Hello from Ontario

Hi All!

This is my eighth course in the MET program and the first one that has been in blog format, not in Vista… so that is different and cool!  I will be finishing the MET program by April 2012 so I am looking forward to my last year and will miss working and learning with other MET students.

I use Twitter as part of my PLN.

Currently, I am an educational technology resource teacher in my board and am starting the second year of a three year term in that role.  I have learned so much about how teachers and students use technology over the past year but, above all, I learned how vast the field of educational technology is and how very much I don’t know.  When I get the time, I tweet resources and links of interest to educators who are using technology in their practice.  I love using Twitter as part of my PLN and it has become an exciting way of creating a professional network of like (and unlike) minded educators.

With respect to previous ventures, I have earned some money (not a whole lot) in the past using technology… I did some computer programming for some companies in the late 1980s during the MS-DOS era; working with professional photographer and naturalist, Dave Taylor, I produced two educational science/nature CD-ROMs in 1998 and 1999; and I was a web designer/webmaster for various people and companies in the Web 1.0 days.  These days, I am too busy with family, work and the MET program to do anything extra on the side any more.

My main purpose in taking ETEC 522 is learn more about what is possible for an educational entrepreneur in the current era of Web 2.0, social media and the semantic web.  I have many ideas that form in my head but I never get to act on any of them… perhaps, taking this course will justify me once again putting something into action.  For example, what follows is a true story–In the late 90s, I told my wife one night: “Wouldn’t it be cool if someone drove up and down all the streets in every big city and took photographs on either side of the car every second; then, these could be saved, organized by street and address, and people could virtually visit any location in any city in the world just by visiting a web site?”  I really did say this to her and she is my witness!  Unfortunately, I get no royalties from Google. And I am sure I am not the only one to think of that idea…

I am a Wikipedian.

I am also a huge fan of Wikipedia and wikis in general.  I’ve made over 15,000 edits on Wikipedia in the last five years or so.  I really think that the content of that site (3.7 million English articles!) created since 2001 is nothing short of astonishing.  It is a testament to the power of the collaborative nature of Web 2.0 and wikis and also to the powerful vision of a few individuals who understood that they a wiki could be the container for a greatest collection of knowledge ever created for free, by volunteers, and made available to everyone at no charge.

My wife and I are both teachers and we have two wonder girls, one in grade one and the other in grade five.  I love that I get so many perspectives of current education practices:  experiences from my children as students, experiences of my wife and myself as teachers, my current experiences as an MET student, and the experiences of teachers I work with in schools and those I meet in the MET program.

Posted in: Week 01: Introductions