I would be lying if I said I love my job. I certainly do not. I love the idea of my job and it is probably this that has kept me banging my head against the wall for almost 16 years because the institutions I work for certainly haven’t covered themselves in glory when it comes to actually using my skills, experience or education. I used to be called a Learning Technologist, even for a period of time a Senior Learning Technologist, these days I am an Academic Developer, but in truth I am a check box that universities like to tick against a technology and inclusiveness question. It’s bullshit really. Luckily it is well paid bullshit.
The first time I really registered the term Learning Technologist was when I applied for a job that seemed to be asking for the suite of experience and qualifications I had accrued. I thought the job title sounded like dental hygienist, except nobody stares blankly at a person who says I am a dental hygienist. I would imagine that most people find themselves wondering if the dental hygienist is making mental notes about the quality of their smile once that bit of information is unleashed into the conversation. Anyway, despite all those years of experience, I appear to be mainly a branch of the help desk for all the institutions I have worked for, and by help desk, I mean, people think I am there to help them get their emails.
I don’t mind helping, but I am technically and expert in online teaching and learning . I have views about how we learn and I don’t expect them all to be agreed with, but I didn’t just trip over them in the street, I got them through an expensive post graduate education and trying things out. I would like it if people with far less experience than me would maybe engage all this free expertise now and then and not treat me like I am a know nothing doofus just because I don’t lecture or have a Phd. For what it’s worth, the first person I ever knew with a Phd had to have the difference between unisex and bisexual explained to them after a trip to the hairdressers. I think of that every time I come out of a meeting with an academic about using technology in teaching and learning and they dismiss everything I say.
So it can’t be much of a surprise that the most productive day I had at work last year was the last day in 2014 in the office when I took my camera and the polaroid back to work and snapped away at some of the things that I liked the look of.