Moving … and staying put.



For much of the last three weeks, this comic has been my life: mooching free wireless (thank you, jrodie, whoever you are) from a neighbor while living out of boxes in my new apartment here in San Francisco. Earlier this summer I accepted a position at UC San Francisco, working in the Center for Instructional Technology as a Learning Technologies Specialist. For the 2008 – 2009 academic year, I’ll be primarily responsible for developing and delivering training on our new Collaborative Learning Environment; our campus is migrating from WebCT 4.1 to Moodle as of this Fall. Our space, and our organization, are undergoing a lot of changes this year, though, and so what my day-to-day work life entails beyond this year is not set in stone. But that’s another post, or a series thereof …

While my heart leapt at the chance to move to the city of my dreams, it sank when I realized what I’d be leaving behind. No, I’m not talking about the Ohio cornfields, or the stench of cow manure on a damp spring morning, as lovely as those things might be. However, anyone who has worked with Barbara knows how talented, kind, and generous a person she is. I could not have asked for a better or more caring supervisor, and I left her employ with a heavy heart. Anyone who has not worked with Barbara: well, now is your chance. My old position at the CILC is currently open and applications are being accepted; feel free to contact me at ryan [dot] brazell [at] gmail [dot] com with questions.

While many, many things are changing and moving and shifting in my life, my participation here on LLU is staying put. I will no longer be working with language faculty or students on a daily basis; UCSF is a graduate school solely focused on the health sciences. But solid teaching and learning practices are universal, and when it comes down to it, a Dentistry professor at a large state university and a Russian professor at a small liberal arts college are both just trying to educate the next generation. I believe they can learn a lot from each other despite (and, perhaps, because of) their different needs, wants, and perspectives. Helping folks look past disciplinary silos will be challenging, indeed, but I’m all about a good challenge. 🙂

Speaking of which, we are looking for a better name for our new Moodle implementation. We don’t want to call it Moodle, because we don’t want to put the focus on the software, but “Collaborative Learning Environment” is a mouthful. Anybody have suggestions? 😀

Ryan has been proudly maintaining and contributing to Language Lab Unleashed since 2005, and is the current President of SWALLT. Since the summer of 2013 he's been causing trouble with his all-star colleagues in the UMW DTLT; when not wrangling websites Ryan can be found doing strange things with heavy objects.

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  1. Dave Kleinberg · August 23, 2008 Reply

    The Germans I worked with this summer call Moodle a “Lernplattform.”

    How about “learning platform”?

    As in, “All the information is on the ‘platform’…”

  2. Trip · August 25, 2008 Reply

    Or just Sfoodle? Vaguely Italian.
    Do you have a prior CLE/LMS name? You could just add “2.0”! Or, more seriously, you could tweak it thematically. Like when UMich went from “Chef” to “Sakai” (‘cos he’s an Iron Chef, see).

  3. Pete Smith · August 25, 2008 Reply

    The same as a Prof. of Dentistry?! You equated my beloved work in the world of Russian with–gasp–dentists?? And to think I used to like you….

    Seriously–welcome to SF!!

  4. Ryan · August 30, 2008 Reply

    I love the train / learning as a journey allusion that calling it a platform brings. And just think – I’d have a good excuse to wear a conductor’s hat! 🙂

  5. Ryan · August 30, 2008 Reply

    We don’t have a prior CLE name. We just called it what it was – WebCT. I know the name “Encompass” was bandied around for a bit by middle & upper management but they decided they didn’t like it (not Greek enough, or something? I dunno). I keep trying to come up with a pun that uses CLE … you know, musCLE, unCLE, and other terrible terrible suggestions like that.

  6. Ryan · August 30, 2008 Reply

    Hey, Pete, how’s the weather down there? I’ve moved from the land of rain to the land of fog. Go figure. 😀 Are the Russians like the Brits – no use for dentistry? C’mon, even Lenin must have gotten his teeth cleaned once in awhile. (giggle)

  7. Judi · September 2, 2008 Reply

    At UCI, our home-grown system is called “EEE” for Electronic Educational Environment. Everyone just calls it “triple e.”

    Maybe CLE lends itself to “clef” – as in treble clef… some kind of musical logo? And clef means key in French…. Just playing around w/ ideas. 🙂

  8. Ryan · September 2, 2008 Reply

    I like the ‘CLEf’ idea, a lot! I’ll throw it out there and see where it goes. Unfortunately the health sciences do not lend themselves well to punnery, at least not of the SFW kind, so this name game is much harder than it could be. Having a slogan instead of a mascot doesn’t help, either. 🙂

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