Janine is one of our Education Project Managers and has been on the team for a little over a year now. She’s part of the dedicated team that creates our courses that serve to educate many around the world. We asked her to give us insight into what a typical day looks like, as well as what she envisions for the future of Saylor Academy, and a little more about her!
Saylor Academy: Hi Janine! Tell us about yourself. What is your background? How long have you been with the team?
Janine Walton: I started in Early Childhood Education, and moved into teaching Business Education at the secondary level. I then became a Computer Science educator where I started teaching courses such as ‘Intro to Computer Science’ and ‘Intro to Digital Technology’. I ended up becoming a lead teacher and started working as an online educator; teaching the same courses that I taught in person, online. I’ve had other careers as well, in healthcare as a program assistant; so that is where a lot of my program management skills come from. I kind of merged the two to become an Education Project Manager. I joined the Saylor team in August of 2020, last year.
SA: What about your role? What is it that you do here at Saylor Academy?
JW: I am an Education Program Manager, so I seek out subject matter experts (SME) to help me develop courses for our platform. I help guide the SME’s through the process; which consists of me explaining our process and how we do things at a deeper level, as well as helping them with content, etc. I review the course material they create and make sure it aligns with our format, and I assist in research when they struggle to find links for Open Educational Resources (OER). I also make sure that the SME provides a variety of resources because I am thinking about our students as the audience, completing the courses online. So, I try to make the content engaging so that it appeals to more of the masses.
SA: What does a typical workday look like for you?
JW: A typical workday is me working in Trello, our project management workflow system, as well as scouting out SME’s for future assignments that will be in our course development. Also, checking my email and conversing back and forth with SME’s, doing check-ins with them, establishing deadlines, meeting with other teammates, and definitely research. I am always looking to replace different links that may no longer exist or need to be updated.
SA: What is it that you like the most about your job?
JW: I like the camaraderie and the team. I like that we are willing to try new things and the fact that people listen to your opinion, and are open to new ideas.
SA: What are your hopes for the future of Saylor Academy, or online education as a whole?
JW: I hope that we continue to be innovative and look at different ways of doing things. Also, utilize our platform’s features so that we can create new and exciting material for students, and stay on the cutting edge of new topics that will help with the emerging careers of the future.
SA: What do you like to do in your free time?
JW: I like to try new foods at different restaurants, interior decorating, and I love to travel. I also like helping people plan events.
SA: What’s your favorite tradition or holiday?
JW: Definitely Christmas, and not even for gifts. I love the mood from October 31st through Christmas. That is my favorite block of holidays; the music, the pumpkin spice drinks, and the whole feel.
SA: What is one important skill that you think everyone should have?