Friday, October 4, 2019

Where Have I Been?

I haven't been posting here the past three years, and it's not for lack of attention or desire or actual developments and changes in the field of blended and distance learning.  In fact, there have been so many changes taking place when it comes to edtech in the field of adult education that I've been scared (for lack of a better word) to open my mouth and interfere or otherwise have an unintended impact.  State agencies don't want publishers directing their distance ed policies or blended learning initiatives (or at least, they shouldn't).  So, that puts me in an awkward position at times.  Nonetheless, we're living in exciting and changing times for our field, and I don't want to let it all pass by without comment. In short, I've been too quiet for too long in this space, and I'm looking to change that ASAP.  Starting today.

In the past three years, I've been spending a lot of time in NC and PA, which isn't too hard, since I live in VA, sandwiched between the two states.  Distance education policies have been solidified in both of those states in recent years, so I had a lot more new opportunities to explore and check up on at the local level.  Attitudes tend to change quickly when state directives are issued, online 'proxy contact' hours become reportable for funding and when blending online and classroom learning becomes the unavoidable topic du jour at every local in-service for instructors and teacher association state conference. 

Finally, people are picking up what I'm putting down, as they say.  I supposed that's what a real change agent does sometimes. We don't drag people where we want them to go.  Sometimes we wait until they're ready and we simply serve as their crossing guard (ahem, my last name is Guard).  When people are ready, they'll ask for help or advice.  One of the basic tenets of adult education: adults want to be in control of their learning.       

So, I guess the real question is not 'Where Have I Been?'  The real question is, 'Where Am I Going?'  Well, I think you'll be surprised.  It's a little bit forward to new frontiers and a little bit backward to pick up the stragglers.  I'll try to lay it out over my next few blog posts (making an outline of those now).  And that answers a third question, 'Where Will You Be?'  The answer is RIGHT HERE. Please share and pop back by so we can take this adventure together.  And all of this begs the question that I for you, 'What Do You Need?'  Speak up and I'll do my best to help.     

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