Personal Passion. Career Progression.

Getting to know Bernie Lee
Ngapuhi
PhD Education in eLearning

Bernie Lee

What inspired you to study your subject?

I've been a teacher for 25 years and have witnessed first-hand the way students are distracted by their smart phones in class. It’s lowered their productivity. We need to utilize smartphones effectively to promote positive outcomes. I felt an urgent need to investigate this. We have to take this more seriously.

Why did you choose to study at UC?

It's close to where I live and has an incredible reputation. The supervisors are experts in their field. They publish internationally and have global connections. I'm very fortunate to be learning from their hard work. To be surrounded and guided by experts is a wonderful privilege.

How have you found the student support?

Excellent. The Postgraduate Students Association meet up every Wednesday. It’s a great opportunity to connect with people and voice your uncertainties. We’re all at different stages of our doctorates, but on the same learning journey. The camaraderie and support you gain from each other is invaluable.

What other support is on offer for grad students?

There’s an event called GradFest twice a year. It's a whole week of workshops and seminars. They teach you how to access information, apply for scholarships, write proposals, do effective literature research. They equip you with the skills you need in your kete to keep going.

Has that support been important for you?

Undeniably. It's been 10 years since I studied, and this is another level. I spent a lot of time at the Academic Skills Centre when I started. They’re experts in their field and really help you sharpen up your skills. They teach you how to be smart with your time, because as a student your time really is precious.

Have you changed personally as a result of your studies?

Absolutely. I recognise how so many people’s opinions are based on insubstantial evidence. I recognize the value of informed views now. Furthermore, the relevance of what I'm doing has given me a huge drive to make change. There is such an urgent need to look at how we use digital technology. It would be great to contribute in the field and make a small difference.

It sounds like student life is suiting you well.

I’m really enjoying it. The campus is set in a great place, with a beautiful meandering stream running through it. You can go to the fitness centre and do yoga. You get to be in this learned place where incredible minds have gone before you. It's extremely refreshing after decades in the workforce.