Hiking the Learning Trail

Someday when we figure out how to live underwater, I’m moving there!  I love the ocean and exploring everything in, near, or under the water is my favorite thing to do.  I was born and raised in Palau, a small island nation in the western Pacific Ocean.  We call our smaller islands “rock islands” but they are actually limestone rock formations similar to many other islands found in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.  

I grew up in a small island community where learning came from observing, guessing, asking questions, practicing, accepting risks, depending on others, improving skills and techniques, making mistakes, and trying again, and again. Through thousands of trials and errors, our ancestors had adapted to their environment and passed on their research and findings through our customs and traditions.  These customs and traditions have continue to evolve as the environment, people, and their needs have shifted over the generations.  As an adult, I find myself constantly reflecting on new knowledge and experiences, with that understanding that I am continuing that tradition of connecting the present to the past.

I earned a B.A. in International Studies and B.S. in Secondary Education (Social Studies) at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.  After teaching high school and working in curriculum development, I’ve spent over 11 years supporting others to use and integrate technology while facilitating after school and youth development programs.  Technology has always peaked my curiosity, and I enjoy learning about new innovations; I love using simple “machines” and applying tech concepts in new ways to help others.  I’ve always been something of a tinkerer and a maker, and I thrive on being challenged, being creative, and solving problems!

As a military spouse, I often discover new places to call home and new opportunities to integrate technology into my work.  I value being a lifelong learner and I think of it as “hiking the learning trail.” I believe learning and adapting to change allows me to expand my perspective and to learn from others. I created this site when I began graduate school at the University of Alaska Southeast; as a Learning Design & Technology Master’s candidate in the School of Education, I’ve been able to capture my learning in an entirely new way through this blog!  By connecting with others and mapping my learning trail, I’ve added a new aspect of my personal development and professional practice that I only hope will inspire others to do the same!

Mia Kuartei @rockislandgirl8

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