Welcome and thanks for taking the time to look at my first blog post for ESC515 – Classroom Technologies
As you will be able to see this blog has formed part of my learning journey through the Master of Information and Communication Technologies (Education) and holds a wide variety of information on topics relating to education and elearning.
I started out as a high school teacher, with English, Drama and Music as my major study areas. I moved into the international film and theater industry where I worked on many famous faces and enjoyed the exciting years that this work area provided. I was offered the opportunity to lecture at Edith Cowan University in WA at WAAPA which was fantastic and renewed my interest and enthusiasm in teaching once more.
While working in the theater and film industry I maintained an interest in education and ran a small training organisation as part of my film company to up skill my employees and to teach as a special guest artist in high schools around Western Australia.
I was offered a position in a large WA TAFE in 1999 and worked as a casual lecturer/facilitator for them for over 10 years. This was around the time that the organisation was moving baby steps into the world of elearning. As I was working casual while running my own company I negotiated to become one of the first facilitators to offer online classes to my students. My first student groups were made up of mature aged ladies wanting to return to the workforce as teacher assistants, many of these people had very low computer skills and minimal experience in learning. Together we forged the new frontier together and had an amazing group learning experience.
From this first group a huge amount of students followed all having a unique and interesting experience ineffectively using an online classroom. From this wealth of experience I became a Learning Technology Mentor in the TAFE and helped other facilitators move into the elearning space using Learning Management Systems, podcasting, vodcasting etc way before it became mainstream. I was seen as cutting edge and ‘out there’ by my fellow facilitators.
I was offered a role presenting professional learning sessions for elearning and project managing the build of elearning resources for the WA VET sector for the Department of Education and Training, which has since become the Department of Training and Workforce Development. I was fortunate enough to become a project leader for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework and the National VET elearning Strategy (NVELS) which saw me working across Australia with the implementation of elearning in Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in the VET sector.
With the demise of the National funding the NVELS the WA team (all three of us) still present training and consultations across WA, but also online sessions that anyone can access.
It is a fun and very challenging environment and with the ever changing landscape of technology it is amazing that I have a job that allows me the ‘play’ and the teach other how to use cutting edge technology such as Augmented Reality in their training spaces and to help people how technology can fit within a classroom using a blended or flipped approach no matter the circumstance.
This is an exciting time to be an educator and I am really looking forward to working with you all over the summer.