OK, so I’m your instructor, and I’m also the author of this course and ETEC523. Please call me David.
I’m not an academic or an educator by any traditional standard. I have a PhD in astronomy and I began my career as Director of UBC’s Astronomical and Geophysical Observatories. When my kids were young I decided it would be fun for them if I was a Director of Science World, the public science museum in Vancouver, and a project I launched there rolled off into a learning technologies company and, well, the short story is that I got lost in outer space and ended up in cyber space.
That first company – Brainium Technologies – produced online, rich-media, game-based science curriculum for middle-school, and we also produced the only wireless laptop in the world at that time (this was 1997!) designed exclusively for K-12 education (photo below).
That was a long time ago, but I’ve been deeply involved with innovation programs and venture creation related to learning technologies ever since. I got hooked, quite fulfillingly so.
For a decade I ran an innovation program called the Mobile Muse Network, which pioneered new forms of public engagement via emerging mobile media technologies, which is the basis for my ETEC523 course on mobile learning, something I care deeply about.
One of my current passions is data as it relates to the future of cities. You can check out what I’m doing there at Urban Opus. UO is dedicated to the premise that data will be the most transformative communications medium humankind has ever created, with deep, deep, deep implications for the future of learning. Unfortunately you mightn’t see a MET course on this for another decade (university research and curriculum moves very slowly), but if anyone is interested we can chat about an ETEC580 guided independent studies course.
Another current venture of mine is Peer Effects, which offers accountable competency management for knowledge-based professions. I’m also currently CEO of two other start-up and innovation ventures, so I’m delightfully busy.
To be frank, I teach in MET because all of you great people – seasoned, inspired learning professionals – help me to survey the frontiers of learning technologies much more effectively than I could on my own. You ground me, but you also extend my vision. Thanks so much for that!