My Big, Fat, First Blog Post (for ED654)

HELLO WORLD!Hailey on a Mountain

My name is Hailey Diane Barger.  I’m a 6’1″ tall, blue-eyed Cancer who was born on the 4th of July during the fireworks show in Lincoln City, Oregon (although I was raised in Sitka, Alaska and consider it my hometown).  Despite never having been to the East Coast during my first 18 years on this wonderful planet, a generous academic scholarship and a walk-on spot on the NCAA DIII volleyball team motivated me to complete my four years of undergraduate studies at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania.  During my time at Arcadia, I wrote a book of short stories entitled Tall Tales: Real Tall Stories From a Real Tall Girl, delved into the world of social media marketing, and proudly earned my degree in Graphic Design  International Business  Print Communications!

I could’ve scraped pennies together to stay in Philly, but I was never really a city girl. Instead, I came home to my roots and family in Sitka where I found a job as an Administrative Assistant for the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. Professionally, I am the assistant to the Director and the coordinator for many events on campus.  Not-so-professionally, I am a master of damage control and a very good “lightning rod of hate.”  My University job led me to look into going to graduate school, and since I live in the secluded little town of Sitka, I knew e-Learning was the way to The Thinkergo.  In 2014, I started to pursue my M.Ed in Online Innovation and Design through the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ e-Learning program.

“But why is a person without a teaching certificate or a degree in education trying to get her M.Ed?” one might think.  Well, to put it simply, I’m kind of obsessed with the Internet and social media — just like any good Millennial, really.  I love to consume content in the forms of blogs, YouTube videos, tweets, Instagram photos, Vines, Internet memes, and Facebook posts. But what’s more, I love to PRODUCE content.  I love to share pieces of my own knowledge and personality with almost ANYONE, ANYWHERE, at ANY TIME. I am in awe and I am so, so very curious.  I want to find answers to my sate my curiosity and develop my level of thinking and pool of resources to come up with even more questions and answers.  I suppose this all stems from my deep desire for the Internet and all of its entertaining and omnipotent goodness to be accepted and utilized in classrooms.  But seriously, if a mobile, digital, global way of doing things isn’t the future, what is?  Don’t get me wrong – I believe the building blocks of education (like reading, writing, and arithmetic) are still very much necessary and valid: no1 wnts a emplye 2 spel lyk dis.  But think about the potential of how and what students can learn by implementing the Internet and other technology in the classroom.  Sure, they might be considered a distraction is the classroom now, but how would that change if the Internet and technology were commonplace in the classroom from the time pre-school forward?  These things are already commonplace in most of their personal lives anyway.  For crying out loud, there are fetuses who already have a Facebook profile…with followers!  But, I digress.

 Sometimes I worry that I won’t be taken seriously because I’m getting my M.Ed even though I’m not a teacher.  I even had a professor at UAS doubt why I even wanted to complete the program (the nerve, right!?).  I know I’m not an educator by trade, but I feel I bring a lot to the table: a fresh perspective, curiosity, moxie.  Ultimately, my goal is to complete the Online Innovation and Design program THEN figure out where and how my skills are needed.  In my opinion, plans for the future should be written in pencil, not permanent marker.

manateeAside from this bee-you-tee-full website, you can find me online at these places:

Beer Hailey


Along with my full time job at UAS, I also moonlight at the local brewery with my boyfriend, Adam. Thanks to my obsession with social media, weakness for craft beer, and some past dabbling in social media marketing, I proudly hold the title of Social Media Director for Baranof Island Brewing Company.  Although it is not under my name, you can also find me and my work online here:


Can I be honest when I say I’m not sure what is meant by the prompt “Describe the places you exist online in private spaces that we can’t see?” This is the Internet…I don’t believe anything is truly “private.”  However, in my private life, I suppose you could say that much of my life functions online or using online features.  I bank online.  I buy clothes online.  I stream (a lot) of movies and TV shows online. I use Skype and Instant Messaging to talk with friends from all of the world.  I search for recipes to make for dinner, then I search for how-to’s to ensure I can do the things the recipes call for.  I’m training for a marathon so I track my mileage and read many, many articles about proper training, technique, nutrition, and motivation all online.  If I were really cool, I could say that I exist as a genius computer hacker in private online spaces.  But probably the most exciting thing that I do online in private is make memes.  I love memes.

I hope I have enough in my bio.  I can always ramble on more about myself, but I think my two lists should cover some things.  After going through the long list of list prompt (which was fabulous, by the way), I decided to choose:

List all the beasts, characters, and creatures you were on Halloween (REASON: I ADORE costumes and dressing up.  I celebrate my 4th of July Birthday either a week before or after as a Halloween-themed party called Hailoween).

  • A pumpkin
  • A dalmatian
  • A witch
  • Esmeralda (from the Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  • The Grim Reaper
  • A clown
  • A “tourist”
  • A softball player
  • Wenda (from Where’s Waldo)
  • Gretel (from Hansel and Gretel)
  • A 1920’s Flapper
  • The Sun Drop Girl
  • An Eskimo
  • A pirate
  • Dorothy (from The Wizard of Oz)
  • There are more, but at the moment they escape me…

List all the songs you know by heart (REASON: Karaoke is my spirit animal.  DISCLAIMER: If I actually could think of all the songs I knew by heart, we would be here a while…):

  • Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  • The Freshman – The Verve Pipe
  • Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
  • Every song from the Mumford & Sons album “Sigh No More”
  • Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
  • Hook – Blues Traveler
  • Life on Mars – David Bowie
  • (Almost) any song from the musical Rent
  • Inside Out – Eve 6
  • We Are Young – Fun.
  • Grace Kelly – Mika
  • Kiss From a Rose – Seal




3 comments on “My Big, Fat, First Blog Post (for ED654)

  1. Super fun post to read to get to know you! It has provided me inspiration to make mine more positive. It looks like you are taking your genuine interests and sparkling personality in online social media and communication and putting them to good use with this degree path. I wouldn’t sweat the official teacher credentials, I think you will find many of us with a more multimedia/design/random-humanities backgrounds move into teaching later (if ever officially). We teach people everyday, naturally.

    List of things we have in common:
    Super tall girls
    Print communications backgrounds
    Doug Belshaw followers

  2. Academia is a strange thing when it comes to credentials. I spent most of my career seeing obsession with credentials as a litmus test, a little sign saying “this person is not someone who matters.” I still feel that way without dismissing at *all* the work that goes into obtaining some of those degrees…still, if these thing matter to much to people, they tend not to be the people that matter to me. And while I’m not a “the sky is falling” type when it comes to education today or “the education system,” I wouldn’t say that all those decades of reliance on those measures has brought us to scintillating heights of educational awesomeness either!

    That said, in *this* space—the place where ONID lives—I think the obsession with credentials is even MORE of a problem. I’ve built a team of instructional designers that is excellent…and I find myself questioning those with advanced degrees in the field more because I worry that they won’t have actual, real-world skills and/or that those they have will be out-of-date because academia’s revisions of curriculum move so slowly compared to the real world. I suspect you’re among friends in this class.

    Your initial thoughts on technology capture the essence of digital citizenship and digital literacy, which will work itself out in many ways as you all explore. I’m already seeing connecting threads both obvious (Dan’s experience with technology in the classroom will be a valuable thing for you to learn about/from) and subtle/philosophical (oh, how much of this comes down to technological determinism and technological somnambulism, etc. which are really deep waters).

    Oh, and, while I don’t know the specifics of the general population, I’m sure this course has an inordinate number of tall, bright, fierce Alaskan women in it!

    Now, how to make the Karaoke-off happen…

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