I was exposed to online learning shortly after I was hired at Finger Lake Community College. I needed to earn a Master’s degree before the end of my five-year probationary period was up, in order to earn my permanent appointment. I was the poster child for online education. I was working 60+ hours per week at FLCC, between my duties as both a teaching faculty member and the College’s athletic trainer. I was married with two young children at home. The nearest college that offered a Master’s degree in a field I was interested in was about an hour away. My wife and I shared, and still do share, one car. Thank goodness for a former colleague who earned his doctorate degree online.
As each new academic year approaches, I take a moment to identify my goals. While I have been teaching for almost twenty years, taking that moment has become more and more important to my personal and professional growth as an educator. Regardless of the goals, they all come back to just one central theme. How will I find new and innovative ways to engage students?
I have always embraced new technology; personally and professionally. From this vantage point, teaching online was a natural transition for me. I participated in numerous technology-related pilot programs on campus and enjoy learning to use new tools.