News from Kuala Lumpur

News from Kuala Lumpur

by Shahrinaz Ismail -
Number of replies: 0
Hello everyone! Nice to see a long list of members in here...

I'm Shahrinaz, you can call me Sha or Shazz, from Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. It's 2.50pm+ here in KL, and yes, I'm used to stay up late for my part-time PhD studies and other freelance consultation jobs I'm doing for my friends.

Basically, I'm a full time IT lecturer, more into "Business in IT" programme, and my interest is in Knowledge Management, but I'm also doing action research on educational emerging tools and technologies. So far, since I've known George Siemens in our short-term long distance course in 2008, I've tried out blog in my classes (3 semesters in 2009), wiki (3 semester in 2010) and this year I'm into FB social network - in which all these 'ventures' are turned into research papers.

I'm interested in this course with one simple reason: I love the word "Knowledge Analytics"... and I believe that learning is lifelong and endless, even if you're already a professor or hold the top most post in any organisation in the world. I've tried out Google Analytics and I've been meaning to learn Social Network Analysis, but with time constraint and a long list of "wanna do" in my head, I'd rather follow this online open-source course to keep myself intact with my interest. I've gone through a similar process of learning before with George, and I find it very fruitful for busy people like me. Thanks again, George!

In order for this course to be success - well, from past experience, I can say that commitment throughout the course timeline is important. I've seen many failure in front of my eyes, where my colleagues were not able to follow through the whole process of learning via this method, merely due to stress at work and workloads. Can't blame them much, because they also have families and personal routines to follow through - not saying that I don't, but I sacrifice some of those for my own benefit too - and even if they asked me to help them with guidance on following this type of course, it still depends on their side of time commitment and 'drive'. Yeah, 'drive is the word. I was constantly being commented that "I have the 'drive'..." - whatever that means. In the nutshell, commitment from both instructor/facilitator and learners are important to make this course a success.

I think I'm off-track a bit here... What has to happen for this course to be a success? Well, discipline, constant updates (very important). Without updates to our facilitator, he can't gauge and we can't ensure that we succeed. Just follow through, and believe in the facilitator's vision of what we will gain in the end. I've tried, and it hasn't let me down yet. So bring it on! ;D

What else? Well..., I've turned into a blogger in every aspect of mindset I have, ever since I know about blogs. I have a blog on my design portfolio, 2 blogs about my kid (oh yeah, I'm a single mom - the workaholic type haha!), a blog on teaching & learning (from the previous course with George back in 2008, which I still maintain on and off), a blog about my PhD journey, and etc etc etc...

Experience? I was in construction industry (IT dept) doing all kinds of IT work from programming and design to QA and training senior management, for 8.5 years. I turned 180 degrees into full-time lecturing at a private university in KL called UCSI University, and I'm about to reach my 3rd year here on 22nd Jan 2011 - hopefully they grant my little wish to be promoted to Senior Lecturer. Within the years here in UCSIU, I've done quite a few things that normal lecturers here hardly thought of - like organising internal competition, being online and consult students almost 24/7 especially on their final year projects (Bachelors degree), and I love generating ideas and brainstorming... Students said they look for me because I have ideas. Well, I make them think too, that's for sure. Whatever it is, being in the industry for more than 5 years really helps in the current job I have now, and I believe I still "have it" if i want to go back to the industry. Hope so. ;D

No matter where I am, industry/corporate or education/academic line, I will for sure go for this kind of courses, for my lifelong learning. It's fruitful! You may not see it in the beginning, but hey... you will realise it when the time comes that you need it. ;D

Hope I've covered enough about myself. Thank you for allowing me to join this course. And thanks, George - if I missed your twit this morning (which you don't twit much, I noticed), I wouldn't be here now. ;D

All the best to us!
- Shazz
Kuala Lumpur Time 3:13AM