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Meet Sylvia Currie of BCcampus

SylviaCurrieContributed by Grant Gregson of Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Tell us a bit about where you work and what you do.

I’m part of the Professional Learning team at BCcampus. Since joining BCcampus 7 years ago I’ve been involved in all sorts of fascinating projects. The work is always changing!

Years ago I challenged to come up with a 140 characters or less twitter-style statement of what I do:

I spend my days working with people who want to learn from other people through networks, communities of practice, workshops and events.

I modified the original version slightly to add workshops, because supporting the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) [http://proflearn.bccampus.ca/workshops/flo/] and Facilitator Development Online (FDO) [http://proflearn.bccampus.ca/workshops/flo/] workshops is my main focus at the moment.

How long have you been involved in teaching and learning and ed technology?

You mean, how old am I? 😉 It’s hard to put a finger on the moment my interest in this field began. My undergraduate degree from the mid 80s is in Education (K-12) but I would say that my intense interest in educational technology developed about 10 years later when I enrolled in an online course about online education, taught by Linda Harasim, which lead to more courses and eventually an educational leave from my job as Associate Registrar at UFV to pursue a Master’s degree.

 

What’s one thing you really love about the work you do?

So hard to narrow it down to one thing! I’d have to say being connected to so many fascinating people, and that part of my job over the years has been to find ways to bring them together.

 

How long have you been a member of ETUG?

ETUG was first on my radar around 1997-98 when I was working as a research associate for the TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence. I became a member of the steering committee in 2006.

 

What do you like best about this community and its activities?

The never-ending list of topics we tackle, and distributed expertise in the group.

 

Do you have a favourite ETUG memory?

Every single workshop. Is that an answer? Some real gems do stand out:

  • Paul Stacey and Gina Bennett leading us through a game of ETUG Jeopardy (spring 2009)
  • Nancy White introducing us to Liberating Structures (spring 2013)
  • Watching our visual practices emerge and expand over the years. Our first ever wall graphic recording was in 2011 and now it’s become part of what we do. And I love the way Hilda Anggraeni has sparked up the ETUG presence with her fabulous graphics.
  • Receiving an innovation award in 2007 [https://flic.kr/p/MQWWu] How can I not include that!

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?

I feel we could be doing more to engage members province-wide. Some of my favourite ETUG workshops, for example, have been held at institutions outside of the lower mainland – VIU, TRU, NVIT, Selkirk… Although I will add that the year I was home sick during the ETUG spring workshop participants made me feel very engaged through twitter. And we’ve been inspired by Bev and Etienne Wenger-Trayner’s “buddy” approach [http://wenger-trayner.com/all/ill-take-you-with-me/] so perhaps in times of tight budgets that is the way forward.

 

Do you have any special interests/hobbies?

Yes! Anything related to dogs. I work with dogs at an animal rescue that need some help to make them adoptable. I’m especially passionate about spreading the word about training and handling methods that don’t involve pain, fear and intimidation.

 

Anything special you what to ask or share with members?

I’d like to remind everyone how important it is to stay connected with people who are doing the teaching, and to make every effort to understand their day-to-day work.

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