understanding. Even now, it is an ongoing process of enlightenment through my personal experience in both.
Let’s define these terms. In the book COVA: Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic Learning, ownership is when the learner has control over their entire learning process, tools, and projects (Harapnuik, Thibodeaux, & Cummings, 2018). While personalized learning may be similar, trust me, it isn’t. Personalized learning is defined as learner devised activities based on reflection and conversations with instructors, created and guided by the instructor (TeachThought Staff, 2021). I believed that ownership was a laissez-faire type of learning where the learner may learn as he pleases, free from regulations and interference. However, I’ve gathered there will always be parameters in the formal learning process. However, I believe that it is in the ownership of personalization of one’s learning that true freedom is experienced and emerges. That is why it is through this e-Portfolio that I must take ownership of my personalized learning and develop my authentic voice.
Crafting an ePortfolio is not for the cowardly or the individual full of bravado. No, I believe that is most successful when the creator shows self-authenticity during a transformative evolutionary process exposing vulnerabilities, elations, pitfalls, and integrity. Self-exposure is what makes an ePortfolio such a personal private, public process. It is also what makes it so frightening. However, only when the cracks in our facade are exposed can the light of truth be illuminated. Freedom and transformation are birthed metacognitively from your truth. The one thing I’ve been reminded to remember…authentic learning is when you grow in your truth while adjusting your airspeed, vectors, altitude, and checkpoints along the way to the next leg of the flight. Never forget life is a journey, not a destination.
Are you ready to speak your TRUTH? I AM!
Harapnuik, D., Thibodeaux, T., & Cummings, C. (2018). COVA: Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic Learning. Creative Commons License.
TeachThought Staff. (2021, March 02). The Definition Of Personalized Learning For Teachers. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.teachthought.com/learning/the-definition- of-personalized-learning/