Going Full Circle – The Four-year Long Plan

While my broader life goals still remain intact–and are likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future, a few months back, I made a conscious decision to accelerate my short-to-medium term plans. I decided to get back into graduate school earlier than planned. I relocated back to Cape Town in December 2013, and officially enrolled into a doctoral programme, at the University of Cape Town [1]–that was in February 2014. I believe the next four years will prove to be one of the most interesting, going by the experience I’ve had thus far. I have come to learn that I thoroughly enjoy acquiring knowledge, and what better way to spend one’s life than applying the scientific method to synthesise and acquire more of it?

In principle, I decided to pursue my doctoral studies at the University of Cape Town because of two things: work on a problem in a domain I have had a long passion for–Education; and more importantly, to continue working with my M.Sc. supervisor–Hussein. That said, the funding I got also played a significant role in the decision making process–I was fortunate enough to have been awarded an HPI Ph.D. studentship [2].

I am based in the Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) laboratory [3]–in the Department of Computer Science [4], and work with A LOT of amazing individuals, all of whom are passionate about the problems they are attempting to find solutions for. I particularly LOVE the fact that the laboratory is both racially and culturally diverse–we have people from as far as Germany and Cameroon.

More broadly, I have veered off into the Educational Technology space, where my specific interest is in figuring out how to design innovative tools to increase productivity of educators–THINK Google Classroom [5] HERE!. I have spent the last couple of months thinking about this, reading A LOT on what others have done and attempted to do, and talking to a lot of people.

Bibliography

[1] http://www.uct.ac.za
[2] http://hpi.cs.uct.ac.za
[3] http://www.ict4d.cs.uct.ac.za
[4] http://www.cs.uct.ac.za
[5] http://www.google.com/edu/classroom

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