I recently had a chat with Shawn Moustafa, the Associate VP for Academic Affairs, regarding my application to volunteer. Due to time zone differences, I had to wake up at 5:00 am to be ready for a 6:00 am Skype call. We discussed a number of things during the call, including my experience and interests.
Before the call, I was hoping to be able to contribute by helping out with the university's Moodle installation. I've been a Moodle admin for the past year and my skills in that area have grown. And while I may be able to contribute in that area, I was asked if I would be interested in being an online instructor for a couple of the university's courses. While I was surprised, I was also flattered in a way as well. I definitely don't regret my decision to quit teaching and focus on Educational Technology, but there are definitely times when I miss the classroom and interacting with students.
Teaching online is clearly one of the big waves of the future; the University of the People is at the forefront of this digital revolution. I still have a few questions about the exact role of the instructor and the time commitment required. After all, the fine folks at K. International School Tokyo expect my focus and dedication. And, I fully believe that for online education to work, the instructor has to be dedicated, responsive, and able to engage with the students in as personal a manner as the medium allows.
So that's it folks. We are in a holding pattern for the moment. We'll just have to wait and see together!