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Today is certainly an emotionally up-and-down sort of day for me. I had been waiting for a phone call for a job interview, and it never came. Here I am, in a room full of people with fascinating jobs in teaching, distributed learning and educational technology, and I haven’t had a job interview since May. I should have worked way harder on my entrance bursary application. I should be out interviewing potential employers and asking, “What ideas would you like to see implemented at your workplace in the next few years?” (thanks, Chris Brown).
While others in my cohort will be going back to their workplace, eager to share what they have learned with their colleagues and implementing it in their practice, I will be… well, I’ll be selling colostomy pouches and applying for work. Bummer.
But – David Porter, executive director of BCCampus, came and spoke to our cohort this afternoon. His message to us covered the massive changes expected in education over the next ten years. A billion potential learners are approaching adulthood. Major funders are looking at open models of distributed learning to fill the need. Those changes will require changes in instructional design and delivery. Those changes are exactly what we are being trained for. I am treading on some very fertile ground!
I may not get to my target job right away; after all, I am only four weeks into a two-year course. But I am certainly on the right path, and pointed in the right direction.
It’s three in the morning, and I woke up about 15 minutes ago, my head buzzing with anticipation after less than four hours of sleep. Tomorrow is the first day of residency for the Learning and Technology program, and our cohort met on the Royal Roads campus for the first time this evening.
In the short welcome address, Bill Muirhead informed us that people apply to graduate school at Royal Roads in much greater numbers than are accepted. Until now, it had never occurred to me that Royal Roads chose me as well as me choosing it. That puts a whole new, even more sparkly spin on things. They think I have the right stuff!
Following the wine, beer and snacks welcome in the large, echo-y Quarterdeck hall, I went with one of the women in my study group up to the sixth floor of the residence, “Just to make sure we aren’t missing out on anything before we go home”. She is staying at a bed and breakfast near the campus, I’ll mostly be staying at my own home in Vic West, 14 km away. Sure enough, in ones and twos, about 15 of us gathered in the kitchen, bringing bottles of beer, wine, even Baileys, and continuing a small celebration of being there and getting to know each other. Jenn and I left at 10, with the gathering still going strong.
For the next two weeks, we will be spending most of our waking hours in each others’ company. The program directors anticipate that we will spend approximately 12 hours each weekday in our studies, and we will want to squeeze in some time for exercise, sightseeing and simple decompressing as well. That’s pretty intense… is it any wonder that I am awake right now? I have some idea of what is to come, having already spent some time on campus, where I’ve observed small groups of people in study halls and breakout rooms, going over their assignments together. For someone who loves the shared energy of minds working together, this is better than Christmas.