I’m excited beyond words to annouce that starting August 25th I will be working for the OpenCourseWare Consortium as their first Director of Community Outreach. Or at least we think that’s the title of the position. This is the job that appeared in OLDaily some time ago as a marketing job.
For me, there’s a great bit of serendipty in getting this postion. I started my career in e-learning more than a decade ago, and one of my first projects, back in 1997, was what we’d now term an OER project. In 1999, I convinced my employer to make pre-literacy sofware available free on the internet and we put up some of the first flash-based educational games (if you have younger kids, check the link out, it’s still pretty cool stuff). I became enamored with the net-enabled learning-by-doing approach of Cognitive Arts, and was lucky enough to be a senior engineer on the Columbia University Online project 2000-2002.
I’ve kept up with the issues in net-enabled education, but in more recent years my professional and personal life has been more centered in community organizing and publicity, both in movement politics and for my college. And I’ve enjoyed that, a lot. I’m frankly probably a better community organizer and media guy than I ever was a programmer (although I do miss the long diet coke filled nights where it’s just you, your tunes, and 108 lines of python that need to ship by morning).
I had been looking to get back into the net-enabled learning space more fully, and had made some steps towards that at my own institution, but then this job appeared — which is essentially community organizing and movement politics (sort of) for the educational issues I care about.
How cool is that? I honestly looked at the ad, and understood for the first time that the two phases of my career didn’t have to be separate.
Am I gushing here? Yeah, I guess. I can’t help it.
I’ll say more about this when I start, but couldn’t resist putting up something now. And if you’re a reader of this blog and want to tell me what *you* think the OCW movement should be doing, don’t hesitate to email me at caulfield dot mike at gmail dot com. No matter what we decide to call this position, outreach is a whole bunch of what it’s about, and ultimately that means more listening than talking.