My name is doug symington and I've been interacting, learning and playing in online spaces since before the turn of the century.
From 2001 to 2005 I was an online MEd student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/IT). My OISE/UT studies focused on Curriculum, Teaching and Learning with a specialization in Computer Applications.
This space resulted from my desire to attempt to capture some the coursework and concepts associated with my graduate studies at OISE/UT as well as space for reflection, and a diary of my learning both in and out of school.
During this same time frame I was employed as a Training Developer with SMART Technologies Inc., makers of interactive whiteboards and complementary/supporting software applications.
Throughout my time at OISE/UT and SMART I developed an awareness of the many issues related to "access" and online learning environments. I also became acutely aware that social relationships play a significant role in determining how motivated an individual learner will be to work through and overcome issues associated with access--be they technical, social or a combination thereof.
After leaving SMART I worked in the not-for-profits sector and worked with organizations on Vancouver Island leveraging "free" web tools for development and outreach across and within individual organizations. It was also during this time frame that I had the good fortune to meet @davecormier and @jefflebow and become a contributing member of the community they fostered with @edtechtalk. The many webcasting lessons I learned as a host of EdTechBrainstorm stand me in good stead to this day.
More recently I have returned to the corporate sector as a consultant; however, I continue to be involved in pro bono work for not-for-profits and remain *very* interested in exploring and leveraging "freely" accessible tools for the benefit of individuals and organizations--be they corporate, educational, or not-for-profits.
I've decided to participate in #rhizo14 to get back in with a community of practice of people who "get it" or are at least prepared to give online learning spaces a chance. I'd also like to make an effort to reflect more on my practice by blogging more regularly, and I expect #rhizo14 participation to prompt me in that regard.
I look forward to learning from and with each of you and am very thankful for the opportunity.