About Me

a photo of JR resting his chin on the palm of his hand, looking off into the distance.If you’re interested in learning a bit more about me, here’s your place to find out. Here you’ll find the standard biography stuff; if you’re looking for examples of work, check out my portfolio, and if you want to see what I’m currently thinking or working on I update my blog regularly.

I focus on creating engaging learning experiences combining educational technology and design. My career has always been related to education in some way, beginning my journey as a practical and applied arts teacher in K12, I now find myself mostly working within higher education.

Standard disclaimer here: This site is my own work and my own opinions. I don’t represent any official position of my clients, former employers, or any other company.

A story of lifelong learning

Prefer a quick overview of my education and experience? My LinkedIn profile is for you.

Teaching

I have a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) from the University of Saskatchewan, with a major in Industrial Arts and minor in mathematics. I began my career as many young graduates do, as a substitute teacher. I had the privilege of working in a number of different schools, mostly teaching math, science, and industrial arts. I was a frequent and familiar face in a few of the schools and was a welcomed member of the learning communities therein. I was treated as a colleague and often consulted by other teachers about how to incorporate learning technologies into lessons for different topics and ages.

When it came time to have a classroom of my own I worked in both the industrial arts lab as well as the computer lab. My posting focused on woodworking, welding, photo, drafting, and information processing. I used the opportunity of being in a computer lab to incorporate media studies and development and programming for the robot rumble held by the province’s polytechnic institute. During this time I continued to find myself being asked by my colleagues how to use and include learning technologies into their practice and I quite liked this type of work.

Following a graduate program in Educational Technology & Design, where I received a Master’s of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Saskatchewan, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of roles that fall into two main categories: educational development, and instructional design.

Educational Development

The focus of this work was on developing instructors’ teaching and learning technologies skills. In these roles I developed workshops, offered one-on-one consultations, developed and taught micro-courses, assisted in grant writing and project development, coordinated conferences and symposiums, worked on MOOCs (this should tell you the approximate years this work spanned) as well as institutional blended learning initiatives. While the delivery modes of educational development remained consistent, I met many interesting instructors and staff interested in improving teaching and learning both within themselves as well at within the organizations.

Instructional Design

Even while working as an educational developer, my approach was rooted in my knowledge and experience of instructional design. While developing instructors’ and staff skills in teaching and technology is often a bi-product if not an explicit goal of each project, the majority of this work focuses on planning, designing, creating, and evaluating instruction. From courses, to books, to audio and video, and interactive learning objects I begin with asking what is the learning need and how might instruction serve that need. I have applied this knowledge and skills in face-to-face and blended learning environments, but my real passion, and most of my experience now, resides with online learning. Whether it is self-paced, cohort-based, continuous intake, or necessarily social, I find online learning contexts the most interesting for creating instruction.

Consulting

Although most of my work resides within large formal education organizations, there are educational technology and instructional design needs in many other contexts. I provide educational technology and instructional design consulting for clients including municipal, non-profit, and community organizations as well as individuals who are working on teaching and learning endeavours.

Life outside of formal education

I am a lifelong learner and seek out new learning opportunities wherever I can including online communities, MOOCs, community based workshops, and I even traveled to Finland to participate in an international summer school. Through formal and informal learning environments I have been able to pursue personal interests such as craftsmanship, design, playing music, digital arts and games, Judo, Karate, and Shiatsu. I enjoy traveling whenever I can, eager for opportunities to experience different cultures and to learn bits and pieces of other languages.

About

Blog

In an effort to work-out-loud, I get my blog on. This usually happens if I’m taking a course (MOOC or otherwise), attending a conference, working on e-learning challenges, or read a colleague’s blog that inspires a train of thought. I mostly blog about education related topics, but there are some hobby and personal posts included from time to time as well.

Read My Blog

Portfolio

I created this portfolio to capture notable projects from different areas of my expertise. From my time as a Practical and Applied Arts teacher to my work as both an Educational Developer and Instructional Designer. This is my education related portfolio.

View My Portfolio