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Ch-ch-changes

Emotions suck. I have made one of the most difficult decisions of my life.
And the result is a milieu of emotions: bitter-sweet, happy-sad, hopeful-depressing.

After almost a decade at Red River College (as an instructor), I have accepted a position working with Peter Tittenberger at The University of Manitoba – as a Research Associate in the Learning Technologies Center (LTC). I am excited about the prospect of contributing to the research in the learning technologies field as a whole. So many opportunities exist to a) conduct research and b) implement the research results into organizational functioning (our current academic habit of implementing research results fifty years after theory formation isn’t acceptable (we are only recently seeing the impact of work done by cognitive theorists in the 60’s and 70’s (or earlier)…Piaget, Bruner, Vygotsky, Knowles. I will post more on my LTC activity in the near future (and to shake down corporations and academics to engage in research). My goal is to engage as diverse a group of partners as possible to contribute substantially to the research activities (and associated understandings) of our field.

I am a firm believer that theorizing is a valid contribution to a knowledge space. And I’ve spent most of my time over the last five years (with elearnspace, more recently connectivsim, and in the next few weeks knowingknowledge, sites) drawing theories from my practical experience and observation. However…most people trust research more than someone sitting in a corner thinking. As a result, I think my contributions to the field will be more significant in a formal research and publication position.

On the same side, I am reluctant to leave the institution that has provided me with so much opportunity. My interest in learning technologies was fostered within Red River College. I have had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects – streaming video,intelligent agents, mobile devices and learning, sitting on committees to rant against LMS’s, babbling incessantly about how pedagogy and vision should drive our tool selection (not vice versa) etc. Mostly, I will miss the colleagues within my department. Changing projects and activities is easy. Parting with friends and colleagues is hard.