Why

Michael

Michael

I grew up breathing the dust devils of west Texas and left as soon as I could. Twenty-five years later, I returned to the Lone Star state and now live in Austin, bringing back with me an Ann Arbor wife, three kids, and a conviction that learning is the only way to save the world. I’m sufficiently cynical to know that we will never give education enough money. I’m sufficiently idealistic to believe we can build systems that help learners learn among themselves. I think it might be called an online multiplayer game. OMG.

I’m working on a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology. I’m not sure why except that it’s fun. Every day, I get to work with ideas that make my hair hurt and with people who make my heart sing. That sounds silly but I’m serious. I’m going to use this blog to collect my course notes. In a few years, it might even help me with my orals.

I’ve worked for the University of Texas System TeleCampus since 2001 although I started working with them four years before that (a company I helped start ran the TeleCampus courses in a system I created in 1996 called a virtual campus–complete with little toy buildings). Working at the TeleCampus is the only job I’ve ever had where I look forward to playing every day.

A long time ago I was an Electrical Engineering major, although I ended up with a degree in Creative Writing. This shizophrenia could be attributed to diverse interests or a lack of focus. Or both. Here’s a photo so you can see I’m fairly normal–or at least I appeared to be when this photo was taken two summers ago. As context for the photo, we’d saved up our vacation money for years and splurged on a trip to Ireland where we stayed in a house on the Atlantic in Kenmare for a week. It was a present to our family before our oldest son left home for college. The trip, and especially the last night in a castle, has become a metaphor in our family mind for flawless victory.

Let the games begin.

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