Tag - ubc

TEDx Vancouver

Aaron Coret & Stephen SlenI had the great privilege of going to TEDx Vancouver this past weekend …

It was in UBC‘s Chan Centre, a great venue – although it’s hard to sit anywhere for 8 hours or so of lectures. But TED talks are generally awesome, and these did not disappoint.

(If you don’t know what TED is, stop everything, go here, and watch a few videos. Short form: Technology, Entertainment, Design.)

My favorite sessions:

  • Aaron Coret & Stephen Slen
    After Aaron broke his neck snowboarding, they invented an airbag for snowboarders that saves lives and was used in the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies (yeah, I was in those opening ceremonies). Very cool, very courageous, very inspiring.

  • Christopher Gaze
    Wow. If you love language, you have to love Christopher. He loves the bard, Shakespeare, and does an amazing job explaining, no, demonstrating why.

  • Dr. Kate Moran
    How about the internet in the ocean? She’s doing it … very cool.

  • Romeo Dallaire
    The Canadian leader of the UN force in Rwanda during the genocide, who had his hands tied by UN rules, was forced to basically watch the atrocities, and wrote a book about it later: Shake Hands with the Devil.

  • Jer Thorp
    Wow. Amazing data visualizations with the NY Times and other organizations.

  • Victor Lucas
    Victor was announced as talking about 3-D. Turns out he was introducing the 3D rules he wrote in a letter to his unborn daughter:

    • Don’t be a dick
    • Don’t hang around with dicks
    • Don’t dick around

All in all: a great day. A few of my shots:

Latest MET paper: constructivism and self-learning

I am almost finished my Masters degree in Educational Technology at UBC … just one course to go. Actually less, since I’m more than half-way through the last course.

Here’s the major paper that I wrote for ETEC 530, my current course. The basic thesis? Constructivism, the current hottest paradigm in education du jour, is all about how students learn. However, the literature is all about how teachers need to teach. Somewhere, there seems to be a disconnect:

Constructivism and self-learning: Much yet to learn?


Today I finished the last requirements for the current course in my master’s program: a 2-part, 4000-word paper.


This semester has been a long, tough haul, with a lot of work for school, and a lot of work for work. I’m looking forward to breathing a bit this summer as I don’t have any courses planned.

Of course, there is a ton of work on the house that I’ve been planning to do …

Updates, ETEC, CrowdTrust, Life

In case you’re wondering what’s going on with this blog, I’m currently taking 2 courses for my Master of Educational Technology program at the University of British Columbia.

Plus doing some home reno, plus I have 3 kids, plus my wife seems to feel that somehow I ought to spend some time with her (odd, that), plus I have a full-time job (money: it’s a love/hate relationship).

So some things suffer.In any case, for my ETEC 522 course “Ventures in Learning Technology” we’re reviewing educational technology ventures: start-up businesses. Since one of the profs for the course is behind a social knowledge storage/management start-up called CrowdTrust, we’re putting most of our thoughts and comments into that system. (Here are mine.)

One thing I wanted to share here is a memo I wrote concerning a company’s pitch for VC money.

Hopefully I haven’t been too savage.