Ethical epiphanies of an instructional technologist : an autobiography
Bull, Bernard Dean
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This autobiographical inquiry was an exploration of personal and professional life experiences that contributed to the convictions, decisions, and transformative ethical questions of a developing instructional technologist. Using rich descriptions and historical fictional recreations of seminal interactions, the author explored moments of emotion, epiphany, and conviction, categorizing these experiences into a series of themes related to his formation as an instructional technologist. Instead of describing every memory, the author identified and described a smaller number of central representative life experiences. The author’s exploration began with formative childhood experiences related to family, technology, and spirituality. Moving into adulthood, the author explored experiences of identity formation, feelings of otherness, a growing devotion to the nostalgia of the written word, and budding convictions about the ongoing importance of community in both physical and virtual environments. Amid this exploration, the author revealed ongoing struggles and unresolved personal conflicts. He described his efforts to reconcile empathy for Neo-Luddite literature and a passion for and immersion in the digital world, virtual learning, and educational technology. He analyzed his struggle between his roles as a commissioned minister and theology teacher with his growing role as an instructional technologist. The author concluded his autobiographical journey by acknowledging the unresolved nature of these struggles, but by also gradually coming to accept, even embrace these struggles as part of an enduring exploration of life in a technological society. He proposed that his dissertation serve as a means of encouraging further exploration of the role of the individual in ethical dialogue, even amid the collective codes, standards, and expectations in the field of educational technology.