I’m having a little mental dilemma that I can’t seem to work myself out of, and I’m hoping you can help:
Have you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time? And by being in that right place in the right time, you totally changed the course of your life or career?
Well, I’ve had quite a few of those experiences lately:
One was moving to KL and finding out that just in the year I arrived, a nearby school, ISKL, was starting an Educational Leadership certificate cohort through SUNY Buffalo that would take two years (the length of my contract, and the length of time I ended up staying in Malaysia). Going through those course changed the way I teach, and eventually led to my second example here.
My second “right place, right time” experience was actually being online at the same time as Justin Medved was writing an e-mail about the availability of a certain 21st Century Literacy Specialist position to the NextGen Teachers group and starting a very quick dialog that resulted in a trip to Bangkok 24 hours later, job interview 48 hours later, and position offered and accepted a week later.
So, you can see how I might be inclined to trust the “right place + right time = just do it” equation.
Here’s my latest:
ISKL (quite a leader in the whole PD department, as you can tell) is now, in January 2008, starting an Ed.D. program through NOVA Southeastern University with an actual cohort in KL (the professors will actually teach on site at ISKL).
Interestingly (as you begin to watch the fates align) my best friend, and educational technology superstar, Lisa, is also completing a Ph.D. program through NOVA (she works at Yale and lives in New Haven, CT). Lisa has been pushing me to do this Ph.D. program since she started. I’ve successfully been able to postpone the whole seven-years-of-my-life commitment thing by explaining that Florida is much too far for me to fly to several times a year. Not only could I not afford it, but I certainly don’t have that many school holidays that I could find my way to Florida in February, July, and November – not possible.
Now, ironically, almost the exact same program (except for the Ed.D. vs. Ph.D. debate) is being offered in KL. A mere 2 hour flight away. A mere 2 hour flight away that usually costs about US$50 roundtrip on the fabulous AirAsia. A mere 2 hour flight away that usually costs about US$50 roundtrip on the fabulous AirAsia, in the city that I lived in for two years, loved like my hometown, and where I have tons of friends with comfortable couches.
This very program is coming at a time when I am looking to study educational technology more in depth. For the last year, or so, I’ve been thinking about a Ph.D., weighing the pros and cons, looking for just the right program, thinking about what, exactly, I am interested in, but nothing has jumped to the forefront.
And then, this program comes along. The degree is actually Instructional Technology and Distance Education, which initially I was not at all interested in. Then, I got to thinking…. Isn’t distance education what we’re doing when we design globally collaborative projects? Isn’t distance education what all of our students will be doing in the future when we’ve finally adapted to life, web 2.0 style? Then, isn’t distance education the future of education? And, by golly, if it is, I want to be there.
Oh, and have I mentioned that because this program is an Ed.D. (not a Ph.D.) it will only take three years, and because it’s an international cohort it’s about a quarter of the price of a traditional Ph.D.?
So, you can see how this program might just be appealing to me.
But I’m still not sure. For starters, it’s not a Ph.D., and there’s just something about the prestige of a Ph.D. that I like. Secondly, it’s still mighty expensive – no free rides here. Thirdly, and most importantly, I’m in my first year at a new school, a new, intense, busy, school, and this is going to eat up my free time like nobody’s business. Lastly, I’m currently in an online course to get my library certification – a 30 credit certificate program – almost enough for another masters!
So, brilliant edubloggers, what do you say? Should I Ed.D. or not?
(Seriously late) UPDATE:
Thank you to everyone who offered advice here – it was so good to hear all the different side of the issue. In the end, I decided not to do the Ed.D. It was a tough decision, but I’m glad I finally decided, now I can stop thinking about it!
Basically, given my new job, the fact that I’m currently pursuing another degree, the location of the program (KL is close, but I’m not sure it’s close enough) and the reality that the actual program specifications don’t exactly exactly match what I’m interested in, were all reasons I decided against this particular program.
However, I did just meet a colleague from ISKL who is going to do the program, so I should get the inside scoop on how it works – just in case they decide to run the same course through ISB here in Bangkok. Either way, I still think I’ll go for another degree, eventually, but this one just isn’t quite right enough to spend all that time, money and energy…