W01: Are you a changemaker?

This is a Discussion Post related to the first week of 522.

Are you a changemaker? Most people are uncomfortable with thinking of themselves as an “entrepreneur” or “innovator” or “CEO” or “venture creator” or most of the other labels we have for people who pioneer our future. However, as MET is a graduate program you presumably wouldn’t be here if you weren’t interested in mastering the potentials of learning technologies, and as MET is primarily a professional program presumably you also wish to translate that mastery into practical leadership. MET is a great launchpad, so what is your intended trajectory into the future of learning? (p.s. – It is entirely OK to say you just want to be better at surfing the wave, rather than creating it).


  1. Read through a set of existing responses below, if there are any.  Use the Thumbs Up tool to recommend any within your set that you believe are exceptionally valuable, or that you strongly agree with. Use the Thumbs Down tool only if, in your opinion, the response does not add value to the discussion.
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148 responses to “W01: Are you a changemaker?”

  1. julio palacios

    I found myself staring at my blank word processor for a couple of minutes as I digested this question. I feel the blurb correctly described my reluctance to call myself an entrepreneur. I suppose one way I can see myself aligning to this definition is through the notion, that I, for the most part try to keep a positive outlook towards change. Change, especially when it happens within the industry one works in, can be scary, but when embraced, analyzed and deciphered, change, especially along the lines of educational technology, can afford a variety new possibilities and capabilities.

    I suppose the direction I hope to grow towards in education is to develop an ability to make informed decisions in regards to technology implementation rather than simply jumping on technology trends. I’d like to have an analytical eye that both keeps me cognizant of digital trends, but also allows me to decipher their worth and to hopefully identify their trajectory of growth. I feel this skill will not only help me create robust learning opportunities for my learners, but it will also help me seek new opportunities within my field that I am hopefully able to enhance or develop.

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    1. EmilyChen

      Hi Julio,
      I very much agree with you when you talk about not wanting to “jump on technology trends”. In China, language schools are always competing with each other on who has the coolest or newest looking gadgets or who’s developing the trendiest learning tools, it’s been tough for me to stay true to what really helps the kids learn.

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      1. julio palacios

        Hi Emily. Thanks for your feedback. I had a similar experience when I was teaching in South Korea. Many schools were not only competing with themselves, but also had to compete with a very wealthy private after school academy sector. I remember a friend recalling a story of their workplace rolling out big screen tvs and tablets whenever parents came to visit.

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    2. Michael Saretzky

      Julio, I also like that you brought up not wanting to jump onto technology trends, but to make informed decisions. I know when more and more technology was entering the classroom I would put my hand up to be the first to receive it, but after seeing so much wasted money, time and resources I now try and put more thought into it.

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  2. adrian wheeler

    I enrolled in the MET program for the specific purpose of creating positive change and offering greater value for my department. As an IT professional I am often brought in as a “technology expert” on learning technology projects and integrations, only to discover that there is a communication barrier between the technical folks and the pedagogs. Those of us who are experts in technology have little experience or understanding of learning theory, whereas the pedagogs had the opposite problem. I am hoping to come out of this program with a robust and grounded nderstanding of pedagogy as it related to learning technologies so that I can help integrate technology in a much more effective and efficient way here at UBC.

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    1. allan carmichael

      Adrian, I really identified with your comment that “there is a communication barrier between the technical folks and the pedagogs.” You sound like you are describing MyEducation BC.

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      1. adrian wheeler

        Hi Allan, I’ve heard from colleagues both in industry and this course that it seems to be an issue wherever you go. Hopefully, we can all make a small difference and help reverse that.

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    2. Rachel

      Hi Adrian,
      I shared similar sentiment that there should be a better integration between education and technology. It took me awhile before I feel I’m “on board” with the integration of technology and education. At one stage, I probably acted like Ben Stiller when he saw a computer for the first time, in the movie Zoolander.

      The first time I actually considered how much technology can make education more meaningful was during a training course on technology and advising. Admittedly, even then I was somewhat skeptical about how technology can fulfill the human focused advising approach. It did generate my interests of learning more and that was how I applied for MET. Learning different learning theories and now discussing learning analytics, I’m fully on board and can’t stop thinking the possibilities of creating a more rewarding experiences for all users!

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      1. adrian wheeler

        Hi Rachel, thanks for sharing your experience! I really think the approach to technology integration is often done poorly. It should be a partnership between educators and IT professionals that focuses on outcomes, rather than a mad push for the latest tech.

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    3. trevor laughlin

      Have you ever told the emperor/admin that they are not wearing pants (ie. this decision has not been thought through) and gotten glares? I know how you feel.

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  3. allan carmichael

    Changemaker. Hmm. Well, today I buried my father, and I think I can describe him as a changemaker. His occupation took him to several different towns across the country during his working life, from Kenora, ON to Edmonton, AB to Ottawa, ON to The Pas, MB to Iqualiut, NV to Victoria, BC, and in each of those new places he had to establish a new home for his family, new friends, new pastimes. He was an aircraft maintenance engineer for the RCMP, and once he arrived in Victoria, he vowed to do what it took to never leave. That meant training for whichever new aircraft was assigned to our region, so that he couldn’t be subsequently transferred. That meant a lot of time and effort away from home, after the age of 45, “going to school” at Bell Helicopter or Beechcraft, at their training centres in the US. After retirement, he took up the lathe as a pastime, joined the local guild, and over the next 20 years grew very proficient in this new pursuit that married technology, mechanics, and art. In the two weeks before his passing, he was trying out a new technique he had learned from a guild member.

    Catharsis accomplished, how does the term apply to me? I’m not sure. Others seems to think it does, as they keep voting me for science department head…or does that just mean I can run a mean spreadsheet and not go over budget with purchasing? Or don’t know when to say no? I was inspired by a former teacher at my school, twenty years ago: I had begun using an exam-design tool called LXR to database previous provincial-exam physics questions, categorized by learning outcome (we call those curricular competencies, now), so that when a student could identify a particular outcome that they struggled with, we could generate a series of worksheets on just those outcomes for us to work through together. I showed this to Ken one spring, and he was intrigued. That summer I plugged my way through databasing a few years’ worth of exams, but Ken, who at that time was four years from retirement, returned in the fall with fifteen years’ worth completed for chemistry, and was using the database more extensively than I was right away.

    I think because he was able to identify the value to his students of this new technology, he knew he had to adopt the tech and adapt his instruction to take advantage of it.

    So perhaps a changemaker is one who can identify not only a need, but also a solution, and apply that solution into practical service. I like to think I have been doing that throughout my career, but the MET feels like a way to push me more definitely in a positive, progressive manner. Maybe a little less like playing “Battleship” with the latest thing to come along.

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    1. Erica Hargreave

      I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, Al. Thank you for sharing your memories of him with us. He sounds like a wonderfully innovative and determined fellow.

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      1. feng mao

        Hello Allan,

        I am so sorry for your lost. Reading your father’s career path and passion, it shows his eager learning and changemaker spirit must have passed down to you.

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      2. alexis reeves

        Sorry to hear about your father. He sounds like he was quite inspirational and quite solution-oriented and progressive as well. I think you are right in thinking that changemakers initial find needs or gaps in the market and then provide practical solution to these. I suppose most inventors over time are known as ‘changemakers’ and hopefully by adding skills developed in this course we can transform these ideas into educationally valuable resources for our community.

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    2. Michael Saretzky

      Hi Allan, I am very sorry to hear about your Dad. That is awesome that he was still learning and trying out new things.

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    3. kathleen mckenna

      Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading about your Dad!

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    4. zheng xiong

      Hi Allan, I am really sorry about your loss. The grieving process could be long and tough for anyone who lost a loved one. Although it’s been almost a year, take your time and hold onto these good memories and legacies your dad has given you unconditionally. Actively pursue learning is a positive mindset that you and your dad both share. I gained new perspective on what it means to be a changemaker. It is “not-giving-up”, it is “trying-everything”, it is “”challenging-the-status-quo”. It is deeply embedded in everything we do, and we do it with a purpose in mind.

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    5. Noor

      Respected Professor,

      Your father and others who resemble him make me feel dwarfed by their accomplishments and growth mindset. They keep learning and have this positive attitude towards knowledge; it’s like they are addicted to learning. My father is a veterinary sergoen who treated camels and horses for over 30 years. He is now too old, and his health is not the best. He had 3 surgeries on his back, and he struggles when walking, standing or making natural daily movements. However, he keeps persisting in going to work and helping my mom in the kitchen; he keeps reading in his field and is learning a new language. He says I want to keep my brain working by inserting more knowledge in my brain and getting my memory to work.

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  4. Erica Hargreave

    Chuckling at the “Most people are uncomfortable with thinking of themselves as an ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘innovator’ or ‘CEO’ or ‘venture creator'”, simply as calling myself an entrepreneur or even a venture creator is perfectly natural to me, as I have been an entrepreneur since my early 20s. An entrepreneur is a term referencing someone who “organizes and operates a business”, which is simply one of the words that would be used to describe me in terms of my work. Calling myself ‘changemaker’ though is different. That does make me feel uncomfortable, in part because it seems a little precious, like guru or influencer, and in part as it seems a little egotistical. It also strikes me that not all ‘entrepreneurs’ or ‘CEOs’ or ‘venture creators’ are necessarily ‘changemakers’. So I decided to look up the definition of a changemaker.

    Here’s what I found: The term ‘changemaker’ comes from Ashoka (https://www.ashoka.org/), a Foundation deigned to both build and fund changemakers. In there words, “Changemakers identify problems and see it as an opportunity to build a solution. They apply the critical skills of empathy, teamwork and leadership to make positive impact.” As Changemaker International (http://www.changemakerintl.com/who-is-a-changemaker/) puts it, “A changemaker is somebody who is taking creative action to solve a social problem!” You can read more on ‘What Changemaking Is’ in this article from Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/3062483/what-is-a-changemaker

    So returning to the question, am I a changemaker? Yes, absolutely. Changemaking is something I have invested much of my life’s work doing. Does this mean that I am a changemaker in everything I do? No, but I also think that is okay. I have spent much of my career ahead of the financing, so sometimes it is okay for me to pause and focus on work that allows the changemaker in me to experiment and create new things again, by knowing that the financing is looked after through that other work. And sometimes I just need a little break to look after myself and others in my life, and have a little bit of rest and relaxation.

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    1. Jessica Daicos

      Thank you for sharing these great links, Erica! What stood out to me most was in the Fast Company article you referenced:

      Not every changemaker launches their own startup. Sometimes it is the changemaker within an existing institution that’s most powerful… Known as social “intrapreneurs,” these are people–like many of us–who understand the mechanics of their own firms and are in a great position to innovate for the greater good.”

      I must be a changemaker. Not because “I AM A CHANGEMAKER”, but by process of elimination. I notice more and more frustration when I work within cultures that don’t value creative problem-solving. Who don’t, as you quoted, see problems “as an opportunity to build a solution”. In contrast, I’m a person who found potential, possibility and hope in the disruption caused by COVID–a chance to do things differently. My intent in enroling in this course and the MET program is to level-up and step up. My trajectory into the future of learning is still unclear to me (I’m happily exploring), but I hope this journey will lead me to a culture of changemakers. Surfing the wave or creating it, I want to work with people who believe in taking “creative action” to shape what learning can be.

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      1. Erica Hargreave

        I hear you on that frustration, Jessica. And I cannot agree more – re: “found potential, possibility and hope in the disruption caused by COVID–a chance to do things differently.” In general, my outlook is that when things don’t turn out how you wished or you run into an obstacle, is to find the good in that or a different way round. Perhaps that is part of what it means to be a changemaker.

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    2. ben zaporozan

      Hello Erica,
      Your confidence here is admirable and greatly appreciated. About a year and a half ago I would not have called myself a changemaker or innovator, as though it might attract unwanted attention. I found though, that taking an interest and using a problem-solving approach combined with empathy, teamwork, and leadership (as you mentioned), it is difficult not to have a positive impact on people, processes, or return on investment.

      These very behaviours have recently helped me to win a seat on a small, cross-functional team dedicated to exploring innovation and the behavioural and cultural changes necessary to help my company adapt its processes and products. We meet once a month with our senior leadership team team and have secured their buy-in to reach some ambitious goals, like offering training in design thinking, agile methods, critical thinking, and strategy, and also the opportunity to apply the skills in every role and to measure success for all of our staff learners as well as our ROI. Ability to influence leaders and the company seems to me to be one of the signs of a changemaker, and with it comes risk taking/management, a few failures, and some interesting conversations that open new opportunities. The team is new and we haven’t had to address any major setbacks yet. I have a sense that how we handle that is going to determine the overall success of the initiative, but I’m confident without apology now.

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    3. Joyce Lo

      Hi Erica,

      The way Ashoka described in their words, “Changemakers identify problems and see it as an opportunity to build a solution,” resonates with me. Eight years ago, I was a teacher who believed in making a difference in our world through the things I do and teach my students. Now, through my life experience of being a special-needs parent, I recognize problem areas in education for students with disabilities and explore alternative options to solve these issues. Some ideas I have learned so far in this MET program include the importance of: using UDL (Universal Design for Learning), presuming competence, modelling, understanding ableism, and having accessibility of technology.

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      1. joseph kwan

        Hi Joyce,

        I enjoyed reading your post & have witnessed you become a “changemaker” in recent years. Joining the MET Program is a wonderful start to this journey.

        Similar to yourself, I have experienced change since becoming a special-needs parent. I appreciate Dr. Vogt sharing that “most people are uncomfortable with thinking of themselves as an ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘innovator’ or ‘CEO’ or ‘venture creator’ or most of the other labels we have for people who pioneer our future”. I find myself becoming goal-focused and driven in recent years, joining several board, steering and advisory committees to further the cause of social justice and change.

        I look forward (with excitement and perhaps some anxiety) in venturing into the unknown… creating new pathways for special-needs families such as ourselves and for others… hopefully creating value, promoting education and increasing awareness along the way.

        As mentioned in W04.4 “The Right Stuff”, perhaps another family (or brilliant individual) will carry on our work and take it to new heights. We must put our “pride and ego” aside to let the venture evolve and benefit those it was meant to serve in the first place.

        That, to me, captures the essence of being a true “changemaker”.


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  5. skye ferguson

    I would 100% say I want to be a change maker. I became a teacher because I would to help future generations find their passions and be successful. Being in the classroom for a few years now I see some changes I want to make. We are in the 21st century, therefore, I feel that digital literacy is an asset that our future generations must possess to be successful. Therefore, I feel like being apart of the MET program will help me make the different I want to make in the classroom and within school divisions. I hope to push for a stronger emphasis on digital competency and literacy within all curricular programming.

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    1. adrian wheeler

      Hi Skye, I really appreciate your attitude and commend you for being so student focused.

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    2. raafa abdulla

      I totally relate to you Skye. I was working as a physics TA at UBC for few years. I found even the students who were accepted at the university are lacking many learning skills. I remember one day, I was thinking that it is too late for the university students, but I can have a chance with the secondary school students. The next day I applied for the education program to be a teacher. I am now math teacher and I am glade that many students are seeing math from a different angle.

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    3. Michael Saretzky

      When you mentioned the 21st Century it reminded me of my admin from few years ago who kept talking about 21st Century Learners and that we are going to need to teach them for technology that doesn’t exist yet. I must admit I was quite intrigued by this thought, but then I started to question, “How? We don’t know what will be out there and if I did maybe I would be a lot wealthier.” However, after some pondering I realized that I need to keep myself up to date on what is out there, something this program has really helped with doing. In turn, we must help keep our students up to date as well and when possible we need to bring some of this technology into the classroom. Although, as I stated in another response you do want to make sure you make informed decisions and not waste time, money or resources.

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  6. Vijaya Jammi

    For me the trajectory of change signifies a consistent, conscious and constructive effort towards the desired goal. And the desired goal of all ed tech professionals would obviously be to impact future learning.
    I have been reading reviews of some of the top Ed-tech companies, often projected as top 20 or top 30 companies in the world. I noticed that a majority among them deal with tools for classroom engagement, knowledge organization and other multi modal production tools for digital learning. Whereas, supporting behavioural and cognitive engagement of learners in the process of learning is scarcely being attempted by the companies in the field.

    The success of ed-tech companies as I mentioned above is measured in terms of millions and billions in annual turn over. If this measurement of success can be redefined based on the qualitative accomplishment of learning globally, then the ed-tech pioneers will have no reason to shy away from their titles as referred to by David Vogt.

    I believe, that the learning theories, learning design and technology together ideally make up the composite construct for the framework of learning. Hence the ed-tech pioneers, when they are experienced in educational field can wield this construct more impressively. Given the pedagogical experience, and knowledge of the enormous potential of technology, the pioneers in this field can impact learning in meaningful and a big way. My intended trajectory into future of learning, would be to aspire for such accomplishment through my venture

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    1. Alexandra Scott

      It is extremely sad that ed-tech companies only view themselves as successful based on their turn-over instead on their impact in the classrooms or on individuals. And I think you are right that pioneers would not shy away from stepping out there if the focus was not on turn-over but on positive impact and the accomplishment the education has for students and teachers on a long-term basis.

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  7. Alexandra Scott

    Are you a changemaker?
    My first instinct is yes I am a changemaker because I am a teacher and everyday I make a change in someone’s life everyday even if I am not necessarily aware I am doing it. So based on that definition we are ALL changemakers.
    But if you go by the definition of Merriam-Webster : “a device that mechanically supplies change in coins of desired denominations upon the operation of the proper levers or keys”. Then I have to be honest and say no I am not because I am not a bank that supplies coins in the desired denominations, however if we view this more abstractly I can say I do provide coins of knowledge in a desired subject upon the operation of the proper teaching methods or pedagogies taking into account the students needs and desires of their desired learning style.
    Therefore, I think as teachers it is part of our jobs to be changemakers and adapt and manipulate things as we can to improve the situation for our learners. I believe many teachers have shown incredible innovation and initiative during COVID times as they have switched to online and have just learnt as they go along and have tried changed to the times we find ourselves in by being willing to learn, collaborate and innovate.
    What is my intended trajectory into learning? Wow, well in many ways it is to try and stay relevant and be part of the movement of where educational technology is heading and not fall behind. It is to gain knowledge so that I can make myself useful in the teaching position I am in as well as to learn for improved teaching practice and to the benefit of my students. In many ways I want to take the knowledge I learn and apply it and test it out to see how and if it works. In the last two days I have already pushed my learning boundaries by figuring out how to work a Macbook and connecting Macbook TV so that I can teach, which is things I am not used to. I have also started using Microsoft teams as this is what is required of me, in many ways I also want my learning trajectory to be one of I feel confident and comfortable to play around with technology and test it out in order to see how it works and if it works for the correct reasons that it works but also to be able to do this quickly. In many ways I also am willing and wanting to learn from others, which includes the students in front of me who are born with technology at their fingertips.
    So in essence learning more and more to become a relevant and fast changemaker is a goal to attain.

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    1. Erica Hargreave

      Thanks for the chuckle that the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary gave me, Alexandra.

      Loved all your thoughts on educators as changemakers, and while I think there are many teachers that are changemakers, unfortunately there are also many that resist change.

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      1. Joyce Lo

        I agree with you, Erica. “…Many teachers… are changemakers, unfortunately there are also many that resist change.” I remember reading an article about how to be a teacher in the 21st century, one must be flexible, embrace technology, and keep learning. During the start of the pandemic last year, all the teachers were expected to do online teaching. I remember it was easy for some, but extremely difficult for others. A few gave up and even decided to go on early retirement because change came too fast. Change became more of a problem for them instead of a solution for finding alternative ways of teaching.

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    2. raafa abdulla

      Totally agree with you Alexandra. I am still wondering how teachers were able to adapt to online learning within few days. Some of my students even mentioned that the online learning was more engaging and very organized as compared to actual lessons. Teacher demonstrated high risk-taking skills during Covid-19 pandemic and still doing that till now. With social distance and sanitizing procedures, (without taking much time), we just adapt and accept changes.

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    3. tiffany ku

      Well said Alexandra! I am always amazed at the resilience of my co-workers and their ability to adapt so quickly to situations, especially when we switched to eLearning in the matter of just one week! Sometimes when the days feel redundant I think about how change making is a ripple effect- how students will take what we are offering to them now and possibly one day become change makers themselves in the spaces of their passions/ interests. And like you said, you may have planted the seed/coin! I know this is a daydreamer’s thought in an ideal world but its what gets me by sometimes.

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  8. sarka kubelikova

    I believe I am an innovator and a change maker….and therefore sometimes a rule breaker. Questioning norms dosen’t always make one popular but is a necessary step towards innovation and making change. How does one help others see that change is necessary? That is a question that I continue look for answers to and I am hopeful this course will help. I often find myself pushing changes in education . Many times that is a lonley and vulnerable place to be. Having data and user(student) feedback has been vital in getting others on different initiatives. I am persuing MET courses to be surrounded by like minded individuals who have more questions than answers and are willing to grapple with unknowns and question current norms.

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    1. EmilyChen

      I agree with you…
      Seeing that something should be changed for the better is one thing, but helping others see that, and motivating them to take part in that change can be quite challenging. I’ve noticed that unless what needed to be changed affects them a lot, most people would rather leave things at status quo, because they are in the habit of doing things a certain way.

      The unknown generally makes people uncomfortable, so I tend to tell myself to be patient and take baby steps. Thanks for sharing! I think you are absolutely right in saying that many times leading change is a lonely and vulnerable place to be. Good luck with everything!

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    2. Erica Hargreave

      There are so many hard truths in what you shared here, Sarka. Often creating change takes bravery, conviction, and a willingness to speak up and stand on your own if necessary.

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    3. tiffany ku

      This is so true Sarka! I try my best to embody this mentality when I teach but it is definitely easier said than done. I tend to experiment a fair amount on my students (sorry kids) but luckily they’re old enough to be somewhat understanding and can give constructive feedback. But it definitely is a lonely place, especially when things clearly are not working and you want change but there is no support put in place to help you find a sound or sustainable solution. Its hard doing this solo. That’s why I’m here as well!

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    4. Joyce Lo

      I really like how you said, “Questioning norms dosen’t always make one popular but is a necessary step towards innovation and making change.” This is true and I have experienced it within the context of my workplace. Looking back at my teacher training, I was trained to teach typical children how to read and write. When my non-verbal son started kindergarten, I asked myself and his school if anyone knew how to teach him to read and write. No one knew. In the past, I remember seeing other non-verbal students just sit in class and that was considered “inclusion”. But that was not what my husband and I wanted for our son. We wanted him to be able to communicate with others and have friends. We believed there was a way, we just needed to find it. We did research to find the right program to teach students with disabilities and contacted different professionals for advice. My son is in grade 3 now. Through years of therapy sessions and practice, he can read and write! He is the first one at his school to have these skills.

      I hope to learn more through this course to keep pushing and make change for those who need it.

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  9. JamieTooze

    In my profile I shared the quote, “Be open to change – there’s nothing about this current moment in history that allows for stubbornness.”

    I am in MET because in 2013, I attended an advising conference at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and I was deeply impressed with how my counterparts in Europe and the USA provided advising services to students using education technology. I was also introduced the the seemingly obvious concept that advising and consulting is teaching. Not only do I recognize the need to teach more effectively using technology, I also see the importance of being ambassadors of educational technology because change is often confronted by stubbornness and uncertainty.
    My second reason for studying edtech is because in many ways, I envy my daughters Ema and Maya. I envy them for all the amazing technologcal developments they will witness in their lifetime and I want to help them be part of the changes ahead.

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  10. Laura Ulrich

    Without a doubt, I am a changemaker. When I came to my school, there was no communication between our educators and the IT department. I put myself forward to be a liaison between the two. I also spent a year as an “unofficial” department head of a Digital Technology Department that did not exist. I am happy to say that the four courses are now recognized as a department, though we are still fighting to get any kind of budget. I revitalized the digital arts programs, and am fundraising for a new vinyl machine that will raise both the floor and ceiling for student creation and school initiatives. I do not expect to be a teacher forever, and I want to leave the school better than how I found it.

    Two years ago, a dismayed grade 11 student told me that they knew more about how to use a computer in grade 4 than they did that day. It broke my heart to hear that, because, to me, a computer is a portal to an infinite array of spaces— from community halls, to galleries, to great workshops, and beyond. And this student’s lack of opportunity to explore had made their journey that much more daunting. I want to make technology more accessible to learners and educators. I want to show them that they CAN be great technological tinkerers and content creators.

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  11. Michael Saretzky

    Recently, I have done a lot of self reflection of my journey through the MET program and where it has brought me in my career, as such I would say, yes I am a changemaker. When I first began as a technology coach at my current school, which I believe this program helped me get, I thought it was best to keep showing my colleagues all of the new gizmos, gadgets, apps and tools (many of which I learned about in the program) and demonstrate their use in the classroom, which some of them enjoyed and brought into their own instruction, there were definitely a few who were quite happy with pen and paper. However, now one of these more traditionalists is probably using technology more than I am. With this one particular staff member I found that just being there for her when she had a question, because she was trying something new (to her) was more important than bringing in something that is new to me. In other cases COVID was the changemaker with getting some staff to use some of the newer programs online that they may have been hesitant to use.

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    1. Rachel

      Michael, I love your reflection on how your attitude of helping/sharing knowledge with colleagues has changed and you bring up a really good point: everyone has a different pace in learning. Also with the rate technology is going, it is difficult to keep up and stay comfortable with all the exciting new tools! It is considerate of you to provide the space for your colleague to explore and be there when she needs assistance. You’re a great colleague!

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  12. sundeep lail

    I believe i am a changemaker. Just looking at my time at work, most people will ask me about any upcoming technological advancement that could be used in the classroom, any issues with our in-house Moodle courses are directed to me, I was also the first person to be the technology mentor at my work. If there is a way to change something, I will push for the change to be made online, as opposed to the more traditional pen and paper way. However, more importantly, I think what I have learned throughout my career is, to be a changemaker doesn’t mean I have to constantly pave the way, it also means I need to see what other people are doing and make sure they are being given the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and their expertise.

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    1. sundeep lail

      Sorry, I posted my comment before I finished answering why MET and where am I heading with it?
      Truth be told, I am not 100% sure. I know that being in the field of education, with a technology background, is an exciting time. I see all these amazing apps and different software being developed, I see changes in pedagogy, and an overhaul in a very archaic educational system which is all cause for excitement. I want to use this new found outlook on education to help, not only the students, but the teachers as well. I feel the teachers are in as much need of educational technology as the students. However, where exactly I end up, remains to be seen.

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  13. Yannick Wong

    I think a changemaker doesn’t necessarily have to be an entrepreneur, innovator, CEO, or venture creator. The entrepreneurial and business side is definitely important in pushing the edge of educational technology, but as successful as their marketing can be, they aren’t always penetrate the market thoroughly or efficiently. One of the biggest pushbacks is institutional bureaucracy; those who have worked in relatively large educational institutions like me would know that most of them are typically at least a decade behind in technology compared to the private market. I’m not necessarily talking about hardware and software, but rather teaching and learning strategies based on technology. This is partly due to the inherent lack of agility for big institutions but also parly due to unnecessary bureaucracy and infighting.

    Entrepreneurs don’t make this easy either. I recently was searching for a new LMS for my institution that’s more lightweight and agile to replace the “traditional” (read: outdated) LMS we’ve been using for more than a decade now. It was a hassle and a half just to find out what features are available and to get a price quote. You’d think those would be the things that sensible businesses would advertise first and foremost.

    Now that I’ve had my rant, my goal (or wish) is really to be the bridge between these two parties – institutions and entrepreneurs: to introduce institutions to the possibilities of educational technology (an admittedly tall task) and to ensure the entrepreneurs have products and services that adequately support the needs of institutions. This operates on the assumption that institutional, centralized learning is not going away soon, something I’m willing to bet on at least for the next couple of decades. This is what I feel like how change can really happen in the field of education, since it is still dominated by institutions; there have been no large-scale disruption from the private sector like Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, or the like.

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    1. Erica Hargreave

      This was a great rant, Yannick. It had me nodding throughout, as I know all too well that which you speak from both my experiences working in post-secondary education and working with some other entrepreneurs.

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    2. JamieTooze

      I totally agree Yannick. It reminds me of a quote that Tony Bates often refers to in his works, “Universities are like graveyards. When you want to move them, you don’t get a lot of help from the people inside.”

      Sangrà, Albert & Bates, Tony. (2011). Managing Technology in Higher Education. Strategies for Transforming Teaching and Learning..

      If you any one is interested in the history of this analogy see:
      Brankovic, J. (2020, June). “Changing a university is like moving a graveyard”: A history of an analogy. ECHER. https://www.echer.org/changing-a-university-is-like-moving-a-graveyard/

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  14. kevin ohearn

    I believe that educators are in a great position to make changes in the lives of their students. When I think back to my time as a student, I remember a few teachers and coaches who had a very positive effect on my life. A big reason I because a teacher is so that I could be that positive influence in the lives of my students.

    I am rather early in the MET program (this is my second course) so I don’t necessarily feel as though I have the knowledge to consider myself a change maker in the world of learning technologies. However, my hope is that as I progress though the MET program I will continue to learn and grow as an educator so that I can better serve my students.

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  15. Grant MacLeod

    Creating change is something that I have always been passionate about and I do feel like I am trying to do my part to make change for the better. Over my career I have been able to incorporate new technology into my profession and I feel that it has benefited my students and trainees. Currently, the team I work for is an R&D type of group and we are tasked with implementing technology to improve our operations. Most of the tech is third-party but some is developed in house. Part of my current role is to train individuals in how to use the new technology.

    Although I am not a developer by trade, I think I have good ideas and I would like to be able to develop some of them myself, its just sometimes there seems to be too many hurdles to overcome. I am hoping that this course will give me some insight and guidance so that I can become a better change maker.

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  16. kathleen mckenna

    First, I know that I am a maker. I make food. I make relationships. I make objects, solutions–even problems.

    But am I a changemaker?

    Perhaps a changemaker is not concerned about a product, or the impact on someone or something.

    Abstractly, a changemaker is a mindset. It is someone who uses their discovery and “makes” in some capacity. As a changemaker, I am less concerned about my impact in the physical space, and more interested about the mindset I have to “make”. I am still working on that mindset. I still have to remind myself that I make decisions every day that have both negative and positive implications on others and the world around me.

    I find it interesting that people have interpreted the question to mean something positive. Many technology companies create a product that has the potential to harm individuals and communities. Many of these companies have the desire to make a product that benefits society yet retrospectively causes negative implications. I think these individuals are still changemakers–they have made a change in how the world functions, haven’t they? To me, this is why being a changemaker is a mindset rather than an outcome.

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  17. Alice Shin

    I read one definition of a changemaker as being someone who is able to inspire others, is able to adapt to the changes around them, and is able to be the change they want to see happen.

    Hence a changemaker doesn’t have to be a modern day superhero, so a lot less pressure for me when I try to answer this question.

    Have I been able to inspire others? I’ve been told by colleagues and people I’ve worked with and, without going too much detail here, I’ve been told I did inspire them. I’ll believe them for now. Have I been able to adapt to changes around me? Absolutely as shown by the multiple pivots I’ve managed to traverse throughout my life. Am I the change I want to see? That’s the big question! And a reason why I’m in this course at all – not only to understand that things are changing, but to formulate a path to allow myself and others to move forward together and thrive.

    So I’ll say I’m 2/3’s of the way there.

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  18. Alice Shin

    I read one definition of a changemaker as being someone who is able to inspire others, is able to adapt to the changes around them, and is able to be the change they want to see happen.

    Hence a changemaker doesn’t have to be a modern day superhero, so a lot less pressure for me when I try to answer this question.

    Have I been able to inspire others? I’ve been told by students, colleagues and people I’ve worked with that, without going too much detail here, I did inspire them. I’ll believe them for now. Have I been able to adapt to changes around me? Absolutely as shown by the multiple pivots I’ve managed to traverse throughout my life. Am I the change I want to see? That’s the big question! And a reason why I’m in this course at all – not only to understand that things are changing, but to formulate a path to allow myself and others to move forward together and thrive.

    So I’ll say I’m 2/3’s of the way there.

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  19. Kay Kim

    Perhaps one of the reasons why people get uncomfortable by the question “are you a CHANGEMAKER?” is because the word is one that is being used everyday to describe “who you should aspire to be,” or perhaps a worldly renowned, massively successful person that we see on social media, along with the suggestive words, “…and how you can be one too!” The word, as well as the expectation around it, has been built up to the point where people find it as awkward to call themselves a “Changemaker” as calling themselves a “global superstar.”
    That should not be the case. I see Changemakers everywhere – whether it be in the retired gentleman who volunteers as a crosswalk watch for a local elementary school, a military veteran who runs an after school program for troubled or disadvantaged youth, a student council representative who petitions for a more equitable accommodations program, and in anyone and everyone that gives a little more to go beyond the status quo and make a positive improvement and impact on those around them.

    The reason why I’m in the field of education is because I want to make education a little bit more accessible, a little bit more attainable, and a little bit more enjoyable for the students that are under my wing. I’m not focused on making my school the best college/university in the State, country, or the world in any way. Rather, I believe that since organizations and institutions are made up of people, if I can do my part in creating enough of positive influence so that those around me may in their turn also do the same, improvements at the organizational/institutional level will be a natural byproduct that I can be proud of.
    In a way, what determines a Changemaker is not so much about the end result of what you were able to change or influence. In my own conceptual definition, being a Changemaker is precisely that – “BEING” a Changemaker – meaning, it’s always in a present progressive form, a continuation, and it’s more so about the process and the action of making change as opposed to the degree or scale of which I was able to change something.

    So, am I a Changemaker? Yes, I believe so.
    Is it still a little awkward to say it out loud? Yes, I think so.
    Should it be awkward to say it out loud? No, it shouldn’t.

    Are YOU a Changemaker? Yes, you probably are.

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    1. tiffany ku

      Thanks for your very honest and spot on sharing! I really resonate with your statement that the term “changemaker” shouldn’t have any formalities to it. Rather, anyone that has a vision of what the world could be and should be can in fact be one! This is something that I hold dearly in my preparation for my lessons and when I think of new projects or assignments. How do I teach kids to be changemakers in their own communities and circles through the content or curriculum?

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  20. Neal Donegani

    Well, I could simply say that I am better at surfing the wave, rather than creating it. However, in just passing off the main question of “are you a changemaker?” like this would be remiss to ignore that each person brings their unique style when riding waves, and that this style comes from how the rider innovates when riding waves. Further, every wave is different, even at the same surf break: tides, winds, currents, swell, bathymetry, crowds all change how a wave breaks. Therefore, a rider has to improvise and offer what they can at a break on any given day. Rather than call myself a changemaker I feel that I actively make changes with what is presented to me. So, I’m not making a change as a pioneer storming for the horizon; instead I make changes that work best for me in the now. But perhaps in doing so I am a changemaker, as my changes may eke their way into something more mainstream. Simply, I like to see something, add my style and experience, create something new that I can call my own, and offer it to others to use and improve, just as you would at a surf break.

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  21. RyanSilverthorne

    This question is a very interesting one as I realize that my position as a principal is largely due to my passion to be a better teacher and more specifically, my passion for educational technology.

    Literally what drove me in this profession was my desire to “change things.” I didn’t want to be a teacher unless I could be one that could have a profound positive impact. As I progressed I became obsessed with all things education and was known for constantly proposing ideas and starting initiatives. One of these was pushing for a more vertically aligned approach to literacy. At the time I was working in the middle east for a BC Offshore school and professional development was scarce. When I contacted the publisher of the literacy program we were using to see if she had any seminars in the summer (at that time most BC Offshore teachers returned to BC in the summer months) the reply was “no, but if you wanted to organize something I’d be happy to do one.” From there I started putting on events and eventually started my own small company to promote educational events during the summer.

    As the years passed I continued to expand my scope beyond the four walls of my classroom, seeking to work with other educators to improve practice. Technology integration was one of my greatest passions and my first formal leadership position was based on this as the “Educational Technology Coordinator” of my school. This eventually led to other administrative opportunities in Korea and now in Thailand.

    While I never sought out to be a leader I believe this naturally occurs when you have passion and ambition for something. I sought to become the best educator I am capable of being and this is a pursuit of mastery. My passion for leadership did not prompt me to pursue educational technology. My passion for educational technology and progress is what prompted me to become a leader.

    In the future my hope is that I will be able to be a voice for positive change and student centred learning in the years to come. In my transition back to British Columbia I endeavour to continue to engage and push for growth and mindfulness. My career has largely been defined by my desire to be as progressive as possible and to truly be satisfied I do not see this changing.

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  22. raafa abdulla

    I was thinking about this almost every day if I am a change maker. I start listing all my major decisions and whether they anded up to be the right one or not. I dont like to be outside my comfort zone and I would always try to keep the same routines, yet I have been always forced to be challenged in deciding a major change in my life. I think it will be easier to be single and with no family who will be affected by your decisions. I think if we dont choose to change eventually we will be forced to change and to choose a pathway that we may want initially.
    I ma lucky that I am forced to choose major decisions. I am moved to Dubai without any potential job just after declining an offer to teach in London/UK. I moved back to Canada again unemployed after declining an offer in Dubai. In both cases, I am glade that I follow my illogical decisions because I ended up in a better place.
    I am thinking now maybe “teaching” just help me making decision without logical backup. We simply know that there is a good chance a method to which we are changing, may work so we just move with that. Eventually, when we customized our teaching style to maximize students’ learning, I think it a major change has been created.
    So Am I a change maker? I will say yes! We change to optimize our life. If we don’t want to, life will find a way to force you :).

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  23. Tamara

    The Urban Dictionary defines a changemaker as “a person who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen… [they] are defined by their ability to take ideas into action…”. By this definition, I would say yes I am a changemaker in my field (although on a small scale). As the tech coach of my school, my job is to take a piece of technology (the idea) and put it in action in the classroom. I gather and seek out the technologies (or ideas) to best use and share with my colleagues. I try to promote positive change in teachers’ classrooms through various adaptive, assistive, and other educational technologies and support teachers as they learn to better support their students and meet their various needs.

    I entered the MET program as I have a passion for educational technologies and my ultimate goal is to be working as an emerging technology leader in my district.

    For me, it started with my motivation to level the playing field for the learners who were behind and now it’s transformed into so much more. Not only now are emerging technologies for those who have special needs or are below grade level, they are about providing voice and choice for all students, delivering engaging and motivating lessons, and unleashing students’ hidden potential by allowing them to shine using platforms, tools, and technologies they are familiar with. So if being a changemaker means fighting for all students to have the best/ most successful educational experience possible, then yes, I am proud to be one 🙂

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  24. Josh Wood

    Only a couple years ago I don’t know if I would have said “yes” to the question “are you a changemaker?” As I dove into the world of educational technology as an inexperienced Ed Tech coach, I often felt imposter syndrome. I’d ask if I had the skill set to fully serve my community, or wonder if my work had a significant impact on teaching and learning. Through this experience I have learned that I am in fact a changemaker, and so are all educators in some way. When I hear the word changemaker, my initial reaction is that this change must be profound, and have significant value to a large number of people. I have now shifted my thinking to understand the idea of creating positive change can happen with actions or innovations on a smaller scale.

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    1. analesa crooks-eadie

      Hi Josh,

      Your post resonates with me!

      I personally believe once you are a constructivist teacher you are a change maker. I also reflect on my personal contributions over the years catering to diversity in learning and the truth is, not every child is able to process what is being taught due to developmental disabilities and/or have access to many resources. For situations like these teachers provide support and offer personalized learning instructions for all students to ensure equity in learning.

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  25. paul johnson

    I think that I am a change maker! Maybe that is too bold, but the work I do for my district has had major impact on practice, policy, and culture. Creating new reporting and assessment systems, training and guidance for implementation of technology use, creative use of technologies to facilitate interaction between systems to enhance data access and use, conference presentations which have cued others to utilize existing tools in new ways; these are a few things that my work has included that I feel have had some ‘change making’ capacity. Calling myself a “change maker” does seem too bold though. Perhaps the great work my colleagues do and the openness they have for my ideas and methods are really the behaviors which have created the aforementioned change. Have I been part of change? Absolutely. Am I a change maker? I am not sure.

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    1. markmpepe

      Hi Paul,

      I caught your point about creating new reporting and assessment systems. I’ve been using Google Classroom to send and receive work, and as my grade book. It then gets cumbersome when I have to report out. I’m working at two schools, at one I have these Word document templates, and at the other I send a spreadsheet to the teachers. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’d like to hear what you’re doing.


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      1. paul johnson

        The logistics of information can get complicated quickly. Classic systems integration issues. This is where we have utilized automation between systems and the provincial SIS to overcome some of the building-to-building barriers that exist. the real kicker is that the provincial SIS does not have any data import capabilities which is major hold back; however, this is where creativity and utilization of tools developed by other industries comes into play. We lean heavily on unit testing strategies to overcome the data transfer limitations that the provincial system provides. So, what this means is that teachers work where they work but final marks and comments are automatically transferred to the provincial system and included in the generated report cards. I know this is not a straightforward answer, but the solutions often exist in the availability and realities of our work environments. I know Google has some pretty good export capabilities, that tied with a mailer program could potentially relieve the complexities you face with distribution of information. Use of Microsoft’s power automate tools combined with a .csv of data from Google may also provide a solution in that the forms and spreadsheet creations could be automatically created and distributed.

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        1. markmpepe

          I agree, you are a changemaker! By “provincial SIS,” do you mean myEdBC? I’m going to dig a little deeper with Google’s export capabilities, and I just looked up Microsoft Power Automate too. Thanks for sharing, I really appreciate it.

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  26. Adrian

    Am I a changemaker?

    That’s a tough question to pull apart. I can certainly say that I love exploring new and interesting ideas – if it’s been done before, I have less of a drive to personally do it. So with the regards to creativity and lateral thinking, I would say yes. However, when it comes to influence I would say no. Like Josh wrote above, I feel imposter syndrome, especially by being young and at times working with individuals who hold doctorates or other high status. Maybe that boils down to a lack of confidence or that ‘entrepreneurial grit’? As teachers however, we are leaders, and translating that skill set into becoming more of a changemaker is not too far of a leap!

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  27. markmpepe

    For changemakers and innovators I think the likes of Jack Dorsey, Jack Ma, and Whitney Wolfe Herd who brought great change in tech and business – if it wasn’t for Whitney Wolfe Herd, I would not have met my future wife! Though change and innovation doesn’t have to be at that elite tech CEO level but it can be at the grassroots level as well. If we master these learning technologies during our MET studies we can make life easier for ourselves, our coworkers, and our students. We might take for granted our technological skills but if we can pass it on that’s bringing about change.

    One direction I am heading, and enjoy, is doing real time assessment. I use Google Classroom for my Music and French classes. I post my assignment for class, in Docs or Slides, then teach my students the lesson, and give direction for the activity. I then look through their work, and assess, while they’re working. For example, I could notice that my students are not preceding their nouns with an article in French, or they’re going in the wrong direction with their Instrument of the Orchestra project. I can nudge them the right direction so they can fix errors, and not prolong that wrong path for the duration of the assignment. So far, this style has been working for both my students and myself. Furthermore, this also reduces the amount of time that I’m assessing out of class hours.

    Google Classroom allows me to give instant feedback rather than sitting on a pile of papers to sort through and mark. The goal is for less class time used for going through work sheets and making corrections, and more time for activities and learning of substance. That way, when teachers and students go home, we have that precious amount of time to work on and do what we want.

    I guess, in my example, it’s not changing the technology itself, because I feel I’m using it to it’s potential, and may even have room for more. But using technology efficiently to make life easier, and hopefully, pass it on to my students and coworkers to bring about a modest amount of change.

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  28. Joyce Lo

    I believe that I am a changemaker, but I have not always been this way. I grew up being a follower which helped me become flexible, patient, and cooperative. Later in life, I became a teacher with the belief that everyone can make a difference. After becoming a special-needs parent, that really changed me and I took on the role as advocate for my son which ultimately led me into this MET program. MET is indeed a “great launchpad”. I aspire to take educational technology and converge it with assistive technology making learning accessible to all students. This is not an easy task as there is push back for many reasons among educators, administrators, and parents when the word “technology” is brought up.

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  29. shaun holma

    I am inclined to think there are no normal or abnormal ways of reacting to change. I view change as more of an attitudinal element and one that reflects who I am. My attitude is in this sense is to embrace change by recognizing the things that must be let go of and making room for innovation and new beginnings. My path of learning thereby is not so much understood in terms of mastering the potential of learning technologies but more in line with adopting strategies that facilitate positive digital learning experiences. For this to happen, I must be open in my expectations, aware of my surroundings, and creative in my approach.

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  30. Simin Rupa

    As I read through these posts, I find many incredible reasons, however, I don’t see my reason for joining the MET or my goals. When COVID hit, I saw the large divide between established educators’ abilities to teach online and mine. I always knew I loved incorporating tech into my teaching, keeping up with new apps/websites and tools. I assumed others were at least aware. I was wrong. When my district closed, I was flooded with “help me” emails. That’s when I knew. I want to be the changemaker that guides current educators through the changing field of technology. The one they can access every day, for any small thing. A one-time PD session 2 years ago is not enough. A changemaker seems bold, perhaps that’s what it is, wanting to teach the teachers -an impossible group by all means-, but I truly believe it is the only way forward. Technology moves too fast for those who are not keen to follow, they need a guide to test drive/solve/simplify the tools. That is my goal and my reason for joining MET.

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    1. Joyce Lo

      I agree with you on this: “Technology moves too fast for those who are not keen to follow, they need a guide to test drive/solve/simplify the tools.” 21st century teachers will need to be open to change and learn new technology because I believe that is where we are headed.

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  31. Lyon Tsang

    My boss likes to say that our team is “structured for change”.

    I didn’t understand it entirely when I first started my job, but it makes a lot of sense now that I’m almost 2 years in…

    When you work at a university long enough supporting instructors and their courses, you realize that the schedule is quite relentless. A term passes by in the blink of an eye — you get a couple quiet days off. and then you’re onto the next one.

    A lot can happen in the day to day. In the past year for example, we’ve had to deal with with (1) software being replaced or even banned, (2) emerging issues with overseas access to course content, and of course (3) the overnight shift to remote learning because of the pandemic.

    It’s helpful for me if I think about change as a constant in the business — the job is to be prepared, and maybe even embrace it!

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    1. shaun holma

      Lyon, I agree with your sentiment: after all, as the adage goes, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Nevertheless, how do you go about embracing something that hasn’t happened yet? To me, I look at change as a situation, say moving to a new car. On the other hand, I look at transition as a process. Transition, in this respect, is where most people struggle as it’s a matter of learning how to use the change.

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  32. menghan guo

    When I think about the answer to this question, I spend several minutes going through the past five years in my mind. I cannot say I am a changemaker, but I am trying my best to be a changemaker. Now I am an online math teacher, and I love teaching. At the same time, I also hope I can make some changes in the Chinese education industry. Compared with Canadian and American education, Chinese education focuses on learning results more than the process. Students have to study hard to get better scores to get the chance which might change their life. However, this mode of pursuing only scores will easy to make people become a machine that only learns and obliterate their original personal characteristics and the passion for learning. It is understandable for a developing country with a huge population, and I still want to make some efforts to balance this phenomenon. That is why I choose MET and this course. I want to learn more in this field and find or create a more suitable technology for current students to improve this phenomenon if possible.
    I know this will be a long and challenging road, but as long as there are enough changemakers, it will definitely be changed.

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    1. Philip Ihewuokwu

      Hi Menghan,

      I think you have made a good step by recognizing the difference in the educational process from your traditional approach and the North American system. Like most comparable systems, there are always upsides and downsides, and creating a balance would ensure the benefits of both educational systems is maximized. I wonder if you have a chance to think about how creating a balance of both education systems would be beneficial to students with a Chinese educational system.

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      1. Menghan Guo

        Hi Philip,

        Thank you for your valuable suggestion. At present, Chinese education has begun to change and improve. In recent years, there are some good educational technologies trying to help students in different and innovative ways. As you mentioned, I have been looking for the balance of both education systems and trying to bring some teaching models from North America into my own class. For example, I often adopt group study and presentations as the central part of my class. However, I haven’t really found this balance point yet. I hope that after I finish this course, I can go further in finding it.

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  33. Connie Sim

    I would say, “Well, it depends”. With my students, more often than not, I am open-minded, creative and resourceful in the classroom. When we transitioned online, the instructors faced many setbacks. However, instead of complaining and whining, a few colleagues and I got together and worked on digitalizing our paper-based learning material. Within the bigger context, however, I am usually hesitant to challenge the status quo. Unfortunately, unquestioning the status quo will create a ripple effect of not being able to observe significant changes and leads to the absence of great innovation and substantial achievements.

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  34. Wynn Zhang

    While it’s difficult to label myself as an innovator, I do find it easy to acknowledge my passion for innovations and for innovating. As someone who loves to create and have lots of ideas, I find that the great chasm between enjoying and creating new ideas to be the actions that’s associated with the process. As a teacher that loves games, I often find myself looking at possibilities to create games that can carry out the curricular content in a different way. However, the innovation seems self-contained in this respect as my ideas cannot be pioneer one’s future, merely just create an alternative way for me to bring my own passions into what I do. Thus, I find that my intended trajectory is to look at my own passion for innovation and take it further so that I can call myself an innovator by taking action rather than self-containing my ideas.

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  35. Aaron Chan

    I’m going to try playing devil’s advocate. The world definitely needs changemakers, but generally speaking, no one wants to be “that guy”. Up until the point that a changemaker produces proven positive results, the changemaker is seen as a disturbance to the status quo, especially if the status quo isn’t necessarily broken. And how often is change immediately successful? Can an instructor really use their students as guinea pigs, like a stand-up comic trying out a new bit? Why are you trying to reinvent the wheel? Why not stick to what works? I’ve been teaching for over 15 years, and this is your first semester – what do you know? (yea I’ve had a rough week). Do we need changemakers? Certainly. Do I want to be a changemaker? I think I rather have friends.

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    1. brendan stanford

      I very much identified with your sentiment and Dr Roy’s notion of “surfing the wave rather than creating it”. I became a parent this summer, and at this point, I’d rather have a life (I.e. quality time with friends and family) than pioneer a novel product or technology, though I think it behoves modern educators to stay on top of novel trends in educational technology, and this is what I’m trying to do in the MET.

      I recall reading about the concept of “pillars” to build a life around in Stephen Covey’s “7 habits of highly effective people” (if I’m wrong please correct me!), and in short, the idea is that to build a life effectively, one must not overinvest your identity in any one pillar (aspect) because when its stability is threatened, your entire identity is as well. I find that building a good rapport with students and motivating them to develop their skills is incredibly fulfilling, but so too (even more so) is doing the same with my child, and the particular format that is achieved is less important to me than having a breadth of experiences to pull from so that I can be effective in either role, hence 3rd pillar: ongoing personal education and self-development. Together, these form the “tripod” of my life and much as I occasionally do miss days of yore when my social life was a bit richer than a bi-weekly games night or I wish I had time to indulge my maker projects further than a working prototype, I don’t wish to disrupt the balance of those 3 other pillars.

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    2. Hayley Mooney

      Aaron, thanks for the post. I fully understand and agree that teachers are busy enough, and that you definitely do deserve a life outside of the classroom. What I have trouble with, is that the “status quo isn’t necessarily broken”. Of course, I come from the perspective of someone who is not a teacher, so with your 15 years of experience I am certain you will take this with a grain of salt…BUT: I am currently sitting here attempting to work while my 3 children are homeschooling. Obviously, there are huge flaws with online public schooling due to its rapid adoption and the propensity of provincial governments to give no notice to teachers before launching schools into online learning, but there are also problems that have nothing to do with online learning. I am watching kids who are ahead languish in boredom because they have no way of advancing at a different pace (and those who are behind get lost in confusion). I’m seeing children sit through lecture after lecture, eyes glazed. Everything I have read in previous MET courses talked about how we need to move away from classical teacher-led learning, and I have seen some examples of this, but we are definitely not fully there yet. I realize that most of the changes talked about in the literature would take massive amounts of your time to implement, but I need to remain hopeful that at least some changes will take place slowly, over time, so that my kids are educated to be thinkers and designers in the job market of the future, rather than in the factory lines of the past. Perhaps there is some middle ground here?

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    3. Ally Darling-Beaudoin

      Aaron, I love the discourse you have created here! I am definitely “that guy” in just about every environment that I am professionally a part of… every activity begins with a question of “could we be doing this better/smarter/faster?” I agree, some things do not require overhaul, and often that is the answer to my inquiry – but at least the question got asked! From my perspective, I am in a senior role responsible for my team, much like an educator is responsible for their students, and I consider it my job to optimize that environment. And personally, I would prefer to learn from a teacher that has spent 15 years actively trying to learn, challenge themselves, and get better, than one who has washed their hands of change. That said, I’d still probably take the 15-year expert than the wide-eyed 1st-semester prof (but probably only for a few years).

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    4. Kyle

      The internal struggle is real with this one. Often times, especially as my province flip-flops between online and virtual learning, I debate about trying new, innovative things versus just sticking to “what works”. However many times I have this internal debate myself, the needs of the 21st century student are far different than what the current system is structured to support and we need to make that idea a realization in our practices and tools. Even if it’s a small action research, or a contribution to other peoples research, all of this can go a long way toward shifting the landscape to one that is more in line with the times. From this opening phrase, perhaps we could shift the perception that if we chose to be change-makers, it doesn’t have to be 100% of the time. Even the idea that we want to be a change-maker, or associate with them, lends itself to the ideology of change, and that is certainly better than a stagnant mindset, would you agree?

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    5. John Wu

      Great commentary and ideas from everyone! Funny enough this is a common interview question which many NMC’s ask their candidates. I agree that none of us wants to be THAT person who always rocks the boat or demands things be changed frequently. On the other hand, if something goes wrong, others might criticize you for not reacting and adapting fast enough so it’s really quite a tricky situation that’s not clear cut.

      I think it’s more accurate to say that one needs to understand (i) the current situation (ii) whether the change will affect your interests/if any at all (iii) are there opportunities in change and (iv) do you have the resources to make that change. Citing online education as an example, most (if not all) teachers were forced to adapt to a new teaching environment last year as school boards/institutions mandated the change. Is it change? Of course. Was everyone prepared or willing to accept it? No. In this situation there is no immediate threat of being unable to get board with change but viewing things on a long term perspective, I would assume in the future there will be a general expectation that a teacher/educator would have the basic skills/knowledge to teach online and interact with the technology that’s available. Change in this situation is gradual and adapting to it will only expand/retain your social circle

      Imagine being an educator who reuses the same syllabus for over a decade, students probably wouldn’t respond too well and would question “why aren’t you willing to change?”

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  36. JacksonLiang

    I wouldn’t consider myself a changemaker. I have always considered myself as a secondary support character or second-in-command (both in real life and in game). I have tried many different ventures with a number of spectacular failures. My intended trajectory is to create my dream classroom that defies all school funding policies: a class set of gaming computers, an offline space, a cafe space and more. I would like to make a future of learning that can help students make meaning out of the things they already find interesting, except the HOW question is something I still have to learn to navigate and find a solution for.

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  37. Hayley Mooney

    I believe that making change can sometimes be about the little things, and with that, I enjoy jumping in and creating small improvements to existing systems. I say this because I spent 15 years in the military where “Making Change!” was an important aspect of your end-of-year evaluation. You were not seen as a successful leader unless you somehow brought about major, Earth-shattering CHANGE. What this meant was that every new boss would trigger a complete overhaul of the organization every 2 years or so. The lower ranks would just be settling into the previous system and it would finally be living up to the potential of its original design and we would end up starting over from scratch. I feel like the education system can likely find parallels with this story- a curriculum change is implemented or a new technology is introduced, everything is a mess for a while, and so we scramble to change it yet again before we have a chance to reap the benefits of the first change.
    This is sounding like I am not enthusiastic about innovations, which isn’t true- I love dreaming up new ideas, and supporting changes to systems that are broken or out of date. I have just found in the past that I personally enjoyed making change in small ways; seeing issues and tweaking them so that they are better. As I mentioned, there is something to be said for the little things! However, maybe this course will inspire me to break out of my comfort zone this term and aspire to go bigger…

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    1. Justine

      Hi Hayley,

      I understand what you are saying! Big changes can be challenging to deal with. I think the fact that you are a part of the MET program means that you are an innovator and change-leader. The reason educators pursue further education is to change their current practice. There is definitely a difference between small changes and big. When we try to make change in our own lives, I think this is on a smaller, but still impactful scale. However, when there are changes to the system, these can be big and overwhelming. Do I think the end result of these bigger changes is positive? Yes. Like you said, when the curriculum was changed in BC, this was a huge change to the norm. Were educators seen as innovators? I think so – at least those who were brave enough to step in and start making the changes to their practice. It definitely took time to get used to the new curriculum, but I don’t meet many educators who have negative things to say about the new curriculum any more. It was a change for the better, and throughout that period of change, we were all innovators/change-makers.

      My hope with the MET program is to be a leader of change in the district I work in. For the last two years, I was vice principal. This job opportunity provided me the chance to motivate change in my colleagues and it was eye-opening and inspiring. I want to continue to do this work, but I want to bring more change in the technological realm of teaching. There are many educators who are not comfortable with technology, however, from my experience, the more they learn, the more willing they are to try new technologies in their practice. So, I hope to be a leader in technology for our district. Let’s see how this goes….

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  38. hasssae1

    All educators are all changemakers. Being an educator is building a future that is equitable and resilient. Having said this, some changemakers are definitely pioneers (Paulo Freire, Nelson Mandela, etc..) who set the foundation and teach us change-making skills. I have studied project management and learnt to be a leader, but also learned how to be a follower when required. Nevertheless, I have always tried to be a changemaker. Being a project manager has taught me to be analytical, result-oriented, but also process-oriented at times. Being in leadership positions has prepared me to educate myself to embrace change, and hopefully make informed decisions to create positive change, wherever I am.

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  39. cindy keung

    Am I changemaker? I try to be and need to be when project-managing curriculum development. Am I an entrepreuner? Even though I encompass some entrepreneurial traits, I am very hesitant to call myself one mainly because I am not directly in the industry.

    I’m a changemaker in that I want bring out the potential in people in order to help them use their gifts, hone their skills to live a more fulfilling, rewarding life. If I was to focus on a more specific context, I am a change maker in supporting teachers in their pedagogical training and their use of technology. There is a demographic of teachers who tend to fall behind and be fearful of even touching technology, who won’t learn it out of fear. Therefore, they do not implement it in their classroom and this makes me sad.

    If I was to apply being an entrepreneur to my immediate field, what I’d like to do cannot be currently implemented in its entirety and full form. This would be a “virtual world” where your room can be transformed into a virtual classroom, where other classmates join and you can attend class while in your home or where you may find yourself. I think I’d like to chat with Elon Musk about his AI projects and CEO Zuckerberg, to discuss his “Metaverse”. In the upcoming “fourth wave” of technology (Michio Kaku), the powers that be will make virtual worlds an every day reality.

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  40. John Wu

    I would consider myself as a person who welcomes changes in the workplace but on the opposite spectrum, would prefer minimal changes in my private life. Obviously too much and frequent changes are unhealthy as it can be rather disrupting but to answer the question of whether I consider myself as a change maker will ultimately depend on the context. If change is deemed necessary or if a work process has proven to be ineffective then yes, I would gladly step into the mindset of a change maker and come up with solutions to implement changes. There have been many instances where I made changes at work simply because I felt the current policies were not aligned with the current environment or added unnecessary workload which could be streamlined with change.

    While the old saying of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is somewhat true, I’m not the type to suggest change simply because I’m bored or feel the need to follow a particular trend. Change should be carefully considered based on each individual and organization. That being said, technology is probably one area (in both my work/private life) which undergoes the most frequent change.

    Changing career fields might also be a daunting thought for most people but strangely enough, I find the experience to be quite refreshing as there are many transferable/interchangeable and unique skills which can be acquired in different industry sectors. For example, I started off in the Auditing/Finance field then moved to Marketing followed by Education/Corporate Training and Media/Broadcasting. While the nature of each job can be vastly different, change in this situation allows me to view work processes from different perspectives and actually increases the level of creative, critical thinking and motivational desire to improve yourself.

    As an entrepreneur and educator, I tend to use the following 2 metaphors by Kurt Lewin in my classes to highlight how organizations should view change. The first one being “Calm Waters” refers to organizations that go through change processes with good planning and support. Ideally change should occur this way as I would personally feel more comfortable when change can be planned, anticipated and progressively implemented. The other view is “White Waters Rapids” where it’s more reactionary in nature as the lack of environmental stability and predictability forces organizations to adapt in order to survive. I would not prefer to be a change maker under these circumstances as there’s simply an increased chance of making decisional errors or simply misreading the change.

    That being said, I definitely believe that change is a valuable asset in the field of Education as developments are moving at a pace where learner/student needs are diverse, evolving and global

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  41. Terri-Lynn McLeod

    Am I a changemaker? This question was not so easy to answer. I think that I can be a changemaker when I believe that change is truly important and will make a positive difference. I don’t believe in changing things without just cause. I have worked for a number of different administrators over my teaching career and have seen too many of them come into the school and start changing things, just to make their mark on the school, without ever observing the school to see if there was anything that should actually be changed. All this did was cause staff to be anywhere from annoyed to angry. This is not what a changemaker should be.
    Through the MET program, I am gaining skills and knowledge to make changes to improve my own practice in the classroom and on a larger scale, change the way technology is chosen and implemented in my school district. Also, I am gaining knowledge I can use to oppose those changes by the school district I know will not be beneficial.

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  42. alexis reeves

    I think I am a changemaker however, I haven’t become one yet in the field of educational technology. I say this with confidence because I have often led my own path in life and not been afraid of taking on new challenges of for example, navigating my way through living in different countries without knowing a soul to begin with, voicing my opinion when it differs from others (with a gentle approach), and going back to school at middle age as I am doing now! I believe many people are changemakers it just depends what they intend to do with those creative skills, out-of-the-box thinking, attention to detail and motivated mind-sets. Changemakers can take different paths, mine led me here. I would love to finish up my course here and form good relationships with my peers in the course and perhaps collaborate on something within the educational technology field in the future. Either that or take the skills learnt and apply them immediately to creating something of value within the ed-tech world or join a creative team with the same mind-set and motivation to do something meanful within the field and give back to the education world I have worked within for all these year.

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  43. Kyle

    What makes the term “changemaker” interesting in education, is the deliberation that comes from within the education field about what change actually is. Small adjustments like the inclusion of various storytelling tools for example might be change to some, but to others a curriculum over-haul might be change. So where in that spectrum do we fit? I think those that are enrolled in further education or professional development are very likely changemakers, whether they see themselves that way or not, if only because they are taking on the idea of learning new things with the very likely occurrence that they will actually use some of that new knowledge. I certainly fit into this category.
    When I think about change in the education field I don’t think much has changed. In fact, I think it’s been rather stagnant when you compare it with other industries. Perhaps the stagnant behaviour is due to the constant deliberation about what to fund or change next, or the limited opportunity to pay for projects because public education systems are tapped out for funding.

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  44. mstr

    A “changemaker” can mean many different things. In education, I strongly believe that teachers are changemakers! To me the definition involves making a difference in a student’s life. Whether you are the one person who the student can trust, or the one who gave them lunch when they didn’t have anything to eat, or the one that finally made algebra make sense. As many of you said it is indeed many little things that create change. I think changemakers have passion, not only for their subject areas but also for the learning and overall growth of their students. These people are not worried about imparting wisdom from the teacher to the students, but rather helping new generations gain the skills and problem solving techniques necessary to become well-rounded global citizens – that creates lasting and positive change!

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  45. mary hui

    So, I had to search online to see what the definition of what a change maker is. According to Ashoka: https://www.ashoka.org/el/collection/changemaker-skills, the definition of a changemaker is someone who is taking creative action to solve a social problem, and changemaking involves empathy, thoughtfulness, creativity, taking action and collaborative leadership.

    Upon reflecting on this, I would say that I am not a changemaker. I appreciate when everything is aligned and in order and when that order is disrupted, I will do my very best to put everything back in order. This trait comes from my role as an analyst. For example, if I missed a semi-colon in a code, the whole software I am developing or maintaining… breaks! I have to go into the details of the code to rectify the problem or else I will receive a mountain of tickets / complaints that the software is down. I do not find this part to be creative, and in fact, the solution to some of these technical issues are quite repetitive. I also find this in my design work. I find that nothing is truly new anymore and many of the design solutions are already found. For example, for graphic design – there should be enough white space, I need to kern the font so it can be aesthetically pleasing, etc. While there is no one size fits all solution, there are certainly solutions out in Google that people already found to help with the issue. However, I find that I have to think of new ways to communicate my ideas when I’m in the realm of ed-tech since each student is so unique. It will be interesting to see how I can evolve my thinking process as I progress through the course.

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  46. alexei peter dos santos

    I really don’t know if I can consider myself a changemaker. Perhaps, a changemaker personality is an engine for our achievements in our purpose. There is a pendulum moving from the comfort zone to the anxiety of the new learnings. The changemaker’s strength moves the pendulum, and it takes a lot of experience and wisdom to enjoy the movement.

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  47. Kendal

    I couldn’t help it, and had to do a quick web search for “famous changemakers.” Serena Williams, Bill Gates, and Greta Thunberg were among the many deserving people listed, and it got me thinking. I wouldn’t consider myself a changemaker per se, although I do feel like I have maybe successfully mustered up some stirs or tweaks in the infrastructure. However, behind every changemaker, there is an army of people supporting that changemaker in their process and their journey.. and I think that’s where I fit in. Within each organization I have been part of, I have found the greatest value in building relationships, trust, and positive environments where those around me feel supported and inspired to do what they do best. In my current work, I support incredible people that I really do feel are making strides in changing the way we think about landscape-scale conservation and land stewardship, and that’s a pretty groovy place to be. So for everyone out there who wouldn’t consider themselves a “real” changemaker, know this: that your role is vital to the making of change.

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    1. alexei Peter Dos Santos

      Hi Kendal,

      These famous changemakers are really inspiring a significant number of people and performed remarkable deeds in their careers. As you precisely wrote at the end of the paragraph, “your role is vital to the making of change.” many of us can work as anonymous changemakers, sowing, fertilizing, and watering seeds that possibly will change the environment and ourselves while flourishing. It has been an adventure to modify how people interact in the health field using digital tools. Intriguingly, all these movements started before the pandemic and forced social distance worked as a catalyst, demonstrating how distant health professionals and patients were, even though both could share the same space. Digital tools should help to change the mindset, allowing people tounderstand and accept each other.

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      1. Kendal

        Thanks for the response, Alexei. I like your term “anonymous changemakers” (those of us hiding out in the weeds :)). The pandemic has certainly made things move faster in terms of transitioning to digital spaces – your example of the healthcare field is interesting, and I agree that digital tools will help people find connection in an often isolating interaction.

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  48. SeimeAdhmar

    Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus once said “ managers do things right but leaders do the right thing” (Leaders: strategies for taking charge, May 2007) I believe that, in order to be successful in the classroom, teachers have to be both; that is, teachers have to do things right and they also have to do the right thing. As a teacher, doing things right in the classroom has to do with creating quality and engaging lessons to energize the young brains; and doing the thing right means that teachers have to be leaders in the classroom by inspiring the kids to become agent of change in their own right and their own way. I therefore see myself as a change maker and as someone who is focused on what will be gained rather than on what would be be lost as a result of change.

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  49. Jocelyn

    The word changemaker does not define me. However I would say I MAKE CHANGE to a smaller scale in the lives around me. As a mother and teacher, I hope to influence those whom I am fortunate enough to teach to possibly change their trajectory in life. In the entrepreneurial sense, I may lack the creativity and skills to design the latest learning technology but I DO have the power and privilege as an educator to make social change in the classroom by creating a positive learning environment and memorable experiences to shape the pioneers of the future! There are those that come up with the idea, I would be the one to execute and implement them. In terms of leadership, I hope to use my knowledge learned from the MET program to enhance and inform my pedagogy to the ever changing landscape of education that is becoming increasingly more digital and to share my new skills with my colleagues. But really, who knows what the future has in store for me? I would be open to taking on a new role, whether it be in consulting a new learning technology venture or another field- the fact is, I am open to change and what the future holds!

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  50. joseph villella

    I am going to approach the question of being a changemaker in the literal sense of embracing technological advances and changes. Embracing new technologies has the ability to change how we teach and how our students learn. As educators in charge of guiding students through their learning journey, we have the ability to be changemakers everyday in many different ways. Looking at technology specifically, I sometimes find myself too willing to embrace new technology to the point it can be a negative experience for myself and my students. Although I wish to think differently, I mostly am excited to embrace new technologies since I love seeing the cool new features and the *idea* of how they will change how we function. I sometimes feel like I get caught up in this idea instead of looking at a piece of technology in a more practical sense.

    A recent example of this would be the new iPhone 14 Pro. Sure, the new iPhone has the dynamic island that looks super cool and Apple says it can change how we all interact with our phones… but will it actually? Through this example, I feel like I mostly embrace new technologies for the wrong reasons! If I truly wanted to be a changemaker in my classroom, I would embrace technologies that ensure student improvement and would also be accessible to all students. I have slowly been working on this myself to ensure that I am introducing new apps and technologies for the right reasons. Due to this, I do not find myself to be a changemaker, but I do feel like I can work on embracing changes for the right reasons.

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    1. Kendal

      Hi Joseph – I appreciate your candid and honest response to this question. Before you get too hard on yourself, though, I think that all changemakers need to have a this sense of curiosity and risk-taking that you are describing. Every trial-run of a new technology is not going to end in “success” (e.g., improving student experience), but having the courage to try new things is so important too! I am sure that your excitement and inquisitive nature rubs off on your students as well, which is also positive. Always a balance though, and sounds like you are proactively working towards that.

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  51. Liana

    Although I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means, I do feel that I would be characterized as a changemaker by my colleagues, family and friends. Changemakers must be willing to take risks, try new things and recognize that mistakes are not a sign of failure, but rather are opportunities for learning and adapting. When I saw a need for a better Technology program at my current elementary school about 10 years ago, I approached my administrator with some of my ideas. After our meeting, he created a Technology specialist teacher position for the following school year and allowed me the opportunity to build a much needed Tech program. It took me a few years, more meetings and access to fundraising dollars to achieve my goals, and I am very proud of how far our school’s Technology (ADST) program and staff support has come. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, our school was able to seamlessly transition to an online learning format due to the staff and student skillset that expanded over the years. We were also able to bring the school community together in positive ways by being creative through entertaining virtual activities and school-made movies. There is definitely still room to grow and improve and the evolution of our program will be endless with the incessant new technologies being introduced to the EdTech space. I am constantly on the search for new things, whether it be new tools to try in my Technology & Music classes or new ways of doing something, and I am fortunate to have new staff members join our school with unique skillsets to improve our program.

    I often joke that I attribute my need to acquire knowledge and my need for constant change to being a Sagittarius of the Zodiac, and although I say it lightheartedly, there is something to be said about the character traits of creativity, curiosity, passion, adaptability and adventurous that identify me as the risk taker of the Zodiac. Changemakers must be risk takers. Although I do not like to make mistakes or fail at introducing a new tool to my students, it is something I am very accepting of. I feel that being honest and open with them is key in exploring new tools in the Ed Tech space. I tell my students straight out that we are trying something new today, and it might be amazing, and might work great or it could completely fail and we might have to adapt. Like I said, I am not an expert and don’t have all the answers or knowledge needed to be an expert in this space, but I am willing to learn something new, be creative in how I teach and be a supportive colleague to others who are exploring new learning technologies.

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    1. Kendal

      Hi Liana, thanks for sharing your post. Sounds like you have made an incredible contribution to your school! Super neat that you are now in the MET program, and are continuously motivated to learn more about enhancing learning through tech integration. Definitely a change maker!

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  52. trevor laughlin

    I’m not too sure the word changemaker would apply to me. I think I’ve often for the word s*** disturber more often than I have heard the word change maker. But I take both of those in stride.

    I have always been the type of person to look at a situation, ask about the proper method of doing something, and then summarily ask why are we doing this this way, and then wonder is there a better way to do it? Sometimes this has resulted in change. Sometimes this results in people frowning at me a lot. Here, I get the label radical or nonconformist.

    However, I have often been the type of person to mention in public out loud that the emperor is not wearing pants, or that certain actions taken by management without consultation with staff would often end in disaster. They say “we need this change”. I ask “why?”…. and they frown again….This then labels me as someone who does not want to go forward with change.

    So I find it quite interesting that I pretty much been labeled as both sides of the fence.

    Right now, looking at the way education is going and job insecurity and inflation and the fact that I do not know each and every term how many hours I will have assigned to me for teaching, I am looking for alternative employment for alternative sources of income. I have decided to go into consultancy, not because I necessarily hope to be a consultant ( though I do certainly hope that will lead to some income) but that consultancy will ultimately be a vehicle for me to move from one industry to the next. On top of that, I have discovered an untapped market that a trade name under my consultancy might do well in. Ad so I am taking the utterly terrifying step forward into this venture. I’m certainly not going to go in whole hog, but even those first few steps ( while maintaining a job and taking an online course) divide that limited time I have further and further while considering how much money I want to put into a venture and how much prophet that could potentially yield me. It is an educational venture, oddly enough, and that is what I hope to bring to my life… Positive change.

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  53. greg patton

    I remember participating at a Pro-D with other administrators (I’m a VP) in my district about bringing change. They said there are 3 types of people when it comes to change: those who dive right in, those who want change but take it a little more slowly, and those who are scared of change. As and administrator, I have found that I have had to navigate around all three of these and still keep pushing forward with change as it benefits learning and students’ growth. I would have said that I was a category 2 before becoming a VP, but now I find that I am firmly in the forefront, helping navigate change at my high school. And it’s messy! That is probably why I enjoy helping because it is never straight forward and thee are always challenges, but it is amazing to see the benefits for both staff and students. So I would say that I’m a change maker!

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  54. katherine muzyka

    I think that you were to ask those around me if I am a change-maker you would get very different answers depending on who you ask. My principal, who has the benefit of hearing my “have you thought of doing it this way…” or “Could we try this…” comments on a semi-regular basis, would probably say that I am. Others might give examples of when I have opposed change, preferring the status quo. I think that, like for most people, I have a passion for changing things in areas that I find are broken or ineffective, if I also have enough confidence and experience to feel like my contributions would be valuable. I like helping to change things at my school and several years ago worked with colleagues to redesign the intermediate fine arts program to better suit the changing needs and expectations of our students. I do sometimes run into obstacles, especially in education where the need for change is so great that the obstacle seems almost insurmountable. Ultimately, although teachers create change in their classrooms on a regular basis, it can feel like an uphill battle to create meaningful change to the system as a whole.

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  55. EmilyOlson

    I’m not a changemaker in terms of having invented anything cool. But I am a fairly adaptable person who is supportive of change, especially when something is not working! My work involves trialing different types of AT to support students. We often find that the thing that we thought was an obvious choice actually isn’t that great, and sometimes one or more of the options that didn’t initially seem like a good fit at all can be transformative for a student. Sometimes there will be resistance to trying certain tools and/or methods for a variety of reasons, and sometimes when I push to be open minded and try it out anyway it can pay off (and also sometimes fail, but that’s OK – there’s always something else to try). So I guess I am a change guider! In terms of changemaking in this course, I think it will be a great opportunity to consider applications and extensions of cutting edge AT. There are so many interesting things still in development phases (VR therapy! BCI!) as well as technologies that would be perfect in certain contexts if only they just had that one extra feature. So looking forward to developing some knowledge and skills to create (or guide) those further developments that would be empowering for my students.

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  56. Nick Robitaille

    I believe that I am a change maker, or at least striving to be a change maker in my own professional context. Being my junior school’s STEM teacher, I feel as though I am inherently a champion for change and innovation as my colleagues assume and expect that I am fairly up to date with the world of educational technologies. While this does lead to some added pressure, I am passionate about it so I think that this often severs as the added motivation I need to pursue professional development and/or simply explore new tools and applications. I would love to actually be involved in the development of some form of new educational technology at some point, whether from an ideation and creation standpoint or simply trialling a new concept with students for evaluation.

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    1. emma markoff

      Hi Nick,

      As a STEM teacher, especially for younger kids, you are absolutely a change maker – you are teaching the young ones about the world of innovation and the possibilities technology will bring us (and the direction their career will ultimately be taken in!).

      I think you are in the right program for developing some new form of educational technology… I reflect on the courses I’ve taken thus far and I have touched so many different technologies I wouldn’t have before, while having opportunities to create our own mini versions 🙂

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  57. emma markoff

    I don’t often think of myself as a “changemaker” in this field, to be brutally honest, and I do truly think of myself as someone who rides the wave (and uses it to my advantage!). For example, I am not in a professional position where I always have the opportunity to create technology/something similar myself, but I do have opportunities to use them and enhance them to adapt to changing needs.

    I do, though, want to use what I learn in the course to translate into practical leadership when using the innovations that are created by others. For example, I may not have an overly creative mind in terms of what I could do to be an initial change maker, but I do understand the needs of my audience and I believe that is a strength in that I can manipulate what others have created to best suit those needs. 🙂

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    1. benjamin coulombe

      Hi Emma,

      I would tend to agree with you. I rarely find myself on the cutting edge of new technologies or practices but do find that I am quick to adapt and apply the latest trends to my advantage. For example, it is no secret that AI has taken the recent spotlight in education. I was in no way aware of this coming change but find myself now looking for ways leverage this is my current position. That is… until the next wave of new tech hits education and I jump on that trend! It would be nice to be ahead of the curve at some point!

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  58. Lowell

    There is a maxim when camping to ‘leave the campsite better than when you got there’. This could be cleaning up the area of any garbage, building something of use, or leaving a pile of chopped wood for future campers. I like to apply this to my work as well. My goal is to leave Centennial College a better place than when I arrived. I do consider myself a changemaker, but I think that everyone is having an impact whether they realize it or not (positive, negative, or neutral which is the absolute worst). My role specifically deals with technology and accessibility, so my goal is to use technology to make education the most accessible it can be wherever I go. This means that with every project and small goal that is achieved the most important thing is the question at the end: what next?

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    1. Carlo Hojilla

      As someone who loves camping, I am thankful for this analogy. Change should not not just be about the end-product, but should also be done with one eye to what has been done and another to what is to come next.

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    2. Kelby Bacon

      This is great metaphor, ‘to leave the campsite better than when you got there’. This statement in connection to integrating new technology into education resonates with me also. I think that’s how I think of my impact on the school system, striving to leave my classroom and school better than when I started there. Trying my best to find relevant and impactful ways to use technology to teach my students.

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  59. Paul Brown

    I do feel that I am a ‘changemaker’ within the framework of the choices I make within my own classroom. I feel fortunate to have an administration that allows me freedom and flexibility in my teaching, as long as I am meeting the required curricular outcomes. I feel empowered to apply change to my class and do so in a way that I feel will best support students and open them up to different modalities of learning. For example, giving students choices to demonstrate their learning on projects in video, podcasts, websites etc. rather than a traditional PowerPoint. Part of the reason I am taking this program is to expand my changemaking abilities beyond my classroom and take on expanded roles – perhaps out of the classroom. I look forward to gaining more knowledge and skills in the field of educational technology to push me into an education technology company that I can take on a leadership roles or take an an entrepreneurial endeavour. Looking forward to what’s to come.

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    1. maurice broschart

      Hello Paul,
      I like how you mentioned “giving students choices to demonstrate their learning on projects”. I recently did this for a grade ten class, when a student said to me “I don’t like this project” (the creation of a futuristic building with existing technologies presented in French.) I think that the old me would have been annoyed and would have told him that he just had to do it, but I said “okay… what about…” and I offered him a different project where he could film a tour of his neighbourhood in French pointing out his favourite places. I think the student was quite surprised that I and hopefully other teachers, can be flexible with assessments. I mean why wouldn’t I be, especially if the learning outcomes / demonstrations of knowledge are the same or very similar?

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  60. Carlo Hojilla

    I am a bit mixed with the label of changemaker. On the one hand, I would like to think so, but then I butt up against the reality of my institutional setting (health professions education) where change is very difficult to implement. Being a junior staff, I am also very mindful of more senior staff and ‘teaching culture’ around me, which is not always welcoming of change. For example, getting a simple course website set up is an exercise in managing administrative red-tape!

    This is not a rant by the way 🙂 I have realized to let go of frustrations because change is inevitable, and with our current environment, change is happening at a much faster pace. So there is no time to rant at all. Instead, at least with education and EdTech, it is better to channel all my energy in understanding the nature of change and how to best prepare both my trainees and colleagues for such changes. Additionally, I hope to identify other changemakers in my institution/department, so that this can be more of a collaborative effort to advance health professions education.

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    1. Richard Derksen

      I can resonate with much of your post, Carlo. Having recently transitioned out of higher education and into the (non-clinical) healthcare sector, the administrative red tape and the complexity of working for a large scale organization I think has changed my perspective of what the label of changemaker may actually mean.

      Even a year ago, I may have answered a changemaker is someone who can leverage their skills and tools to demonstrate their ability to incite change amongst my colleagues and managers, but now I don’t think it’s always that simple or overt. Our environments often set the stage for what being an innovator looks like, and what I’ve found in my very short time working in healthcare is that while I can only control what I can control. It does not need to be an introduction of a new learning technology to demonstrate that I am a changemaker. Being openminded, considerate, and ready to engage in dialogue about educational practices in workplace settings can affect others attitudes, values and interests, and can ultimately have a bigger impact.

      So in that sense, I’m very much on board with you that identifying others in my department that are open to having those discussions is a good case to say yes, I am a changemaker.

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  61. maurice broschart

    Changemaker? Yes! I think so… If I were to compare myself now to the first year of teaching, the differences are enormous! I was not tech savvy at all and have learned to embrace tech in teaching. I would like to think that I have always been someone in my department who embraces change and seeks ways to embed new technologies in my day to day. Recently I have been loving what AI can do for me as a language teacher and I have been having very candid conversations with my peers and students about it.
    Language teachers in the Internet era have always had to deal with what all teachers are facing now with students cheating and cutting corners with tech. In order for assessments to be “authentic” in a language classroom, the teacher has to do it in a controlled setting. As soon as a project is put out to students… your control is lost and the students can / may / will cheat and use Google Translate and recently AI, like ChatGPT.
    My job is to continue to see how I can control and accept the changes!
    Examples of how AI has changed my world: quick creation of worksheets, quizzes, assessments. It is incredibly time consuming to find listening assessments for language teachers, especially ones that satisfy program criteria, like the IB requiring a specific length. With Poe and then FLIKI (paid), I can create scripts and then have them recorded in different accents (France, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium) and at different speech paces.
    If you’re interested in hearing one, here is a link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m6hifN-YoJZ7Dz00kaCHe3B9WRLjPKxy/view?usp=sharing

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  62. sworley

    Although I don’t consider myself a ‘changemaker’ in my everyday life, I’ve come to realize that I can make a significant impact within the school system. As someone who recently transitioned to teaching in a classroom after spending over a decade teaching around the world, I’ve observed how outdated and traditional our teaching practices can be. It’s quite eye-opening.
    In my school, for instance, I’ve noticed the excessive use of photocopiers, with the machines constantly running and an overwhelming number of handouts being distributed each day. It’s disheartening to think about the number of trees that are being consumed in this process. In contrast, my approach involves leveraging technology, utilizing computers, conducting classes online, and even incorporating AI to enhance my students’ learning experiences. This progressive methodology stands out amidst the more traditional approaches employed by the majority of my colleagues.
    One of the primary motivations behind my pursuit of a Masters program is to expand my knowledge of emerging technologies for the classroom and actively integrate them into my teaching practices. I understand that adopting these novel ideas requires time and effort, but I’m fully committed to the cause, even if it means standing apart from my peers who prefer to stick with conventional methods.
    I apologize if my perspective may sound harsh, but it stems from a sense of disappointment I’ve developed regarding the current state of education. I genuinely believe that change is necessary, and I am determined to be a catalyst for that change.

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    1. maurice broschart

      Hi there,

      The technology versus paper debate is a hot topic in my department right now as we French teachers have gone over our photocopying budget! I am an avid supporter of technology use in class obviously, as I am in this program, but, students learning an additional language have to do this pen to paper. I use tech in every lesson, but when a worksheet is given through Classroom, the following happens: GDocs will autocorrect mistakes so the students aren’t part of the process of seeing of learning through trial and error; GDocs has predictive text, so it is thinking for the student; command + F alllows a student to not scan a doc with their minds but simply locate the answer to a reading comprehension that way.
      There are many classes that can go the complete tech route I agree, but I have to stick to my blend of paper and technology for now. That is, unless, another solution comes up, for example, if every student had a tablet and a pen to annotate PDF docs that I can access live time.


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      1. sworley

        You put up a very good point, Maurice. Pen to paper is sometimes the best way to make sure that the information sinks in.

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  63. olynykm

    As an administrator in an independent school I see myself as a Changemaker. One of my primary roles is to help my staff increase their efficiency and improve teaching and learning in my division. I feel like one major way I can support them is to help them integrate technology and leverage its affordances in the classroom. I think a shift is coming in education faster than it has over the past 30 years and I am hoping to be a part of it. With the increase in blended learning after the pandemic and now the addition of AI educators will have to shift their practice to remain relevant in future years and I want to support that shift and the staff that will be going through it.

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    1. sworley

      I’d love to know what kind of flexibility you have at your independent school. Within the school board, minor changes are fine but major changes come with a litany of red tape. Have you found that you are able to make big moves quickly in such a system? If so, this will certainly help in trying to be a changemaker.

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  64. Kelby Bacon

    I strive towards becoming a changemaker. At the moment, I am focusing on improving my teaching practice to better reflect the tech savy world outside of formal education. Through my years teaching, I have become passionate about teaching in ways that serve students outside of the classroom and are connected to their daily lives. Learning more and more about available educational technology has expanded my knowledge on how to engage students, and be an educator who stays current with evolving trends. Through the MET program I hope to continue to gain more insight about what is available for students, and build my own capacity to use various tools with students, and maybe eventually venture on a different career path that involves creating ed. tech.

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  65. Trista Ding

    To me, it doesn’t matter if someone is taking the lead or simply following along, as long as the person is working towards a positive shift in any area in our society, then they are changemakers. I have never really considered this question and I have never pictured myself as a changemaker until this year. After working 5 years as an early primary teacher, I can feel part of me is wanting to make some changes, specifically in the ways we access/evaluate our students and how we communicate that message with families and students, to provide better opportunities for the learners who struggle. I feel like I am at the point where I know changes need to be made and I’m willing to assist, but can’t wrap my head around the “how” yet. I am excited to see how this course is going to lead me through this journey.

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    1. zheng xiong

      We will figure this out together!

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  66. Terrence Dai

    To answer the question, I definitely consider myself as a changemaker. This belief stems not only from my engineering background, which continually sparks my curiosity to explore, design, and innovate, but also from the transformative work I am currently engaged in. As a co-founder of a local tech-education start-up, I firmly believe that everyone should have access to technology education, regardless of their background or financial status. I am aware that conventional methods of teaching electronics, such as textbooks and expensive laboratory setups, can be restrictive and exclusive. Therefore, our goal is to revolutionize the learning experience for students, particularly in the realm of hands-on experimentation. We are committed to developing a diverse range of affordable products and learning kits that are accessible to all individuals. Participating in ETEC 522 presents an excellent opportunity for me to gain valuable insights from other ventures, particularly in the realm of education, and to expand my knowledge in this field.

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  67. haejin01

    I see myself as a changemaker in education. As a result of more than ten years of teaching while studying in South Korea, the U.S.A, Canada, and Australia, the LMS I used ten years ago is different from the LMS I use these days. In the classes I developed, there were reviews that students said were helpful. As such, there will be changes in future education in areas such as management and educational methods, and many developments are still being made for multicultural education. Textbooks, e-books, and cultural classes promoting various countries’ cultures were useful. In addition, I have developed courses with teachers from different countries in South Korea, Canada, and Australia. If there is an opportunity like this in the future, I would like to cooperate and establish classes using diverse educational technologies.

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  68. sheena outerbridge sjoberg

    i believe that defining change maker is dependent upon our inner drive, observations, belief and fact finding. .
    A Changemaker definition is defined by the following; changemakers.com/learning-lab
    Change makers are comprised of at least 6 multiple roles involving all age groups.
    What stands out for me is the importance of observation, research and creativity. Crucially, change makers occur in teams although the original idea may arise through an individual with conviction and drive to bring about a better way to address an issue. Personally, I am a change maker, as a researcher and co-author with a University and Federally funded research group to address mental health issues including suicide prevention using Technology among the Quebec Inuit. As a health professional, the need is acute, the cultural understanding is vital and the patience to research, reflect and work alongside other team members and my clients, it is a truly worthwhile and energizing objective.
    The findings and change will benefit so many in and out of the cultural context

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    1. zheng xiong

      It’s fascinating that your day-to-day work involves cross-disciplinary cooperation. Adopting the change maker mindset and applying it to your work seems like a tango. I’m keen to know what’s a recent project that excites you, of course, if you are comfortable and willing to share. As I find researchers are driven to look at a research subject from various perspectives and change the status quo.

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  69. benjamin coulombe

    I wouldn’t say I am a changeMAKER, but more of changeDREAMER. Over the past few years during my career in education, I have had a lot of, what I thought at the time, would be game-changing ideas. For example, when game-based learning started gaining more traction as a legitimate practice in education, I had a goal of completely gamifying my classroom. I designed a fantasy setting for my classroom where students could design their own characters, a card collection behaviour management system, and an ongoing narrative that drove our lessons. On paper, based on everything I had read prior to implementing this strategy, my whole classroom environment was about to change for the better. The reality however, I soon realized, was that I am far better and thinking up “revolutionary” ideas than implementing. The gamified classroom I dreamt of was far too difficult to manage and maintain and failed miserably.

    Even now, as we jump into this course, I am dreaming up ideas of a new venture connected to data driven instruction and, while the ideas are flowing, I know I will struggle with development and implementation. Changemaker, I am currently not. Maybe this course will be the turning point though. Maybe my ideas actually take shape in the way I am envisioning this time around.

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    1. zheng xiong

      I think it’s great to hear that you are bold enough to try out new ideas and creative ways of teaching. And I believe your students appreciate the new experience.

      If I may ask, what part did it went unexpectedly? Was it about the game design, game facilitation, hardware or software inadequacy? Honestly, I didn’t experience much of game-based learning in my education as a student.

      I am excited for this generation that they have multimodal ways of learning and interacting with learning technologies. My niece is keen to Minecraft, and what she create is fascinating.

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  70. zheng xiong

    Within the Asian educational system, the notion of being a change maker was not inherently instilled in me, nor was it explicitly expected or emphasized during my education.

    After years of work experience in North America, I am driven by a desire to challenge the status quo and continually seek ways to improve my work. One way I strive to effect change is by offering workshops that employ diverse and innovative approaches to engage with students. Recognizing that each individual has unique learning styles and preferences, I aim to create inclusive spaces that cater to a range of needs. For instance, offering mock-up interviews, public speaking exercises, field trips, and hands-on volunteering experience.

    Additionally, I believe that being a change-maker goes beyond the classroom. In my capacity as a Student Engagement Coordinator, me and my team organize a variety of outside-of-classroom activities that extend beyond traditional academic boundaries. For instance, providing opportunities for involvement in extracurricular programs, community service initiatives, and leadership development.

    While I am still on a continuous learning journey, I am committed to expanding my knowledge, skills, and perspectives in co-curricular teaching. Especially when it comes to facilitating learning amongst international students from multicultural backgrounds, that encompasses differences in demographics, faiths, language proficiency, communication styles, cultural values, and more!

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  71. Bradley Miller

    I may not be a Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela, or Bill Gates, as other commenters here have suggested these are textbook changemakers. However, I am passionate about iteration and flexible thinking. I’m constantly seeking new ways to enhance, modify, and improve existing things, including my diet, vehicles, home, relationships, lessons, and pedagogical philosophy. I’ve had more careers than most, and I never expected to find myself in the realm of education and educational technology. Yet, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense, as I have never ceased learning new skills and ideas on my own after graduation. I feel I’ve mastered how to change what I know and perceive in the world and how to enjoy that process. I love teaching and am not afraid to tell my class, ‘OK, I have no idea if this is going to work, but we’re going to try it out.’ And so, the iterative cycle begins.

    Change is often perceived as difficult. It is indeed disruptive, stressful, and can cost time and sometimes money. But, in my opinion—and that of others—over the course of history, the world has generally become a better place for humans. This improvement is the result of change and innovation, not only from famous figures like Thunberg, Gates, and Musk, but from anyone who believes something could be done just a little bit better and goes for it.

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  72. Devon Bobowski

    “Are you a changemaker?” Well, I hope so. What form that takes is still an open question.

    It took me a long time to move into k-12 education, from the relative comfort of adult education, largely because I hadn’t exactly enjoyed the experience as a student. I loved learning and had no problem with doing the work, so I did well academically, but the drill and memorization focus of my high school days was unrewarding most of the time. When I finally made the decision, it was to try to do things better than I had experienced. I find that although I love teaching and working with students, I dislike being “a teacher” with all the traditional connotations that implies. So I’m all set to see how we can do change the status quo.

    What my role in that is I don’t know, and I hope that this program helps me decide some direction on that.

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  73. sam

    I believe most people overlook how they effect change. Most people do not see their changes to fruition or witness the full impact of the changes they make. Further, there is a tendency to overlook or dismiss smaller changes in favour of more grandiose and widespread. I am responsible for curriculum review, and personally, I dread the drastic changes that will completely revise courses – there is a lot of resistance to these large changes and they take so much time that the changes are almost outdated when they are complete. Instead, the changes that are (usually) the most effective are the smaller changes that will result in small improvements over time (more buy-in less resistance).

    I also wanted to comment on the question itself “Are you a changemaker”? A close-ended question that requires the responder to justify why they are a changemaker. I think with the natural tendency for adult learners to experience imposter syndrome, I believe that a closed question like that will cause some/many learners to overlook how they have been changemakers in the past. I think the question also prompts us to question what changes are worth the title of changemaker. Are all changes (duration or population impacted) equal? How can we compare them? Is educating students in a classroom and changing students’ perspectives enough to be considered a change maker? Or being an IT rep who introduces a new technology? What about a scientist who invents a new technology? Or a parent who teaches their children to be open to new ideas and concepts? Also, I fully believe that some people can be change makers in parts of their lives and not in other parts of their lives.

    Personally, I think I strive to make change. I introduce new processes and approaches to learning environments at my school. Additionally, I am responsible for curriculum designs and review. Say if you redesign training every 5-7 years, the impacts of the training will be felt well beyond that point since that training influences the next generation and how they will modernize and redesign further training.

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  74. delapena

    To be a changemaker, in my opinion, means to make change. It’s interesting to read through the different posts about this question and although there are posts that are for being a changemaker and some undecided, to me, it symbolizes a choice. As an educator, we have to be passionate about what we teach. Yes, there are days where we don’t want change at all and the saying “if it isn’t broken, why fix it” applies. However, I’ve noticed that in my personal practice, there are things that tend to go stale or slowly become routine. I have been conscious of how I teach as my groups are never the same. Every group I deal with has its strengths and weaknesses. As an educator, I try my best to identify those qualities as quickly as possible.

    In regards to being a changemaker, I feel I am. Being a changemaker in the world gives me the opportunity to hone it back to my teaching philosophy and that I’m not teaching my trained subject, I’m teaching people how to be people.

    I will finish off with a quote from Admiral (Ret.) William H. McRaven. “That obstacle course is going to beat you every time unless you start taking some risks.”

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  75. nstokes1

    I am a changemaker. There is still a lot I need to learn about entrepreneurship and the actual development of ideas, but I know that I have affected change in a lot of ways. As teachers, I think we know our impact on others more than a lot of other professions because we are constantly reminded of how important it is to be an educator. I began my teaching journey as a figure skating coach in 2011 and it was such an obvious example of your impact as a teacher when you help someone achieve something they were not sure they could accomplish. To me, it is the best feeling in the world.
    I struggled a lot in elementary school and considered myself a bad student for most of my life until the final years of high school. I realized that the expectations for what is considered “successful” (i.e. achieving 100% on a test) were not how I thrived. I wanted to be that teacher who approached things through different lenses and tried to actually help students understand and learn meaningfully as opposed to filling in the blanks as school felt to me. I strive every day to affect change in small ways like putting more kindness into the world than I take away and helping people in as many ways as possible. I have always had ideas for how to push my teaching and education in general to the next level but have not had the skills necessary to make them a reality.
    I am a changemaker and I am so excited for the next levels of where my ideas and dreams can go!

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  76. sacree

    On a recent trip to Mexico, I unexpectedly ran into one of my graduates from 2017. What are the odds? I knew a part of her story, that she had gone through challenging times in the past few years, and I was truly happy to see her and talk a little bit. She made me realize what a changemaker I and our other teachers are, in a relational sense. She talked about how amazing our teachers are, raved about the support she had while at our school, and about how she had been changed and prepared for the challenges that were going to come her way. Educators have the chance to be changemakers every single day in a micro and a macro sense.

    As technology forced its way into my life, my classroom, my work environment, and the way I interacted with my students began to change. Some others who have posted described changing assessments to deal with technology, using technology to create databases and tools, and so much more. I believe this change in technological presence has gotten me to think bigger, to look beyond the micro change of the classroom setting, and to begin considering how I can pair my skills, experiences, and technology to be entrepreneurial, an innovator, and perhaps a venture creator. I’m not comfortable applying those terms to myself yet and still feel like a wannabe, but this program and this course are engaged with the intention of becoming. Let’s go.

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  77. Andrew

    Reflecting on the idea of being labelled a changemaker evoked some deeper contemplation as I felt like I was challenging part of my self-concept. In my personal journey, accepting the role of a changemaker has been important for my well-being. To be genuinely happy in my own skin, I realised the inherent need to challenge the status quo and make positive changes. Over time, I’ve found that authenticity has been a powerful tool in breaking down stereotypes and bringing out the best in those around me, including my colleagues, friends and family.

    In the context of learning technologies, I acknowledge the necessity of taking continuous risks to improve my professional practices, especially in integrating technology in the classroom (e.g., game-based learning) and school (e.g., improved assessment tools). Like others, I have a relatively sound understanding of the pedagogy of teaching in my subjects. I aspire to use my in-classroom experiences and MET education to inform my choices as a leader. In a particular career path, I see myself playing a role as a mediator between the development of technology and its ethical, privacy-focused implementation across different levels (such as school, board, and province).

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  78. C DeFazio

    Although I don’t often like to pump my own tires as it seems a little easier to make fun of myself in front of my colleagues, I think that deep down I would definitely consider myself a changemaker. As a Grade 7 teacher, I am often told by high school students that I was a positive part of their childhood growing up. Being a teacher, a user of technology within the classroom, a coach, a director in fine arts allows me the pleasure to present so many opportunities to students as they pass through elementary school. These positions give me front row seats to watch as students burst out of their shells and become who they were meant to be or in a direction of where they want to go. Covid really opened my eyes to what technology could do that would help me make a change in the lives of my students. I remember signing on with them from our homes and checking in on them one on one or with their parents through a screen. I would read aloud a novel study for students at home with a cold, unable to come into school but didn’t want to miss the exciting parts of an exciting chapter. These experiences would later come back to me in appreciation from my students who admitted that it was the best part of that terrible time in the world. I try, every day, to be a changemaker and I feel that everyday I am learning to better myself in this regard. From this program to my students to new and exciting opportunities, I feel that I will continue to be part of that change in education for years to come. Here’s to making changes.

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  79. David Jalsevac

    In a world that values innovation and constantly seeks the next big thing to revolutionize education, I consider myself a changemaker in small ways. I empathize with students and strive to understand their needs. If technology can assist them in achieving those needs, I am fully supportive of its use. However, at the core of my work is getting students to think critically. While technology offers various potential benefits, it is essential to thoroughly examine and question the purpose and potential trade-offs of technology. I understand this question is about whether I would consider myself a creative type who drives change—I prefer to defer on that question and express, as others have done, that I make a positive impact on people’s lives through concerted efforts to address needs and solve problems. At the same time, I believe in evaluating the potential uses and drawbacks of technology before embracing it fully.

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  80. aturpin

    Am I a changemaker? At one point in my life, I would have said: “I’ll contribute, I’ll follow, I’ll help you along with your new found innovative idea…”. However, as I have grown in my journey of both learning and teaching, my views of being a “changemaker” have, indeed, changed. I pride myself on new ideas, new ways of teaching, adapting lessons to make them more accessible, and trying new innovative techniques in my instructional methods. In fact, as I write this, I reflect on how I often break the mold, on how I often try new things in my classroom. More often than not, when I try something new, I can see my students getting excited, I can seem them embracing the change, and wanting to even better themselves. I wish to continue on my journey of being a changemaker, of being someone who’s going to break the mold, who’s going to do something different, of someone who wants to continue seeing his students grow through use of newer methods. I look forward to working with all of you as well, and seeing what new innovative ideas we can all create together.

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  81. Rich

    Sometimes I am a change maker. I always love when I can find new efficiencies in our processes using technology. Other times I am a change enabler. If staff have ideas about new ways of doing things, I think how can we make that happen and how can that to bring us toward our goals. I am not naturally a technophile, so sometimes I have to do a little positive self-talk to embrace technological change! Heraclitus is credited with the saying “The only constant in life is change”. I always try to keep that in mind. My goal with MET is to be a leader who can embrace change in technology for the purposes of better outcomes with communication, data, teaching and learning primarily in the education field.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

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