Wow.... what a world wind the past few months have been, it all started back in April, when I received an email from my tutor informing us of an international conference EDULEARN19, the 11th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies will be held in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of July 2019.
I had only just completed my first PhD Paper for Research Methods in Education and Social Science Settings... was I ready for such a massive step…I thought I will apply to present and see what happens, honestly I did not think that it would be accepted, but as my mum always says “if you don’t try, you don’t know”.
So…… I submitted (Fingers Crossed)
In May 2019 I received a notification that they approved my paper presentation and publication in the conference proceedings.
In complete and utter shock… me Colette Mazzola from Blackpool and the Fylde College presenting my research at an international conference! I mean this conference is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector.
I got to work on my presentation and began to organise the financial side of the conference, I feel incredibly luck as Blackpool and The Fylde College (The place I work) Sponsored me to go and paid for my whole trip, for that I am grateful, what an amazing opportunity!
The paper will be available in the conference proceedings :- https://iated.org/edulearn/publications
I arrived in Mallorca, what a beautiful place! My hotel was right on the beach and it was scorching hot! I am excited nervous and doubting my ability to present an engaging presentation (Typical Colette).
I arrived at the conference centre … eeek, I sign up and get my conference goodies, grab a coffee and head to the keynote, I walk into a huge auditorium with hundreds of people sat down getting ready for the keynote.
I find a seat and then the keynote start, first up was Richard Gerver had been described as one of the most inspirational leaders of his generation. He is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker, I was excited to hear his views….
His keynote was exceptionally inspiring, he challenged the Education: A manifesto for change and specifically how “for society to thrive, to reconnect and to be better, we need people to reconnect with each other and most importantly with themselves. People need to feel valued and of value; they need to know that they have a purpose.”
After the keynote I headed to my conference room where I was presenting… it was huge and full of people, there was a stage and a podium… I got prepared and stood at the podium and presented my research, the atmosphere in the room was great, people were asking questions and taking pictures of the sides, I remember thinking wow this my research could actually make a difference!
After the presentation I had people coming up to me saying they really enjoyed the session and wanted to connect on Twitter and linked in! Incredible! I felt empowered, inspired, humbled, emotional and a whole load of other emotions!
I did it! I presented my research to an international audience and they thought it was relevant and interesting!
This whole experience has given me confidence in myself and my research, what an exceptional experience and one that has enabled me to explore and interact with some amazing academics!
Thank you so much to Blackpool and The Fylde College for supporting this trip financially and thank you to Professor Don Passey for sending me the information and finally Dr Kyungmee Lee, the University of Lancaster, and my cohort for fantastic support.