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Flashback Friday – 1997

picture of Murray Goldberg, UBC. Goldberg developed WebCT in 1997
Murray Goldberg, UBC faculty member, develops WebCT – widely accepted as a catalyst in the worldwide boom of on-line learning that accelerated beginning in 1997.

In the Spring of 1997, three user groups Interactive Educational Video Conferencing, Computer-Mediated Communications, and Multimedia – amalgamated to form one large provincial organization that we now know as ETUG!  At that same time, it was agreed upon that the name of the steering committee would be SCETUG – Steering Committee of Educational Technologies Users Groups.

  • Pop Culture: Oscar Best Movie: English Patient; Top-rated TV: Seinfeld; Billboard Top Single: Candle in the Wind by Elton John 
  • Hot Technology Topics: According to entrepreneur.com, one of the top technology topics was the Second Internet, which will transmit audio, video or extensive graphics very efficiently, delivering information about 1,000 times faster than the current Internet!  That same year, Apple.com enticed internet users with the offer of a free CD-ROM. Perhaps, most importantly for the edtech community, WebCTthe company – was born!
  • Workshop Location and Theme: ETUG’s 2-day Spring ‘97 Workshop was held at SFU’s Harbour Centre. The workshop provided a forum for educators to discuss and examine the pedagogical issues with using and implementing edtech. Some session titles were GIFs and JPEGs for Websites, Sink or Swim: Internet Search Tools and Techniques, Hands-on with WebCT, Creating Virtual Classrooms, and many more! One workshop, entitled How Far is Distance? examines a number of issues related to teaching in a multi-site classroom on an interactive television system, and well as how educators can overcome their suspicions when using computers, email, and web sites and transition to technology confidently!