About Me

Me and Grandma Hawkins.jpg
My grandma and me.
I am trained as a high school math and computer teacher, but over the years have also been involved in special education and teacher training. Previously, I taught up in the Arctic of Canada for six years in a fly-in-only community of 300 (Quaqtaq). Now I live in Qatar, which is in the Middle East, and teach preparatory math to young college men. This is my seventh year living in Qatar and I love working/living here. My first language is English; however, I have always work locations where students are learning English and they are living in a non-English-speaking environment (an EFL learning environment).

I am originally from the west coast of Canada and lived many places up and down the coast, Gabriola Island, Campbell River, Victoria, Prince Rupert, two lighthouses (Chatham Point and Entrance Island)... to name a few places. I have a house in Ucluelet (Vancouver Island), property just outside of Ucluelet, and I do feel the call for me to return, but I am enjoying myself overseas for now.

This past summer, on our property we built a small 8'X12' cabin with a loft, installed a micro-hydroelectric system and solar panel... we are totally off the grid. Last summer, I started playing the baritone ukulele and I love it. I am married and have two girls ages 14 and 10. Here are some photos of my family.

Note: My current time zone is GMT +3:00; when you're sleeping I am working.

Why a Master of Distance Education

I've always been interested in technology and education, so when I decided to look for a master's program Athabasca University's Master of Distance Education (MDE) was a good fit. Also, the MDE provides me the opportunity to learn knowledge and skill-sets that I will help work in the distance education sector successfully. Having a job in this sector would allow me to live anywhere, including our property that is on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Our property is boat only access and it takes 30 to 45 minutes to get to town, weather permitting. Below shows the location of our property and the route we take to get to town. We are fortunate that on our property we get excellent cell coverage; however, we hope that by the time we move there that internet data plans will be much more affordable.

Our Property and how to get to town.jpg
By boat, which is the only way, it takes 30 to 45 minutes to get from our property to Ucluelet (the nearest town).

Why a Wiki

One of my retired moleskine journals.
One of my retired moleskine journals.
All of my notes and learning for the first three courses were recorded in my moleskine journals, but one day I was looking for something in one of the journals and it took me too long to find it. I was frustrated that my journals didn't have a search engine embedded in their design. I knew then and there that I needed to change how I documented my learning for my MDE and thus this wiki was created. All of my notes for my MDE are organized on this wiki--search engine problem solved!

In addition to this "search engine" problem, I have been thinking of what Stephen Downes said in one of his videos, Web 2.0 and Your Own Learning and Development (time: 5:55). He said, "It's hard for other people to share what they know with you, if you're not willing to share what you know with them. Interaction is the sort of thing a lot people say, 'well... I just don't have time... it takes too long.' But really, you have to make it a priority, you have to make it a habit, you have to make it the sort of thing you do automatically every day."

So, here I am... I am sharing what I know with YOU. Perhaps you'd be willing to share what you know with me, and together we can create connections to increase our learning. I hope we can learn collaboratively from each other -- collaborative learning involves mashing up OUR ideas, not putting our ideas side-by-side.

What Courses Taken

The order in which I took my courses in: MDDE603, MDDE601, MDDE604, MDDE617, MDDE602, MDDE605, MDDE611. MDDE613, MDDE612, MDDE610, MDDE 622
Course notes that are in my moleskine journals: MDDE603, MDDE601, MDDE604
Course notes that are in this wiki: MDDE617, MDDE602, MDDE605, MDDE611. MDDE613, MDDE612, MDDE610, MDDE 622