I should have written this last week but I successfully defended my thesis at the Institute of Education University College London. It will take a stretch to process all of this, particularly as I am attending to the edits which should keep me occupied for the next month or so. Before I can whittle the experience down into something tangible for those PhD students that follow, or at least add to that discussion, I wanted to just give thanks to my people, my network, all those that have been so incredibly supportive all the years. I thought I could start by literally just pasting my acknowledgments page here and hyperlinking where applicable. This is not an exhaustive list; it doesn’t include such inspirational figures as John Traxler, Inge de Waard, any of my Panoply Digital colleagues, David Fox, my online network of Chahira Nouira, Catherine Cronin, Derek Moore, Howard Scott, or even extended or immediate family (although some are there). But it is a list and giving thanks is a wonderful thing, particularly in such an elongated enterprise. The timestamp for the first drafts of my research proposal were June 2010. It is now July 2016.
I would like to thank above all my wife and companion over the last 15 years, Jennifer Hyun, for humoring my restlessness, my curiosity, and my ambition, all of which intersected in the pursuit of this PhD. She knows more about mobile learning than any professional accountant should and for that I applaud her patience. Thanks for the movement between Seoul, Princeton, Seoul, London, back to Seoul, and wherever else this next step takes us. On to our next adventure.
I would like to thank my supervisors Dr. John Potter and Dr. Niall Winters for their support and feedback throughout this process. I would like to thank my former instructors and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh’s MSc in Digital Education team, namely Dr. Sian Bayne, Dr. Jen Ross, Dr. Hamish Macleod, Dr. Jeremy Knox, James Lamb, and Clara O’Shea. It was then that I developed the confidence to succeed as an academic, and where I recommitted myself to education as an act and an identity. You all will always have a special place in my heart and in my head.
I want to thank Pekka Ihanainen for being enthusiastic, patient, and creative. I have greatly enjoyed our collaborations and hope for many more in the future. I want to thank Brendan Gallagher for his general encouragement and endless gifs. Rahim Rajan has been and will remain a source of inspiration and friendship. I want to thank my late uncle, Lawrence Gallagher for knowing that I had something to say and for encouraging me to find a way to say it. You are missed.