Marguerite Lowak

Instructional Technology Specialist
District Webmaster
East Central Independent School District
San Antonio, Texas
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When I received my bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University, I would have been considered a traditional learner. I took notes on paper, highlighted in my textbooks, conducted research at the library, and met with study groups at specified locations.  Twenty-one years later, not only have my learning styles changed, but also have the means by which I learn. Instead of walking up the dreaded hills to get to my classes, I merely open my laptop and log on to my online course. In today’s high tech society, “Technology-Mediated Learning and Distance Learning (TML/TMDL), and particularly asynchronous learning through the Internet, are becoming major vehicles for fulfilling the needs of Lifelong Learning (LLL). A hybrid model of studies using technological means is leading to the development of a new pedagogy of learning and teaching” (Beller, 1998, para. 1). This new style of learning has allowed me to work towards my masters degree while working full-time, raising two daughters, and still having some time to spend with my husband.  I still found that the staggering demands that I was facing on a daily basis were sometimes overwhelming. Finding a healthy balance between all of these things was a struggle. This struggle was made easier thanks to collaborative and social networking tools such as Google Docs, Google Sites, Facebook, Twitter and blogger. In the past few years I have learned that I am addicted to communication technology. Although there are several ramifications of this addiction, I have used this addiction to my advantage. With these tools I have been able to work individually, with partners or on group projects anytime, anywhere. It was though these tools that I was reminded how much I love to create, write, learn and reflect. During the past year I had the opportunity to deploy Google Apps for Education in my district and see the positive changes that are taking place. I am hoping to become a Google Certified Trainer in the next few months.
Marguerite Pedersen Lowak,
Jun 10, 2012, 4:06 PM