Friday, July 26, 2013

The Utility of Social Networking for Professionals

In my new position, networking has taken on a whole new significance. The grant that we are a part of encompasses five states at eight institutions. To that end, we have created a new social networking space. All day today, members have been joining, but only a handful have posted or commented. I think this is often the case--and I am probably most guilty of it. I create/join collaboration blogs, list serves, and wikis, but there just isn't enough time in anyone's day to maintain participation at the same energy across the board. Most of the time we are discouraged from re-posting the same material to multiple sites, and I suppose I can see the logic in that because the same people are probably all connected to you through your various spaces, but what about those who just stumble upon you? This blog has been viewed over 3,000 times--by whom, I couldn't begin to guess, but the point is, I think "in moderation" and "more at the start" are good mottoes. Right now, I'm trying to encourage active participation across stakeholders by updating all the possible ways they may come across our social network. If you happen to be one of the unfortunate souls who is following me on multiple forums, I apologize upfront--bear with me. I won't overdue it, and I promise to slow it down.

So here it is: This is what I just posted to the social network forum about learning curves and the need of instructional designers to keep things in perspective:

Baby Steps . . . i.e., Learning Curves

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Job

I am obviously not a regular blogger--once my home school journey began with my youngest, I never updated this space. Even though I've been lazy about maintaining this particular blog, I have still been active on my wiki, and much has been happening in my academic life in general.

For instance, I have just completed my coursework toward my doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Denver. I am at the dissertation stage now--just finished data collection. Whew! I'm hoping to defend in October, so I still have a great deal of writing left ahead.

Just as I was closing out my final quarter of coursework, however, a Higher Eds job announcement came to my Inbox--I looked. I always look. Out of curiosity & to give myself a reason to fantasize about the what-ifs of my future after earning those three small letters after my name--P . . .h . . .D . . .

Well, as it happened, when I read the description I thought, "Huh--I'm actually already qualified for this--I wonder if I should go ahead and apply . . . it would be bit of a drive . . . and what about home schooling . . . but it would be nice to start earning some money again . . . ." Fantasizing.

I applied and was offered the position. I am now driving an hour there and back each day to a small community college where I am the new Consortium for Healthcare Education Online (CHEO) Instructional Designer. It's really a great opportunity for me and pulls together so many of my interests--pedagogy, curriculum development, online technology . . ..

The other exciting aspect of the new position is that the grant requires all coursework developed or modified with grant funds become open access, and to the best of the developers' abililities, adhere to Universal Design theories--both things I truly believe in. 

So far, it has been a whirlwind. My husband and I had to select a new school for our daughter, and she and I now have to say goodbye to our home schooling time. I will always cherish the two years we spent learning together, though. How many parents/educators have such a beautiful opportunity?

And then there is the gender role complexities of being a full-time working/commuting mother. The schedule has given us all some serious growing pains, but I am fortunate I have a truly supportive family and everyone has jumped on board and begun taking on a few new roles. I'm happy to report my husband is really a great cook and now we all get the benefit of eating his food a little more often.

I will try my best to maintain this space more regularly now that it is linked to so much of my professional profiles. Until then . . . remember to make each day a masterpiece.