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[Member Profile] Meet Amy Severson from JIBC

Tell us a bit about where you work and what you do.
I am an Instructional Designer at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and embedded in the Emergency Management Division.

How long have you been involved in teaching and learning and/or ed technology?
A long time (maybe 20 years?), and in many different guises, I managed the Media Library (VHS and DVD!) at SFU for a while, then worked as an educational consultant teaching new and shiny things like wikis, blogs and clickers (!). I worked for a non-profit, editing and promoting video presentations to promote “non-traditional,” but important learning outside the post-secondary classroom. This included a foray into marketing, communications, and web and email analytics, which has implications for our departments. I’m still not working much in the traditional classroom, as many of our learners at the Justice Institute are professionals, but now my focus is on scenarios, reaching smaller communities and occasionally, sourcing waterproof paper!

What’s one thing you really love about the work you do?
That I get to be a generalist and exposed to so many different passionate professionals! I’ve worked with archeologists, psychologists, behaviour analysts, linguists, search and rescue professionals, community organizers, emergency managers, geologists and biologists. I’ve been an unofficial photographer, video editor, facilitator, communications professional, statistician and wordsmith.

How long have you been a member of ETUG?
I have been reading the newsletter and intermittently attending conferences/workshops for maybe 15 or 20 years? How are we defining membership?

What do you like best about this community and its activities?
That it is so local – I love finding out what is happening in British Columbia. I’ve met smart and generous people in this community.

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 think we have to continue to modernize, and also keep an eye on the past. A pencil is a technology, and a valuable one!

Do you have any special interests/hobbies?
I always have a fiction book in my bag (today’s is Empire of Wild, by Cherie Dimaline). It runs in the family, as I also manage by father’s book blog (http://whatdavidread.ca).

Anything special you want to ask or share with members?
I had a debate with a colleague the other day – does technology always has to be innovative? I argued no, that there are many important and stalwart technologies that deserve our respect. I think that we can get distracted by shiny new things and that this can alienate daily or low-key users of technology. What do you think?