Week 8 – Summary of the PIDP.

In my final blog post for PIDP 3240, I would like to briefly talk about my experience with this course and with the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma Program as a whole.

I have almost come to the end of a 2 year journey which started with PIDP 3100 in 2015. When I started, I was still working as a mechanic, within 12 months I had decided that this was the career for me and now I am teaching in my trade at a post-secondary institution.

This is the 4th and final online course that I have taken through the PIDP program. And it has been both a rich and rewarding experience for me. I have learned from my experiences taking the 3100 course online, that online courses require discipline and excellent time management skills to be successful. And when I say successful, I don’t just mean with marks, I mean with getting the full rounded experience of what an online course can provide.

An online course can provide a greater degree of collaboration with your fellow students and a greater understanding of the subject matter that is being studied. I can remember my university classes 15 years ago, where I would have 2 exams and a paper to write. 2/3 of the feedback that I received for my work, would come only after the end of the final day of classes. I think that receiving continually feedback and direction from the instructor on a weekly basis, is an excellent way to stay focused and be successful in a course. I give weekly feedback to my students now and I can see the benefits in their progression throughout the course.

Incidentally, one of my favourite things about this program is all the wonderful people that you get to meet from a variety of different fields. It has been a very enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in a career in teaching.

VCC School of Instructor Education:


Week 7 – Instructional media and the open source options.

There are more and more choices available for open source material, including software, textbooks and even online courses. Students and instructors are not bound by a single type of computer operating system either, as was the case when I attended university.

Students and instructors can find a variety of free options for software in their google account. For example there is google docs, sheets, slides and drive. There are other options such as GLIMP, used instead of photoshop and Lightworks instead of Final Cut Pro.

I think this will be the future of technology, more choices at a cheaper price or free. This is the beautiful thing about having a global platform and audience for open source material. There is so much competition that giant companies like Microsoft and Apple are forced to provide their software at a very low price or free also.

Text book will become increasingly digit and available online. Many versions will be available at the click of a mouse.

With so much media and technology available at your finger tips, there will likely be a new revolution in media rich content coming into this world.

Watkins, D. (2017) Are textbooks in or out? The state of open educational resources.” Opensource.com

Week 6 – The Virtual Reality classroom for Med students.

I wanted to post a very good article that I read about when I was researching for another assignment. I can’t think of a better example of enhanced media, when describing the practical applications of a Virtual Reality classroom for medical students.

Meghan Bogardus Cortez, highlights in her article, “3 Ways Med Students Can Use Virtual Reality“, the benefits of this emerging technology in the classroom.

Cortez describes using VR to simulate and teach surgical procedures, where by enhancing the learner’s knowledge and skills. VR allows for a realistic and lifelike surgical environment and enables a student to better prepare for real life surgery. The VR surgery is also interactive and allows the medical student to make mistakes without consequences to the patient. It also allows the student to practice and develop their skills through repetition, without the necessity of using real people.

One day the VR visual experience maybe accompanied by a physical touch experience through the use of gloves that mimic the same pressure that a surgeon would actually feel.


Week 5 – The 100,000 student classroom: TED Talk

Peter Norvig is an Instructor at Stanford University and Director of Research at Google. He decided to develop a 100,000 plus student course that would equal or be better than any course offered at Stanford University. He ended up attracting over 160,000 student from 209 countries to register for his course.

He used 2 – 6 min videos with interactive questions. He designed this course to be highly interactive and included online forums and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

Over 20,000 students finished the 10 week course.

What do you think about the prospects of having a 100,000 plus student classroom?

How could an instructor evaluate competencies levels from so many students?

Hope you enjoy the TED Talk video, please add comments.

Week 4 – Corporate sponsorship at post-secondary institutions

The trend today is that governments are less willing to increase post-secondary education fund these days, especially when it comes to the day to day operating budget. Universities and colleges are tasked with finding more and more creative ways of securing funding sources outside of the traditional routes.

moneybag.jpgThis includes looking at more corporate and private sponsorships, which usually come with strings attached as how to spend the money. For example the college may have to open a centre of excellence and divert a portion of its own resources to build a new facility and create a new department.

Another draw back to corporate sponsorship is that it maybe for a limited time and not dependable as a stable source of income for years to come.

And finally, as stated by Bradshaw’s article in the Globe and Mail. Corporate sponsorship and private donors may wish to have input and control over what is taught and by whom.

Week 3 – Robots teachers in the classroom.


Here is an interesting article from the Daily Mail Uk, about robot teachers in South Korea. At first I thought it was a joke, however after reading the article I realized that there might be real implications for education in the future.

This particular example is actually operated by a human from a remote distance in the Philippines. Dare I say that it will not be long until a full autonomous robotic instructor will be in a classroom near you.

Well, I think we still a long way off from robots being able to interact with humans on a complex and multifaceted way.  I agree with this article by Javier Espinoza of the The Telegraph, states that robots lack the ability to inspire or engage with their human students.

Any thought? Please post a reply

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Week 2 – Facebook in the classroom


One of the biggest issues that I have had to deal with, is whether cellphones should be allowed in the classroom. The broader issue being, how much technology should be allowed in the classroom? Technology such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart watches, scientific  calculators, gaming devices and their applications.

In Chapter 2, in the book Teaching Naked, Jose Bowen touches on the issue and argues that Facebook can even be used to extend the classroom to where the students live. I would argue that it is hard enough to try and hold the attention of the students in class, without having to compete with social media sites and other distractions.

I have no real objections to smartphone or Facebook in the classroom, however when the students are in the shop area working on practical assignments they are not allowed to have cellphones for safety regulations. The challenge then comes when I have to police one policy in the shop area, and allow electronic devices in the classroom.

I also find that with one or two students, smart phones are a real distraction to them and they are not able to police themselves at to appropriate use. In these cases, their classroom work tends to suffer as these devices have a significant hold on their lives.