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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Having to Pick and Choose - or - What Does AECT Have to Offer?

Over at The Overlay - Plug In, Link Up, Turn On, which was the site created to connect AECT conference goers to each other in a way never done before - until there was no Internet available (see Wireless and AECT for more on that), Nate posted the first entry since about a week after the conference ending in which he asks:

What do they get out of being members in the first place??

He is actually referring to the fact that the aect-members.org website was done and musing over how we can communicate to those who do not belong to divisions, particularly those who don't want AECT to contact them.

The question though is a good one, and one that I have been asking about a number of organizations lately. At present, I am a member of:
  • National Council for the Social Studies
  • College and University Faculty Assembly
  • Distance Education Association of New Zealand
  • American Educational Research Association - Rural Education SIG and Instructional Technology SIG
  • Association of Educational Communications and Technology
  • Canadian Association for Distance Education
  • Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Education
  • Canadian Committee of Students in Education
  • Canadian Association for Teacher Education

As a graduate student, membership in these ten organizations (including two SIGs) costs me $285.50 - not including any additional journals that I may sign up for from organizations ike AERA or AACE. These same memberships would cost me $642 as a non-student or faculty member (which is where I hope to be).

Basically, if I want to continue spending about $300 a year on organizational memberships when I graduate, I can be a member of three or four organizations. That's quite a difference, from ten to three or four! But it leads me to an important question that I have been trying to answer over the past year and the coming one...

What do I get out of being a member in the first place?

It will come down to a cost benefit analysis in the end - am I getting enough out of the organization to justify the expense of membership.

Applying this to AECT, I can raise a question that Nate has posed in the past - what is AECT other than TechTrends/ETR&D and the annual conference? When I have to end my association with six or seven of the organizations on this list, what does AECT have to offer?

Tags: AECT, blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TEN organizations???!!! This is simply ridiculous. There is no way anyone can participate in that many organizations unless that is a full-time job. With the academy, the point is to become a member of one, two, or three communities of practice. Maybe keeping track of up to five communities is possible. Membership is not usually necessary in order to do that. Clearly some of your faculty should have shared these suggestions with you. They are either falling down on the job or you haven't discusses this with them. Sigh.

1:56 PM

 
Blogger MKB said...

Actually, at a student rate it isn't that bad and it gives me a chance to really try out (and not just join one year to go to the conference, but really get a sense of) a vareity of organizations to see where my developing research agenda would find its best home.

MKB

9:45 PM

 

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