In 1991 I completed a PhD in American Cultural History (a history of an important prototypical history book in the United States from 1702, 1802 - 1840). I taught in the United States and Egypt meeting students in more or less traditional classrooms. In 2006, teaching was no longer my primary occupation (I became a lawyer and archivist / academic librarian), but I still (today) teach at the University of Maryland.

Around 2006 the traditional classroom met the online educational tools creating hybrid educational spaces and opportunities. The best current term is collaboratory because higher education (at least) is becoming a meeting space where ideas and knowledge are exchanged between undergraduates + graduates (enrolled in formal degree granting programs), and most importantly communities near and far from physical campuses.

In my case I am certain it was the rare opportunity to live and work in Egypt that made me very comfortable with teaching and learning wherever and whenever it happens. At the University of Maryland University College (where I am on the faculty), the institution is moving towards Massively Open Online Courses MOOCs. Also my primary affiliation is as a staff employee (not faculty) at the University of California. The dean at my law school (Berkeley Law, Christopher Edley) started a process of examining the feasibility of starting a virtual 11th UC campus.

This is a course I have been developing for Maryland, but I'm offering it here because it fits perfectly into my (mid) career at an important transformative time in education. I hope you enjoy this course and educational experiment.