How it all started.

Alan Portrait
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 a 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.

Me? Until June 2014 I was working as an Independent Learning Coordinator at a tertiary institution in the UAE. I have been a teacher most of my working life, mainly teaching English, but I have done a turn at History, Biology, and computer literacy teaching too.

I am now working as an eLearning coordinator and teacher of academic English in Perth, Western Australia.

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

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