My name is Stephen Walsh. The completion of the Masters of Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia which this ePortfolio represents is the latest step of my development as an educator in a career that spans over fifteen years. I got my start in teaching as a swim instructor, a job in which the highest technology was a flutter board. However, teaching swimming is relevant because the teacher must convince the learner to overcome their fear in order to succeed, much like the aversion some coworkers show for new technology and methods. With the proper guidance and technique, even the most timid can dive in successfully.
I went to Memorial University of Newfoundland where I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. Later, I had the opportunity to live in a "francophone milieu" for a time, completing the necessary requirements to add a French minor to my transcript. Learning another language is a life-long goal of mine and I revel in the myriad ways that finely tuned apps can help me learn and retain vocabulary and how communication technologies allow me to interact with native speakers.
I taught English in South Korea after graduation. It was this experience that cemented my future as a teacher. I taught at academies, schools, and offices, from kindergartners, to high schoolers, to team managers. I had incredibly instructive experiences with high and low tech institutions. I took part in professional development, created curriculum, and collaborated regularly with my peers. I knew my teaching practice was improving but I felt that it was missing a theoretical foundation. Furthermore, I was lacking an educational credential that would be required to teach subjects other than the English language elsewhere in the world. To rectify this situation, I returned to Canada and obtained a Bachelor of Education from my alma mater. I began work in the public education system of Newfoundland and Labrador upon graduation.
It was in this position that I realized that technology was in the process of transforming education much like it has transformed the world at large. Schools were trying to adopt technologies in order to remain relevant with varying degrees of success. I wanted to know how educators could best implement their curricula within a framework of technological integration. This led me to UBC's MET program. This website outlines the major lessons learned from that program in the form of artifacts and reflections.