Probably 6/10 blogs have the initial post with some lofty goals about what the purpose, audience and intent of said blog. Why should this one be any different?
Up until this September, I wasn’t too motivated to write about anything really, then I received a phone call from Helen from the Botshaft von Kanada. She invited me to speak in Berlin, Germany at a conference for German academics and administrators interested in the integration of lifelong learning into universities’ missions. She felt that as president of the Ontario Council for University Lifelong Learning that I was a suitable workshop presenter to represent Canada. There was going to be one presenter each from Canada (me), Australia (Krishna Sen), U.S.A (Sherryl Weems), U.K. (Tom Schuller).
I rushed to the passport office with my application and photo and within 6 days it was official – I could travel out of the country. My flight and hotel were booked for me and all I had to do was come up with a presentation that represented the state of lifelong learning in Canadian Universities. Oh, is that all?
The conference organizers sent some leading questions to keep the presenters on track which I shared widely- with my colleagues from my institution, OCULL, CAUCE, anyone who would stop and talk to me about lifelong learning. Many people contributed a lot of reading material, advice and input; so much that at the end, I felt that I was a mere messenger and that the workshop presentation was a collaborative effort from many experts.
I read and made notes for a solid 6 weeks and rarely slept due to the sheer excitement of the upcoming presentation. I put so much work into this project that it consumed a portion of me. So after returning from Berlin, I felt the only reasonable thing to do would be to encapsulate this workshop by writing it all out and make it public. I’ve been told that anything I put on the web then becomes “published” and then is no longer eligible for “real” publication. I guess that’s a risk I should take. It would be ridiculous to keep all this research sequestered away from anyone interested in knowing more about it.