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ETUG Turns 20: Where We Came From

ETUGThis article contributed by SCETUG member, Emily Schudel.
Welcome to our first article celebrating the 20th anniversary of ETUG!  Today, Where We Came From.
birthday CakeOnce upon a time (1990) there was the Standing Committee on Educational Technology (SCOET) “a college and institute system-wide committee with a mandate to monitor and assess changes in educational technology, and to propose policy directions for the system as a whole”.  In February 1991, SCOET contracted BCICSG (BC Instructional Computing Support Group – ah, I love acronyms!) to run a one-month inventory of educational technology resources among institutes and colleges, with instructional technologies as the primary focus.  Thus were created three user groups in BC devoted to their support of educational technology:

  • The BC Interactive Educational Video Conferencing Users Group
  • The Computer-mediated Communications BC Users Group
  • The Multimedia Educational Developers Users Group BC

I can’t tell you much about these pre-ETUG users groups, except that they were real, grassroots-level front-line user groups in the early days of video conferencing and learning management systems.  It’s funny – one of the first things I did was Google them, and then thought about it.  Google wasn’t even around in 1994.  1994?  Yes, 20 years ago…right.  Why does it seem like the Internet in its current form has been here forever?  Well, needless to say, the information I did receive from my Google search was a bit scanty and really not at all helpful to me in understanding what these groups were or whom they served.  So, if anyone out there knows more, or was a part of any of these groups, let us know!
What I do know is that these groups overlapped both in their interests and in the people involved with them.  They also worked with and supported each other, so much so that and over time someone decided that it would be perhaps a good idea to merge.  So, in 1994, these groups merged to form the Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG).  If anyone knows who came up with this name, we would love to hear from you.
So, a lot has happened with ETUG since 1994.  Starting in 1996, ETUG has held Spring conferences and Fall workshops, at first centred around Vancouver and Richmond, but later moving out to locations like Whistler, Merritt, Abbotsford, Comox, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Victoria, Nelson, Burnaby.  It has hosted the BC Innovation Awards, and it has facilitated online discussions and delivered online synchronous workshops on issues related to educational technology use.  But we’ll be talking more about all of these things in future articles.  In the meantime, we would like to hear your stories.  If you have a memory from the early years of ETUG, especially if it relates to its creation, please let us know!  We will be collecting these stories and memories to present at our Spring 2014 workshop.
Thanks!  The next post in our history will be ETUG:  The Founders.

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