As the senior manager of professional learning at BCcampus, Sylvia Currie is part of a team responsible for creating and fostering open learning opportunities for educational professionals across the province.
1. Tell a bit about what you and your team do?
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?
A 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.
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.
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