I have been involved with implementing technology and training programs for over 30 years. In my various jobs, I have been a business systems analyst, computer trainer, program officer for a technology non-profit corporation, high school computer teacher, instructional/educational technologist, education and technology professor (hybrid, online and traditional class), coordinator of a hybrid/online program and director of a college faculty center. This experience gives me a broader understanding of the uses and best practices of technology in society.
Currently, I am an Director of a Center for Excellence in Technology and Learning at City College, and serve faculty in hosting workshops on technology, assessment, pedagogy, grants, and hybrid/online learning. I enjoy the challenge of my work, and also have created this blog on “Envisioning Online Learning” that explores online learning and a lot more. Over the years, I have developed an interest in online learning; worked with various faculty in developing videoconferencing projects, e-portfolios, created courses online, and have taught hybrid/online classes using Blackboard and other tools.
I am currently developing a graduate course on “Managing Sustainability and Innovation” am currently teaching an online course on “Green Business and Sustainability” for the CUNY Online BS in Business. The environment and living in a sustainable manner have long been personal interests of mine. The role of business in ensuring a sustainable future is an intriguing and often controversial subject. Yet, given that corporations are the most dynamic enforce in our society, their actions in the area of sustainability have tremendous repercussions. The course explores what companies can do to ensure a sustainable future if they see the value of such an orientation.
I feel we need to prepare students to go into the working world with a positive attitude toward technology, and with essential problem-solving skills that will serve them for their entire lives. It is of critical importance to make sure that technology resources are constructively utilized toward appropriate educational and vocational goals. In addition, the ability to work in teams to solve real-life problems are skill sets that employers are looking for. I introduce a problem-based learning approach in my classes in order for students to get a taste of working in teams.
Solving issues like climate change will pose challenges for all of us in the years ahead. At the recent Paris Climate Summit, countries pledged to enact policies that would attempt to keep planetary warming to under 2 degrees centigrade. Even if that ambitious goal is met, scientists ward of significant problems ahead in terms of sustaining habitability for all of us in the near future.
I find that students today care deeply about sustainable practices in both their personal lives and concerning the organizations that employ them. Using myself as an example, I have recently made the commitment to join a sustainable co-housing community in upstate New York as a way of “walking the talk” regarding my concern for our environment. There are a myriad of other lifestyle changes that one can do individually and collectively to ensure a more sustainable future. Business, the most dynamic force within modern societies, can play a positive role if they choose. That is the focus of my graduate and undergraduate course on the role of business and sustainability. We all hope and pray that these actions collectively will have a positive impact.