Today marks a new phase in my work plate, as my part time contract work in community engagement last year with Open Education Global is now a full time gig. I’ve not had that since 2012.
Since then, I have been fortunate to land a long series of paid consulting (that dirty word) work with overlapping projects, teaching, web building, workshops, and speaking. Thankfully this came my way via friends and colleagues, so I did not have to shill myself much. Inspired by my more successful self employed friend and colleague, Bryan Alexander, sometimes I published a [whimsical] company report, last in 2018.
Late 2019 and early 2020 were really lean for my work, then things piled on. I don’t think there was a pandemic correlation, it just happened.
One of those was an offer from Paul Stacey to help OE Global develop more online connectivity and community development, as well as assist with their online conference. I’ve been fortunate to get multiple contracts this past year with BCcampus, working with Clint Lalonde on the H5P Kitchen project and also getting a community facilitator work for the OpenETC (Ed Tech Co-operative). All of this work has a common theme of community building, though I have to wonder if my chops are really any good. I’ve had my questions because this kind of work always takes much longer and more effort than you might guess, plus I am a fantastic self-critic. Oh and also mixed in there was continuing course and content development via JIBC for various programs in Corrections (hah, there was stuff that still needs to be blogged).
Before the self-employed phase (2012-2021) there was the first career phase, let’s say the “Job” phase, with fourteen years as an instructional technologist for the Maricopa Community Colleges (1992-2006) and then five years as Vice President Community/CTO for the New Media Consortium (2006-2011). Next was The Intermission, a step into the great wide open with a 15,000 mile road trip and a year plus without having to work. At some point after I had to get the income train running, which was the start of the Not So Dirty Consultant Phase (2012-2021).
I have a wonderful group of colleagues now at OE Global, we work remotely together from Canada, the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Slovenia, and South Africa. Yes, a lot of Zoom and Slack. OE Global has its series of long running activities including its annual conference, the Open Education Awards of Excellence, Open Education Week, plus the “nodes” of open education efforts in Spanish speaking countries (OELATAM) and the Community College Consortium for OER (CCCOER).
My work continues efforts at community engagement, including instigating activity in OEG Connect, really trying to build more activity between events, but also, creating more connectivity among members.
I’m really trying to get more interest, engagement in asynchronous ways, which to me seems sensible as a Something Other Than Zoom Screens, but also in formats that are more flexible with time and location spreads. I’d hope to light this up for CCCOER with a Summer Open Pedagogy Adventure, the part of OE Global that has maybe the most well developed and activity community, as an alternative to the more typical series of online workshops. I’m still working at getting the concept of less structured professional development. My most recent idea that got a wee bit of traction (can always use more) was attempting to organize a Three Days of Focus “mini event”, spawning open asynchronous conversations on specific topics. All of the OEG Connect stuff is wide open, there are no velvet ropes of membership.
I’m also working with Wayne Macintosh and Dave Lane at OERu on an interesting concept of syndicating one of their open courses to be offered under OE Global.
And I also would like to summon up more activity at OEG with web annotation- I am rather surprised at how little awareness of this I have been finding in my new perch.
And I continue to enjoy talking to open educators for our OEG Voices Podcast. While we are promoting the work and ideas of others, I have to admit selfishly these are really a chance for me to learn from the conversations. And Yikes, I have 6 episodes in the queue to edit and publish.
This is only part of the new role, I have a big goal now to hone their membership model and create more ongoing relations with members as well as building out the membership.
There’s a lot of new territory for me- I still love my SPLOT ed tech tinkering, and while my contract has ended for the community building at the OpenETC, I am staying plugged in there. The H5P work ioth BCcampus has blurred over as well to areas of effort at OE Global.
Hello from the first day on the job. First J-O-B in a while. It’s a new phase. Look out.