A new year, a new look

After having earned my doctorate recently and catching up on some needed sleep (and hopefully replenishing some brain cells), I am returning to my blog to share ideas and comments about my world of online learning. Originally, I used this blog to create an annotated bibliography on the literature I collected for my dissertation. With that completed, I get to have more fun and engage with others in virtual discussions.

I have a new query: where does a new scholar find work regarding innovative uses of technology in education? Over the past 6 months, I have networked and searched the websites of virtual universities or universities with virtual programs. Most positions are sessional instructional work. To work in a more permanent position, I would have to move to the location to work, such as London, England and the OUUK. However, with a family and home in Western Canada this is not feasible – I can move around a bit but not that far. What I find ironic is the students of these institutions are not expected to come to the campus, but faculty are. The only two North America institutions I can find that support staff living at a distance is Athabasca University and University of Maryland. Neither have openings right now.

Am I forced to work for for-profit institutions? Will this mar my reputation within traditional academic venues? If only there were digital learning and open content research and development centres and initiatives as proposed by Tony Bates. That would be an exciting environment!

Or, am I forced to work in the corporate world devising new products? This is not my main choice having left the corporate world as an accountant 17 years ago and its bottom line thinking.

Trained and prepared to work in formal traditional higher education institutions and engage in research and teaching, I find myself at an interesting crossroad. I think I am less likely to find innovative and interesting work about online and digital learning in these environments. Sarah Guri-Rosenblit, in her recent book, Digital Technologies in Higher Education, also commented on the slow evolution of technology use in traditional institutions.

I guess I will need to turn over more stones to find a place that suits my background, knowledge, skills, and ambitions. In the meantime, I will continue to read and blog and sleep. Smile.

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