Contributed by John Born, BCIT
Tell us a bit about where you work and what you do.
I work as both an instructor and assistant instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), in the Digital Arts Department. I teach a range of subjects from graphic design to the operation of high-tech printing equipment. One of my main responsibilities is the operation of a unique 3000 ft2 print and graphic arts lab where the students get hands-on experience with a wide variety of print media and digital communications technologies.
How long have you been involved in teaching and learning, and ed technology?
I have always had a keen interest in the effect technology has, and how it contributes to interpersonal communication. My first computer modem was 2400 baud, and I was excited at the time to be able to access information on dial-up BBS servers before the internet was born. Fast forward to about 8 years ago, when I made a full-time move to higher ed from the corporate sector. I quickly became very interested in improving my teaching skills by studying how adults learn, and my interest in technology helped fuel that: The combination of these two components has driven me to strive to continually improve my teaching, and also led to me getting my MA in Learning and Technology from Royal Roads University.
What’s one thing you really love about the work you do?
I love helping people learn new things in interesting and effective ways! It’s not just about lecturing anymore, as there are so many other options for engaging learners and helping them create new knowledge.
How long have you been a member of ETUG?
My first ETUG event was the spring workshop in 2013. Recently I volunteered to be an ETUG institutional rep for BCIT.
What do you like best about this community and its activities?
In ETUG, I discovered a community of educators that share my enthusiasm for improving the use of ed tech. Everyone in the group is always willing to share their experiences with each other—we are all learning together.
Do you have a favourite ETUG memory?
This year’s spring workshop was my favourite so far. After speaking at the Midwest Education Technology Conference in February, I was very excited to come back to BC and lead a session at the Spring Workshop, presenting the results of my MA research on social media in education.
What would you like ETUG to provide more of in terms of benefits/value to members? Any input or help you want to ask members to provide?
The single most important part of ETUG is found in the name – it’s a user’s group. The sharing and connections developed between members is what makes it strong. Every person has something to share, and active participation makes for a stronger network of teaching professionals. This fall’s ‘Unconference’ is a perfect example. All attendees were invited to come up and pitch a session themselves.
Do you have any special interests/hobbies?
I enjoy running, cycling, reading, writing, movies, and geeking out playing with new tech!
Anything special you what to ask or share with members?
I’m always eager to connect with other educators about ed-tech! On Twitter, I’m @kenjeffery, and my blogs, ramblings, and musings can be found at kjeffery.com. See you online!