Hello from a Pioneering Nerd.

Hello Everyone,

I am excited to be embarking on this ETEC 522 journey with all of you!

To introduce myself, my name is Erica Hargreave, and I am a Storyteller, Educator, Digital and Interactive Media Strategist, and a Pioneer! Needless to say, I have had a rather eclectic career that has had me working in parks, cultural heritage sites, out-of-school care facilities, grade schools, post-secondary schools, the film and television industry, tourism, the technology industry, and the arts. The TEDxWarsaw Talk below gives a taste of what that has entailed.

Since this course is focussed on Pioneering, I thought I’d share a few of my pioneering experiences below, that also give shape to the eclectic career I’ve had, and how I ended up bridging into a few different industries.

Aside from a bit of pioneering research in my teens on frogs, the pineal gland, and purple loosestrife, my more entrepreneurial pioneering began as a young naturalist and biology student at UVic. In helping UVic to develop their own overnight eco adventures for new students, I accidentally found myself launching my first business, Ahimsa Nature Adventures, focussed on nature and science education.

This lead me into my next pioneering adventure in writing and navigating the world of television with my first TV Series, a Science and Nature Show for kids called The Magic Backpack, with a pilot episode on the Greenhouse Effect. Here’s a clip from that show:

Around this time, in embarking on a teaching career, I again accidentally stumbled into a pioneering role, having in my first year of teaching been hired to help build, teach, and develop the curriculum for a brand new school. I love what we built, but unfortunately due to elements that were out of my control, this was a short lived venture.

This provided me with a shift that launched me into starting Ahimsa Media, my media company, and thanks to having a reputation in the film industry for being good with research, landing a couple of contracts to explore the world of digital media, which transitioned me into the pioneering gigs that I do today. These include:

  • Ahimsa Kids – our set teaching company, which we have our first online set school launching next week, through our StoryToGo Classroom site.
  • Emme Rogers – who was intended as a storybook character, but ended up as one of the earlier transmedia characters, paving the way for characters in the digital verse.
  • Post-Secondary Teaching and Course and Program Development – rather than looking for a teaching gig, I pitched the post-secondary schools with the new courses that I wished to teach.
  • Roamancing – our digital travel and culture magazine and storyworld.
  • Naturally Ours – our first web series, that has won a number of awards, and has my team and I hooked on web series creation.
  • StoryToGo – our digital contemporary media and storytelling magazine and community. This started with an experimental project that we were doing with Kevin Ribble at BCIT, and after a few years hiatus, has been evolving through my project work in MET. For my current ETEC 580 project on creating a Sustainable Funding Vlogcasting Series, I have been fortunate to acquire a few grants to help build content for this endeavour.
  • StoryToGo Classroom – while Kevin Ribble, Lori Yearwood and I have been envisioning building an online teaching portal for years, it took the pandemic to drive us to finally do that. While still in the early days, we ran BCIT’s first online summer camps from the StoryToGo Classroom this past summer, have run some private group classes here, have had our first film set book us for online set schooling from here later this month, and are building a variety of free and open courses here.

All of the above is why I am excited to be taking ETEC 522. I love building new ventures, but I’d like to start doing that with more sustainability and strategy in mind. I suspect that I will be using this course to put some focused thought and strategy into how we are developing the StoryToGo Classroom, as oppose to the reactive / fly by the seat of my pants way that I am building it at present. Secondarily, I am also interested in exploring experiential media ventures, as we have been developing some educational story concepts around WWII that I our team is looking to bring to life with experiential media.

Okay, that is me (or a bit of me at least)! Looking forward to reading all about you.

( Average Rating: 0 )

9 responses to “Hello from a Pioneering Nerd.”

  1. Rachel

    Hi Erica,
    Good to see you in another course (we were in the ableism course together)! I love the Naturally Ours trailer and it clearly shows how passionate you’re with your community, the people, and the nature. Looking forward to learning with you!

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. Erica Hargreave

      Oh, yes of course. Sorry I didn’t recognize you here from your small avatar, Rachel. Loved that course, albeit quite heavy at times.

      I can’t claim Salt Spring to be my community, but I am indeed passionate about the communities in which I am fortunate to be invited into to share their stories, along with the people that generously open up and share with me.

      Looking forward to learning alongside with you again too.

      ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  2. Michael Saretzky

    Wow! It sounds like you have had quite the journey.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. Erica Hargreave

      It has not been the most financially rewarding of journeys, but I have loved it and have felt so very fortunate for the experiences that it has given me.

      Thanks Michael.

      ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  3. Vijaya Jammi

    Hi Erica, thanks for posting the videos that gave a glimpse of your multi-faceted work and interests. They are truly amazing. I’m sure it would be great to be learning with you.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. Erica Hargreave

      Thanks Vijaya. I look forward to learning with you too.

      ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  4. Alexandra Scott

    Wow Erica, I am looking forward to learning from you and how to put on all the many hats you have put on over the years but add my own unique hats to it as well.

    I really enjoy your spirit and energy and must admit I feel quite pleased to have someone “famous” in the course as well doing a TED talk is quite an achievement I think in anyone’s career so well done for your motivation and inspiration and sharing your story.

    Also awesome resources you have shared so far.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. Erica Hargreave

      I’m blushing, Alexandra. I’m not famous, rather just stubborn. When somebody tells me something is not possible, then provided it is something I believe in, I like to see if I can prove them wrong. Part of me being the host of our documentary web series is thanks to a number of men in television telling me that a women of my age couldn’t host a series, as we aren’t interesting enough as we age. That notion really bothered me, as I think we as women become even more interesting with age, and need to celebrate the added layer we acquire, rather than mourn our youth.

      ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  5. tara davis

    Hey Erica,
    After watching your “Naturally Ours” trailer, I thought you may be interested in checking out a documentary I found quite engaging:
    Full Movie: Northern Grease – John Muirhead, Tamo Campos, Jasper Snow Rosen

    Here’s a description of the film:
    An independent documentary that blends the rush of snowboarding and surfing with powerful story telling of the threats fossil fuel expansion is already having in northern communities. The adventure leads the crew to communities on the front lines of resource extraction, from the Alberta tar sands; Canada’s largest growing greenhouse gas emitter, to a front line Indigenous blockade in the Tl’abāne, an area also commonly known as the Sacred Headwaters. From mechanical mishaps, adventures, new teachings and perseverance the crew blends unique interviews with farmers, students, Indigenous leaders, politicians, and oil/gas workers to present the often rarely heard voices and concerns of those involved in these industries. Along the way, the crew also spend time with the people who, using alternative and renewable energy sources, lead lifestyles that present solutions. All in all, Northern Grease tells a story of young snowboarders and surfers learning the real social and environmental impacts of resource extraction. Through humor, adventure and an evolving critical perspective, Northern Grease depicts the often untold stories of those on the front lines.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

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