Monday, March 10, 2014

5 questions

This is cross-posted from BCcampus. I was interviewed by the fabulous Maria Lironi. I say fabulous despite having just met her. You know how you just immediately connect with people sometimes? She listened to what probably seemed like abrupt advice -- present me as part of a team, and no "yearbook" style photos!

I got a glimpse of her life, too. Maria also rides motorcycles and works from home in an environment surrounded by quiet and wildlife. (Ok, so I ride a scooter, but hey.)

Thoroughly enjoyed the process. It was also nice to get exposure for all we do in professional learning at BCcampus.




As the senior manager of professional learning at BCcampusSylvia Currie is part of team responsible for creating and fostering open learning opportunities for educational professionals across the province.
Sylvia Currie
Sylvia Currie
1. Tell a bit about what you and your team do?
Social learning and open practices are at the core of what we do. We create both informal and formal learning opportunities through face-to-face and online activities, and communities of practice.
This includes workshops, webinars and discussions organized though the Educational Technology Users Group and SCoPE, an international community. Right now there is big focus on adopting and adapting open textbooks.
We also build on existing resources, especially those that have made a positive impact in BC post-secondary institutions.  One such example is the Instructional Skills Workshop Online that was originally developed at RRU as an Open Educational Resource.
2. How does a community of practice benefit post-secondary education?
community of practice brings together people who share in an interest in education research and practice, and provides opportunities for sharing. Geographical borders disappear online as communities of practice have the ability to connects people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact, either as frequently or at all.
3. How is the work that you do influencing post-secondary education in BC and around the world?
Educators say, “I wish I could live in BC!” I think there’s a little bit of open envy. We’ve been nudging the open agenda along for a long time. We also believe there are many advantages to sharing beyond our borders and engaging in dialogue with practitioners around the world.
Good examples are the SCoPE seminar discussions, collaborative partnerships with institutions to offer MOOCs and conferences as well as supporting research projects.
Last year, I travelled to the Universidad de IbaguĂ© in Colombia to give a talk about learning communities and networks at the annual Congreso de PedagogĂ­a y TIC.
4. Why is this work important to you?
This work fits with my philosophies about education—that learning should be a continuous process that invites multiple perspectives, reflective practice, and new, sometimes unplanned, experiences.
I also feel that something very special happens when working with individuals who are motivated to share their time, expertise and work because they want to learn themselves, and to help others.
I came to BCcampus in 2008, and brought with me many, many years of work experience in a variety of roles in British Columbia post secondary education.
It helped that I was already very connected with people across the system— educational technologists, faculty, administrators, and researchers.
5. How does someone access the department’s services?
You can check out our website and calendar. Many of our events are free.

Notable quotes:

Learning should be a continuous process that invites multiple perspectives, reflective practice, and new, sometimes unplanned, experiences. ~ Sylvia Currie
Something very special happens when working with individuals who are motivated to share their time, expertise and work because they want to learn themselves, and to help others. ~ Sylvia Currie

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