Educator Snapshot: Kelly Gordon, M.S. Chemistry

profileHello Kelly, thanks for taking the time to let us and our readers get to know you! We’ll get started with our first question (it’s an easy one): What have you been up to with the Saylor Foundation?

I have worked as a peer reviewer and also as a consulting professor to complete several peer review syntheses for chemistry courses. My most recent work is on helping David Rose to “appify” courses — I am having a blast with this project!

Great, we are excited about the “appify” project too…that whole “the future is mobile” thing! When you’re not working with apps, what keeps you busy?

I currently teach full-time and enjoy spending time outdoors with my animals and completing home remodeling projects. I have recently reached a point in my personal life that has allowed me to do some globe-trotting. So, I am always planning my next adventure! I am thinking about sailing a hobie cat from Florida to Maine this summer!

Wow that sounds like a great (exhausting?) trip! The East Coast is beautiful. We often dream of working via satellite from a yacht in the Atlantic, but…*sigh*…one day. One a more shore-bound note, how did you discover open/online education?

I was asked to create online chemistry courses for another university/college and developed an immense interest and desire to create quality online courses from there. I feel, adamantly, that something MUST be done to make education more affordable — this has certainly been a driving force for me, personally.

So has this “driving force” and  your work with the Saylor Foundation changed your professional practice or added to your repertoire?

Certainly, working with Saylor has brought forth different approaches, ideas, and classroom resources that I now implement in my own courses.

Which is gratifying to hear; we hope to see our work as much inside the college classroom as outside of it! As a practitioner of both, what advice would you give to other teachers interested in open and/or online education?

Today’s educators need to be open and welcoming to the changes that are happening in education. It is counterproductive to one’s career and to the students to resist the changes.

That’s great advice, if a little frightening for some. What do you truly enjoy about your work?

I enjoy taking a very intimidating subject, chemistry, and relaying it in a way that students can actually “get it.” That is so rewarding to me — seeing the light bulb come on just makes my day!

Many probably with they’d had you for a chemistry professor! Any thoughts on what the future holds?

This goes back to a previous question — educators have got to stay open-minded to changes and developments being made in education. There will always be a way to “do it better” and we should not only be open to that, but striving to achieve better!

And what about for non-educators — what advice would you have for people just entering adulthood?

If you are triple type A personality, like me, try to relax. When life doesn’t go just as you planned, it is likely there is a reason for this. It may take you a few years to find the reason, but you will.

And for lifelong learners?

Keep at it! Don’t ever stop learning and don’t ever miss an opportunity to learn something new…big or small!

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