I’ve been wearing glasses since I was a young girl. The frames that hold the lens in place are updated every few years and, in reflection, are a time capsule through the trends in eyewear over the years. As I look back through a collection of pictures of myself, I wonder how I could have ever chosen those particular frames. What was I thinking? What influenced my decisions to pick those frames since I was ‘stuck with them’ for two or more years? Do those frames really represent who I was or what impression I was trying to make? Those frames are NOT ME nor do they determine what I see, but they do influence how others see me. My frames have an impact.
As I end this year, I look back and see other frames that have impacted and will continue to change my perspectives over time.
- Travel frames my perspectives. I’m returning from a six week journey through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos – the events and experiences will frame my thinking over the coming years. Anyone who travels has their frame of reference changed by travel experiences, especially if empathy, patience and open-mindedness are packed into the trip.
- Teaching and learning frames my work. I’ve been selected as an eCampus Ontario OER Fellow – this will frame my personal and professional learning as I explore into the fields of open education, open pedagogy and open educational practices. This OER Fellowship is framed by the work of others already into OER spaces, my professional explorations into opening my teaching, and many, many, professional connections I’ve made over several years.
- My PLN frames my engagement. I’m committed to participation in digital, media, educational literacy spaces that challenge me, provide opportunities for my students, and build connections to ideas, activities and events that shift my perspectives and structure my teaching. The spaces and places I play, learn and work are frameworks that surround me. Sometimes these frames intersect and open things up to wider vistas.
With this in mind, my #OneWordONT for 2018 is FRAMES. Those things that hold things up, provide structure, open views, but are never really examined. They’re just there! Where would we be without FRAMES, frameworks, frames of reference, glass frames?
As I step further into the field of open education and share my voice within various media and digital educational spaces, I’ll step back to take a closer look at the FRAMES I’m not always aware of – frames that restrict, support or surround my thinking. I’ll try to become more aware of the structures that encompass my thinking and hold up my philosophical stance. I’ll need to look beyond the door, window, lens, opening, to critically analyze the elements that are holding it up, providing the opening, keeping the space from falling apart. The more I think about FRAMES, the more I see where they impact everything – my view, perspective, opportunities, teaching, learning.
Frames can help me – they’ll hold important and critical things in place. Frames can become a stepping off point and can become a window to new perspectives. Frames can show where something stands but they don’t need to hold ideas back. Stepping through a door frame can establish new views – it’s not the door, but the frame that holds the door in place that’s important.
Frames can help or hinder, depending on how firmly or transparent they are created. Frames can provide a focus or eliminate the unessential. Images are framed by photographers but it’s how I frame the image that also determines what I see. Books are framed by authors but my framework structures what I read into the text. Frames are self imposed barriers or beneficial springboards for new explorations. Being aware of how frames encompass or expand my perspectives, ideas, next steps, forward motions can either lead to closing doors/windows or moving beyond the frames I see. So, this year, I’ll use FRAMES to change my viewpoint, narrow or open up my perspectives, structure my thinking and teaching. I’ll look at FRAMES for what they can do – open opportunities, open views, connect to new spaces and support where structure is needed. I’m FRAMING my framework already.
How do you see your frames? Where do frames support or restrict your thinking? Do your frames lead into the open?