As I approach the middle of my second year of master’s studies, here at the University of Minnesota, I am reflecting on how different this year is, compared to last year. I began my studies at very odd times, and the idea I had of what my experience in the US would look like, was very different from the reality of Fall 2020…However, I am so glad to say that Fall 2021 has been much better, in fact, this is my favorite semester thus far! Not only because I am taking classes that are so closely related to the work I want to do in Edtech integration, but also because I have had the possibility to engage in different extracurricular activities. I feel so grateful that the campus really has come alive this year.
One of my favorite classes this semester has been “Strategies for International Development of Education” a class that is outside of my department of Educational Technology, but still very connected to integration and education overall. What I have enjoyed the most in this class is the multinational environment, where over 30 students come from different countries around the globe, with so much experience and knowledge of different educational systems. Learning about education issues in a broader sense and context(s) has also helped me understand issues of educational technology in a deeper way. So much of what we want to ‘solve’ in/with technology overlaps with other issues in education such as accessibility, equity, quality education, assessment, and more.
On the other hand, one of the activities that I am pursuing this semester has been so far out of my comfort zone. For some reason, at the beginning of September, I convinced myself to join the school’s Karate Club. As someone that is not athletic at all, and complains every time the word ‘push-up’ is brought up, I have to say this decision was not easy. However, I am really glad I decided to join. I would have never thought that in just 3 months we would end up training to get the orange belt (we have our test on December 4th), but here we are…
A professor mentioned an interesting perspective last week when he said: “There are two ways to go about your university experience. The first is to go through university, and the second is to let university go through you.” It really made me feel grateful for this second year, when I feel much more present and in tune with the amazing experiences Minnesota has to offer. I am forever grateful for this opportunity, and I will never take it for granted!
©️ Megi Shuke, MIP fellow, Master in Educational Technology at the University of Minnesota