The New Learning Technologies: An Insider’s Perspective
In less than ten years, Brenda Dyck has leveraged learning technologies as a student and a teacher to become a sought-after expert on telecollaborative learning. An accomplished online educator, Brenda delivers conference workshops, contributes to several industry publications, moderates a teacher listserv, and leads technology integration for a Calgary-area school.
In 1997, Brenda returned to a career in teaching to find working with students had taken on more of a high-technology focus.
“For about five years I was teaching myself. Somewhere in the process, I started to see it wasn’t just about making cute little projects to post online. The use of technology actually facilitated a deeper learning in students.… I wanted to explore why telecollaborative learning has such powerful learning implications in the classroom.”
In 2003, Brenda enrolled in the fully online Master of Educational Technology Program offered by the University of British Columbia.
“Through the different courses I came to understand why it works… there are some very sound educational theories that support it… At the end of the two years, I am more convinced that this is a very sound way to teach.”
Brenda’s advise for other professionals considering online graduate programs? These courses are accessible and intellectually challenging:
“There’s a huge learning curve, especially for those who’ve been out of academic life for a while. Try to budget enough time and not to take on so much when you are just starting out.”
Brenda sees a real need for educators to make the commitment to develop skills in this field.
“There is a need for leaders that understand educational technology is not just an option…it is actually enhancing critical thinking and preparing students for the 21st century.”