David Porter moves on to find “lots of space for blue sky thinking” on flexible learning

David Porter may have left BCcampus but he remains a respected presence in the B.C. post-secondary system. Not only is he project manager for the recently-convened Task Force on Flexible Education at Simon Fraser University, but he has been elected Chair of the Advisory Council for School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University, where he also serves as a member of the School of Communication and Culture advisory council.


 “I think I was selected for the School of Education and Technology Advisory Council to bring a systemic perspective informed by learning and technology strategies,” said Dr. Porter. “I am a chair of that council and a member of another [Communication and Culture], which is an interesting endeavour for me because it is made up of people from outside post-secondary education. Participation in that group has always given me a much-needed broader perspective on the role of education in industry, media, government, and the community.

“At SFU, I’m privileged to be working with yet another creative and energetic team, I’m delighted to be taking on this new role with its forward-looking orientation, including lots of space for blue-sky thinking by faculty, students and staff collectively. It is invigorating to go back to ground and build upwards.”

David Porter’s career in education spans nearly 40 years, from a teacher-librarian in an Ontario high school starting in 1976, to an highly sought-after, internationally known distance and online learning strategist today.

In Summer 2010, he presented a workshop at Hanoi Open University, on behalf of the International Development Research Centre of Canada, on open educational resources (OER) for education leaders from small Asian countries and autonomous regions: Laos, Cambodia, Bhutan, Mongolia, Tibet. That led to a request to work with a project in Mongolia to help advance the use of OER there. Over four subsequent visits to Mongolia (all during vacation time from BCcampus), in partnership with Mongolian colleagues, Dr. Porter conducted capacity-building workshops with educators, conducted a research project with pre-school teachers and parents, established a Creative Commons Mongolia affiliate, and launched ONE Academy as part of the Open Network for Education project. ONE Mongolia has since been supported by government funding in Mongolia as a national initiative.

He has been a forceful advocate for the use of open educational resources (OER), and most recently was co-editor of Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: An Asian Perspective, published by the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver. He is also an instructor in the Master of Educational Technology (MET) program at the University of British Columbia.

Although his presence at the BCcampus office is missed, at least the B.C. system will still benefit from his years of experience, passion, and expertise in educational technology, online, and flexible/blended post-secondary education.

Further reading:

Photo of Mongolian landscape copyright David Porter, used under Creative Commons License.