METANOIA AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH When entering the Educational Technology Leadership Doctoral Program, I was full of idealism and intense drive. I was determined to integrate my occupational therapy (OT) and educational technology backgrounds to pursue an innovative form of research. I was determined to elevate my intellectual pursuits through creativity and engagement in research so that I could, someday, achieve my ultimate goal of working in academia. I still have that drive and hunger for the pursuit of knowledge. That has not changed. However, I have been confronted by the reality that idealism is not enough to achieve my ultimate dream; pure determination, hard work, and grit are necessary to maintain an unwavering focus towards an objective. Additionally, I had to confront and evaluate my deeper motives of why I am pursuing a doctoral degree. I experienced a shift of thinking from idealism to realism. Senge (2006) states that metanoia as a shift of the mind, discovering a more profound definition of learning, and an individual’s recreation of oneself. The author also states that, “Real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human” (p. 13). The past year has been a journey of my confrontation of my own “humanity” and my motives for being in the doctorate program. The past year has made me learn more about myself as a future educator and discovered my potential as an academic professional. Being successful in the program is not just about being a researcher or pursuing scholarship; it is also about service and advocacy for community issues that involve technology use. Learning involves doing, acting, and participation in a community of educators and learners. After a year in the doctoral program, I had a chance to reflect on my goal. My revised professional objectives and positions are: 1. Promote the values of creativity, innovation, critical-thinking, collaboration, leadership, and higher-level thinking in the creation of technology-based, learner-centered curricula. 2. Instill the advocacy of community issues involving technology integration through collaboration with members of the local, national, and global communities. 3. Promote research and evidence-based practice to encourage professional growth and implementation of best practices in instruction As an occupational therapist, I have had informal opportunities to educate people. I teach people with physical disabilities and cognitive challenges functional skills so that they can live more independently and have a better quality of life. During my first year in the doctoral program, I had the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and experience being an educator in the community. I participated at the A. Harry Moore School’s Scannable/ Wearable Technology Day, on October 20, 2016. I collaborated with the Cohort 3 students of the doctoral program to present how wearable technology can be used as sensory cues for students with special needs on how to modify their behavior and increase their attention span for schoolwork. I also presented on the use of wearable technology in sensorimotor learning at the New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative (NJECC) Conference at the Montclair State University on January 10, 2017. I integrated my knowledge in both occupational therapy and educational technology to come up with interventions that integrate wearable technology. I have also attended the American Occupational Therapy (AOTA) Conference in Salt Lake City, UT last April where I had the opportunity in learning about current research in occupational therapy education, clinical practice, and technology use. I am a member of the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC) which promotes and lobbies for OT issues in the national legislative arena. I actually achieved my previous professional growth plan goals by presenting at educational technology conferences. However, I have yet to present educational technology concepts in occupational therapy conferences. I have also shifted my interest in researching the use of wearable technologies in people with neurological disorders to the utilization of this device in people with musculoskeletal conditions (chronic back pain and shoulder impingement syndromes) and for students with sensory processing disorders. I strongly believe in the efficacy of transformational leadership. According to Northhouse (2013), transformational leadership assists the members of an organization in improving their performance outcomes and transforming their full potential into reality. As a leader, I must also be able to inspire and motivate so as to create an environment for members to develop their fullest potential. I have formulated my plan for my next two years in the program as seen below: 1) For 2018-2019, I will continue to present at educational technology and occupational therapy conferences on my studies in wearable technology, neurological disorder, and sensorimotor interventions. I plan to attend the NJECC and AOTA conferences and other state- level events. I also plan to create a blended learning proposal for occupational therapy schools that want to incorporate online and technology-based learning into their curricula. I will also continue to research more about the use of wearable technologies in healthcare interventions. I will applying to open-tenure associate professors positions in occupational therapy departments in schools. My application in one such position is currently in progress. 2) For 2018-2019, I plan to present my research on applications of wearable technology in sensorimotor learning at both the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conferences. I would apply my interdisciplinary objects so that professionals from both the fields of education and healthcare can learn from each other. I also plan to apply for adjunct or part-time teaching positions in universities so I can obtain teaching experience while still practicing as an occupational therapist. My shift in how I view my own learning and professional objectives has inspired me to keep an open mind on new ideas. My dedication to learning will help me in my path of continuing my integration of both the disciplines and healthcare in order to benefit the community of learners, locally and globally.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Crown Business.