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.