How it all started.

My first ed tech challenge was in a high school in the mid-1980s (yes, way back then!) when I was asked to cover a class for a sick colleague. The class had to play some game over a LAN network. My brief was to insert the 5 and quarter inch floppy disk into the central computer and the clients would boot up to the game. After 5 minutes of trying I gave up and told the students the computer lesson wouldn’t work. These students were in the lowest class, academically, of their year, so I was rather surprised to be chided by them over my lack of technical skills. “OK, if you think you can get it to work, go ahead.” I challenged them. Sure enough, in a few minutes, all the computers were up and running. It was a great boost in confidence for the students, a humbling lesson for me and I had to take the subsequent ribbing in good humour. I was determined to not be caught out again by technology. 

I have been a teacher most of my working life, mainly teaching English, but I have done a turn at teaching Social Studies, History, Biology, and computer literacy too. 

My first role as an educational technologist came in 2002 when I was appointed as the first CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) Coordinator at Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I have since spent five years as part of the Ed Tech department at Abu Dhabi Women's College then became an Independent Learning Centre Coordinator for the four years up to July 2014. In my time at Abu Dhabi Women's College I gave over 400 professional development sessions to the staff in elearning.

I am interested in creating e-learning materials using whatever seems best at the time – Hot Potatoes, Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, Visual Basic, Flash, Java. I am familiar with Blackboard Vista LMS and dabbled in Moodle. I am not into computer games – Tetris is the only one I’ve whiled the time away with much. But I can spend too many hours fiddling with new software and installing Linux distros!

Happily married to Andrea, and father of Robi (born 2003) and Sylvia (born 2005).

 

Alan Pollock