the Wisdom

Author: Michele Brannon-Hamilton

creative commons [23]
By JoesSistah on Flickr

Wisdom and Challenges


Sometimes the challenges threatened to end my journey before it began. For instance, in my first course I submitted the wrong file for my first assignment. Was my journey over before it began? How would I explain such an error? It would certainly have been easier to quit than to admit my mistake.

Yet, traditionally a quest is hard work and I knew that I would have to overcome many obstacles in order to finish my journey. Therefore, I contacted my professor who allowed me to submit the proper assignment. Inadvertently, this initial challenge helped me realize that it is alright to ask for help. In fact, a wise traveller would.

Other challenges included encountering strange languages like computer coding, business terminology and digital tags. There were misunderstandings, lost files, writer’s block, new software, a new online culture, different ways to communicate and unexplainable computer ‘glitches’ among other difficulties. Yet, I preserved and gained invaluable wisdom along the way.


An inevitable part of any quest is the attainment of something and in this case, it was wisdom and reward. Wisdom came in many forms. Sometimes it was professors describing pedagogy, both traditional and new.

It came through research and practice when I learned how to use new tools like the smart pen, a magical sword in the form of a digital pen which could write and record simultaneously.

Wisdom comes from reflecting on where you have come thus far before deciding where you will go next. So I stopped here awhile.

I reflected on the value of such things as the toolkit activities we were given, the experience of those I had met and the extensive training I had received. I began to understand why Vygotsky believed people learn best in their zone of proximal development. It was in the ‘zone’ that I had gained knowledge while moving along a continuum of understanding. I had started with some knowledge of educational technology but I was now guiding those newer than myself – in true apprenticeship fashion.

In ETEC 511 Foundations, I gathered knowledge from many different areas such as history, sociology and phenomenology in order to see how many pieces came together in the building of educational technology. It was here that I learned to be more open-minded and see that all things connect and nothing exists in isolation.

In ETEC 512 Theory, I stopped to map my journey by gathering the thoughts and theories of educational experts together and placing them onto a representative map. It was here, I came to understand how people learn and why I teach the way I do.

In ETEC 530 Constructivism, I stopped to become familiar with an old friend by gathering together my ideas about teaching and looking closer at the theory that best resembled my own. It was here that I learned how to explain the concepts of active learning, collaboration, communication and interaction in a more scientific fashion.

Perhaps the wisdom I gained can best be described as a basis of collective knowledge created by the many wise people I met along the way. Clearly, we formed a community of practice where we can continue our journeys indefinitely. Wisdom can also be described as a process where patience, perseverance, critical thinking and problem solving skills move us along a learning continuum. In many ways, wisdom is the reward.