I am a pioneering educator…

Hello all. My name is Siobhán McPhee and I am an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Department of Geography at UBC. I have been at UBC almost eight years now, joining in July 2013 initially to work within UBC’s new international program Vantage College. I came to Vancouver from Ireland where I did my PhD, but I half Canadian and grew up in the Middle East and East Africa – so truly a geographer!

I see myself as a facilitator of knowledge above all else, and nothing brings me greater joy than empowering others to be able to problem-solve or discover for themselves. I take a constructivist and blended approach to my pedagogy in teaching and learning, and this is really what draws me to the use of technology and then ultimately the MET program. I started the MET program in September 2016 and with this course I will have completed all the requirements for the certificate.

The reason I titled my post ‘I am a pioneering educator’ is that I was so struck by how David’s use of this phrase in his introduction to the course made me say outlaid YES YES YES! I struggle to find acceptance for innovation within the ‘walls’ of the academy and continuously strive to find ways to expose my students and colleagues to the ‘real-world’. I have found that the use of educational technology and emerging media has enabled me to address some of this struggle, but it is certainly an uphill battle.

To give you a sense of what I try and achieve here is a link to my first year Geography course modules. Students use these modules asynchronously to prepare for our face-to-face lecture. You will see that it uses ‘real-world’ issues/situations to demonstrate geographical concepts to students.

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2 responses to “I am a pioneering educator…”

  1. Feras Alachek

    Hi Siobhán

    Pretty much of a geographer really! You seem to have lived on at least four different continents! I am actually curious about the Middle eastern country you have been to as I am originally Syrian myself.

    Your academic qualifications are impressive, and I truly admire your spirit for learning further to facilitate and pass more knowledge to others.

    Good luck with your final course, and I look forward to working with you.

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  2. luke pereira

    Hi Siobhan, the website is really interesting since I work in the space digital space in authoring lessons in articulate and other platforms. The UofT implemented a LMS which I manage and authoring for it is a challenge due to the system limitations. However, using blackboard for students and an LMS for staff does bring challenges when it comes to offering institution wide training.

    I’m working on an MRP research idea, well a few, looking at visually blind students and enrolment into university, mostly stem subjects. Might focus on the astronomy department and see how it goes! Nice to meet you.

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