Bob Ertischek’s experience as an adjunct faculty member at area colleges gave him the idea for Profology, a social network for people working in higher education.
It’s a place for college instructors to share information, regardless of where they’re located. And students aren’t allowed.
Ertischek, 49, is currently an adjunct professor at Monroe Community College, where he teaches political science and has taught business law. He has also worked at Rochester Institute of Technology showing faculty how to teach online courses and how to use online resources in the classroom.
He has held other teaching and training jobs, and was once a practicing lawyer.
“Though I know many people who are great lawyers and enjoy that life, I was not enjoying it,” he said. “I didn’t enjoy practicing (law) and I got the opportunity to teach. It was a course for paralegals. The first time I taught I loved it, and that’s how I sort of ended up on this particular path,” he said.
The roots of Profology date back to 2005, when Ertischek was asked to teach a an American government course at Monroe Community College, only a few weeks before the start of the semester.
“Unfortunaltely, they didn’t give me any resources. It was my course to teach, my course to design, my textbook to choose, but I had absolutely nothing,” he recalled. “I remember telling myself I wish there was a place I could go where I could find other people who are teaching the same course as I am for textbook recommendations, for assessment questions, for how they present certain types of things, everything that goes into a class, just a place where I could share with them and they could share with me and I could not find such a place.
It’s not an uncommon problem on college campuses across the country, Ertischek said, and he considers Profology the answer.
Ertischek has partnered with Netsville Inc., where we recently caught up with him to find out more about his social network.
Being based at Netsville: Has been helpful because now I have a place to go to bounce off ideas. I have marketing experts, sales experts. I have development people.
It’s difficult for instructors: At small colleges and rural colleges with small departments and geographically isolated schools to share with others working in their field.
What we’re trying to do: Is give them all an opportunity to sort of be on a level playing field, to reach out to people who are in similar situations as them and learn from those people.
There is a blogging platform: There’s live chat. You can search for members. We’re going to try to match up members up by discipline, by interest, by geographic location, by institution.
We have the ability on Profology: To share documents. People can post something, an actual document, and someone else can access that document. I also want to provide automatic feeds of content based on your background and interests.
It is free: But no students are allowed. We actually vet each and every member. We check them out. We ask for information in the process that will prove to us that they work in higher education or have worked in higher education.
Profology makes money by selling ads: Anyone who sells to higher education will be able to target their ads toward the specific niche they’re looking for. To the advertisers these will be very valuable eyeballs.