When I started with Coast Mountain College (CMTN) then known as Northwest Community College my work took me to the First Nations villages scattered on the BC North Coast. There were no ed tech systems in place and often no working technology or even classrooms—students rarely had access to computers or the internet. Fast forward to 2015 and working on campus I was confronted by a surge of tech implementation including a revised Learning Management System (LMS) yet had no opportunity to use it for teaching online. Only the Covid 19 pandemic forced me into a brief, rushed, and unhappy stint as an online instructor.
The college uses the BrightSpace platform which I had begun experimenting with, and those instructors with experience delivering the few online courses being held have seemed to flourish in that environment. The tools are now “good enough” (Weller, 2020, p. 64) so that even teachers with no prior online teaching experience were just managing to survive the switch to online delivery.
As for blogging, WordPress is a first for me and I can see a certain amount of value in it even though it adds a level of complexity to my usual experience with Moodle. Perhaps it will become a “useful means of anchoring an online identity” (Weller, 2020, p. 72) as I navigate into part time work. I have noticed that at least one student in this course has her LinkedIn profile attached to WordPress.
I have also benefited from the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) through BC Campus open texts. Using a mix of old tech (a Word document-based student guide) and the new (an editable open textbook) I hopefully improved an Adult Basic Education (ABE) course last year. Once again I am struck by how far back advancements such as OER go, and I have a new appreciation for the hard work and risks taken by those involved in this progression.