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[Member Profile] Meet Ross McKerlich of Okanagan College

Contributed by Janine Hirtz, UBC-Okanagan.

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

I work at Okanagan College where I apply technology to learning.  We have a small but passionate team that works with instructors and faculty from all four campuses of the college. Our team is located in Kelowna, BC.

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

I have been working in education technology since 2003 and before that, I was working and studying adult education since 1991 where I got my first taste of research.

What is one thing you really love about the work you do?

Building relationships with faculty and together changing the landscape of learning.

How long have you been a member of ETUG?

About 6 years. My first ETUG conference was at Royal Roads University in the fall of 2011.

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

I like how it is very collegial and authentic. No one pretends to know all the answers and everyone is open to working with each other as we tackle different challenges associated with education technology. I also like how there is a focus on relationship building and network expansion.  I also find the events are high quality. Whenever I come back from an ETUG event, I am reminded that I do not have to go far afield to learn about my field.

Do you have a favorite ETUG memory?

The pub nights are always a favorite memory but one pub night in particular where I randomly sat down, introduced myself and started talking Edtech with my two unknown tablemates. It turns out they were big names in our field and we had a great discussion about some future trends in education technology. All while enjoying a good quality beer.

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?

Perhaps a slack channel or interactive OER on disruptive innovation in higher education? ETUG is quite good at recognizing and contributing to the discussion about parallel emerging trends and there seems to be quite a bit of disruption in the sector where we work. We have a disruption group in our college. Why silo it?  Expand the conversation for greater insights.

Do you have any special interests/hobbies?

I enjoy stand up paddling on Okanagan Lake in the spring and summer and skiing at Big White in the winter.  I also like setting achievable fitness goals.  I volunteer with the Ogopogo Triathlon club – the biggest youth triathlon club in BC – and this year I would like to do a sprint distance triathlon. Just for fun.

Anything special you what to ask or share with our members?

Join Slack and other ETUG communication channels to keep the discussion going in between ETUG face-to-face events.