Strange Times

Strange times indeed. For some people, academic Easter holidays have already started and for others, there’s another week to go. For me, it is a particularly slack period which is being filled with unusual activities. For example, I’m writing this while I wait for the Skype call to come though from Kevin Brennan in New Zealand. Kev asked if I would talk to a catering conference which is taking place at his university. For him, it’s already Saturday morning and they are about to kick-off. For me, it’s approaching 8.30pm on Friday and I’m talking until 10.00pm (ish).

The slackness has come from the fact that much of my work is LSC funded and there has been a mad rush to get it finished and invoiced before the end of March (more accurately I suspect; before the Easter holidays). I have some residual work with MoLeNET and the RSC-YH but other than that, until things settle – who knows?

I say when things settle because the election that is looming is likely to bring about big changes to the way non compulsory education is funded. The recent budget has just toyed with things but I suspect that whatever flavour of government we have, the big savings will have to be seen to be made over the next five years – they are just not telling us yet.

Already, previous employers are talking about putting hugely successful course online and un-facilitated (see my previous post); colleges are nervous about their financial situation, quite a few are talking about shedding staff already – so despite apparent upturns in the economy, things have still to change.

So other than New Zealand? Well, I have a conference call with a contact in the middle east next week, to discuss e-Learning in the UK: I have a couple of days work in April, supporting a European project delivery and I have the best part of a week in May/June in Vienna doing likewise.

Unusual times.

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