Changes

For those who may not already know, I am leaving ICC this summer. I want to spend more time with my family. I also want to travel more (with my family where possible). And, I believe in the importance of promoting professionalism in our industry. Therefore, I will also be spending more time as Executive Director of WebProfessionals.org. I believe I can have a significant impact throughout our profession in my role in that organization. As my friend and colleague at Web Professionals, Bill Cullifer (founder of the organization), has said many times “rising tides lift all boats.” I hope to do my part to rise the tide of professionalism in our industry. This is why I accepted the offer to lead Web Professionals last year.

As I look back on my nearly two decades at Illinois Central College, I think it appropriate to discuss accomplishments and insights.

I will miss the daily interactions with colleagues and students. One of my greatest enjoyments is watching the expression when someone “gets it.” That flash when the light bulb goes off and they begin to deeply understand the topic at hand is most rewarding. I hope to continue to experience that as I will continue teaching web classes through WebProfessionals.org School Of Web initiative. It is also rewarding to have periodic discussions with colleagues regarding current and future technologies (and their impact on teaching and learning). There are so many great opportunities to use technology in education. I believe we are just beginning to see the impact.

For those who are not aware, here are some of the items that were achieved during my tenure at ICC. In many instances, my colleagues, Shari Tripp and Brandy Thatcher were also instrumental in these accomplishments. I know they will carry our CMWEB program forward as I move to other activities.

  • Created the first accredited degree in Web Systems in the world.
  • Created the first accredited certificate in Rich Internet Application development.
  • Was inducted into the Web Professional Hall of Fame.
  • With Shari and Brandy, developed and taught 21 separate CMWEB classes on most core technologies regarding web design, development and security. And, all these classes were offered online for those unable to attend ICC in person. This also included a class on Writing for the WWW (which I co-taught with Pam Dewey for a number of semesters). Personally, I found the ability to team teach these classes and interact with everyone during the classes most invigorating and a great learning experience for me.
  • We also created 5 separate certificate programs dealing with many aspects of web systems over the past two decades.
  • Was asked to become one of the first 3 higher education members of the Adobe Education Leader program.
  • ICC was recognized as the Web Professional Academy of the Year.
  • Was honored to receive the Adobe Education Leader Impact Award.
  • Was able to serve on the Adobe Education Leader Advisory Board.
  • Was co-leader of the Education Task Force of the Web Standards project.
  • Was asked to provide a full day seminar and participate in the 17th International W3C conference in Beijing. It was there that I had the honor of meeting and speaking at length with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. I thank my colleague, Bill Cullifer, for that introducing us.
  • Have been able to serve on select committees on the W3C as an invited expert. The Media Extensions Working Group is one example (you can scroll down to find my smiling mug).
  • Was able to help with the Open Web Education Initiative.
  • Have also been an Adobe Education Trainer for a number of years. I will continue to give monthly webinars on Captivate and eLearning best practices.
  • Helped write and revise the US Department of Labor definitions [O*Net] for Web Developer and Web Administrator.
  • We established a student chapter of Web Professionals to provide networking opportunities between students, former students, and practicing professionals. Our 185th monthly meeting will be held tonight (May 9).
  • There are many other accomplishments and experiences I could list, but this gives you an idea of my impact on web education over the past two decades. I will try to keep my Lanyrd profile up to date (I will continue to participate in many web related events). I will also continue to update this weblog periodically.

It has been a privilege to learn with you and to watch this “fad” called the WWW blossom into what is is today. I suspect we are only beginning to see what this medium can become. I hope to live long enough to see what the next generation does with all the tools and techniques.

Of course, we must always temper our views by applying “rules of reasonableness” to what we read and experience online. Always being cautious of charlatans and confidence people who over promise and under deliver. Yes, we seem to be awash in this sort of foolishness at the present time. Keep a long view in mind as much of this foolishness will hopefully end up as historical footnotes. I encourage anyone reading this to focus on what we have in common. Although there are some who want to divide us into different groups, never forget we are all passengers on a tiny blue dot in the vast emptiness of space. We all came from somewhere and are on a journey. We may have differences, but we often have more in common than we realize. This is why it is important to always be kind to strangers and those who need our help. Keep that in mind at all times. This is the main reason I became a teacher. I believe it is so important to share your knowledge, skills and abilities with others to create a better place. I hope that central Illinois has improved a bit due to my efforts. Time will tell.

For those students who have completed their education at ICC in our program, I encourage you to continue to learn and grow in knowledge about these technologies. For those who are just getting started at ICC, you will be in good hands with both Shari and Brandy.

Never stop learning. Never stop growing and experiencing new ways of viewing the world. That is what I have done throughout my life and intend to do for the remainder. I encourage you to do the same. Every morning you wake up is an opportunity to learn something new. Just do it. That is the foundation you can build upon to make this world a better place.

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