Thursday, September 29, 2011

About Me

Hi all,

My name is Carissa McCann and I am currently in the PACE (Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education) program under the Educational Leadership and Policy department at Portland State University. I am also working toward a Teaching Adult Learners graduate certificate in addition to the master’s degree and this certificate.

I have always been involved with and loved education. My undergraduate degree is in mathematics with an emphasis in education. I then went on to obtain two California teaching credentials. My husband and I moved to Portland a couple of years ago where I struggled to find employment as a K-12 educator and decided to get involved with adult education. I was accepted to the master’s program at Portland state and have been immensely enjoying the study of adult education.

Along with my passion for education, I’m also technologically inclined. I’ve worked with technology throughout my educational and personal life. Most recently, I worked for CASIO in their Marketing, Research, and Design office here in Portland. I continue to be an instructor for a section of their online training course for teachers across the nation who want to learn how to use one of their calculators with their students. I am also employed at Clackamas Community College as an instructional designer, helping faculty design courses, providing workshops and training, and troubleshooting technology issues related to the learning management system. For both CASIO and Clackamas Community College, Moodle is the learning management system used.

I am really looking forward to moving through this course and learning more about effective e-learning course design techniques and strategies.

Greetings from North Carolina

Hi!  My name is Michelle Irinyi and I’m distance learning mentor and social media content provider for the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) in Vancouver, BC.  Having grown up in Spokane, Washington, I now call central North Carolina my home – at least until I am able to relocate my family  back to the west coast. 

I hold K-12 teaching certificates in several states and as well as Montessori teaching certificates for ages 3-12.  In addition, I also hold a master’s degree in educational administration with an emphasis in curriculum design and instruction.  

Over the course of my career, I have taught every grade between pre-k through 12th grade, both in the public and private sectors!  I now work with Montessori teacher candidates around the world, touching the lives of countless unseen children and their families.  While I miss my own classroom, I know I am able to touch the lives of more children in my current capacity as teacher trainer.  I am also currently an educational consultant for the Mojave Unified School District in California.  

I enrolled in this class because I have the exciting task of helping move NAMC’s hybrid distance learning course into a more online and interactive platform.  Currently, 90% of the teacher trainer’s interaction with students is via email.  Students complete an extensive written assignment using the NAMC manuals and submit them to their mentor.  I am looking forward to helping bring more interaction and dialog between Montessori mentors, teacher candidates and alumni while also showing the Montessori community that there is room for technology in this hands-on, sensorial, and liberating approach to education.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hello there!

Hi! My name is Sue Rosemarin and I am a science teacher at an alternative high school here in Portland. For the last 5 years I have been working on integrating technology into my lesson plans and it is my dream to one day either write curriculum for online education and/or help teachers use technology in their classrooms to enrich their lessons. Presently I am also the technology coordinator at my school and do my best to "turn the other teachers onto" the wonderful things that are available to them. I am familiar with moodle and hope to have a chance to use it in the future, although I teach at a VERY low socioeconomic school and I am unsure of how that will work.

Anyhow, I look forward to interacting with all of you and learning as many E-learning strategies as possible.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hi Everyone !

My name is Sara Barlow, originally from England, I have lived in Holland for 10 years before arriving in Portland 18 months ago. I came here for my husband's job and decided to come back to University.

I have worked for 15 years in the sportswear apparel and footwear business. My background is in design and development of apparel and also in footwear buying. I was invited to be a university lecturer in the UK a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wanted to build on that by learning more about education and how to teach people.

There was little e-learning to be done when I was at Uni the first time round, so wanted to make the most of the opportunity this time. I look forward to getting to know you all and learning more about this whole subject area.


Hi everyone!

I'm a Technology Training and Development Specialist for Multnomah County.  I have 14 years experience with training in the workplace, and as my title implies I have experience mostly with technology training.  

We're currently in the process of deploying Moodle as an LMS.  Most of the training at my organization has always been face-to-face classroom training (or as I like to call it, Live Action), or in some cases instructions on a website.  We're looking for strategies and best practices for deploying training in other ways.

Hello all!

I'm Eileen Casey White. Up until three months ago, I have been a program coordinator for the past 17 years at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. Budget cuts and subsequent layoffs have meant a time of change and opportunity for me. For the past 10 years, I've also had a consulting company, Connections Consulting, Inc., that has allowed me to take on projects with employers, educational institutions, and state agencies; now this has become my full-time focus. As a part of "growing my business," I've committed to doing more volunteer work, broadening my network, and learning new skills (like e-learning). My primary focus areas are curriculum development, workshops/training, and research. My goal is to develop stronger online skills in order to teach both at the college/university level and to develop online training for local and regional employers.

Currently, I teach an online continuing education course for Portland State University ("Poverty 101," in partnership with Dr. Donna Beegle and Communication Across Barriers) and am developing a new course for the local Small Business Development Center. "Introduction to Starting a Nonprofit" will be a 3-credit course as part of an online Entrepreneurship series that I also teach in as needed. I'm also learning Chemeketa's new platform, Blackboard Learn 9.1, so I expect to spend a lot of time on the computer!

Hello Everybody

I’m Dan Thurs. My professional situation is somewhat in flux. Up until recently, I was doing my best to become a professor at a university. In what I take to be a pretty substantial testament to my perseverance, I applied for tenure-track jobs for the last 7 to 8 years, but I’d only managed to get temporary positions, interspersed with periods of unemployment. I’m currently unemployed now.

While I’ve more or less abandoned the idea of gaining a professorship, there is one part of academia I want to keep with me. And that’s teaching—primarily at the college level, which I know best, but I’m also hoping to learn about other opportunities in other places from this course and the people I’ll be meeting (like all of you).

I started teaching college-level physics in 1996 as a teaching assistant (my undergraduate degrees are in physics and math). I kept on teaching through graduate school (I got my PhD in the history of science in 2004) and ever since. I was at Cornell for a little while, then moved out to Portland and taught at a bunch of schools there (University of Portland, Western Oregon University, and Oregon State). Most recently, I’ve been a faculty fellow at a small master’s program at NYU. I’m currently living slightly upstate (the city did not suit me at all well) in a tiny cabin with my wife (who’s a freelance grantwriter), our border collie, two cats, and a horse.

Throughout my teaching career, I’ve had lots of opportunities to come into contact with e-learning, but haven’t yet put all the pieces together into a bigger picture (something again I hope to get out of this and other courses here at PSU). I’ve used both Moodle and Blackboard primarily to deliver course content. I ran an independent study course with two people using a Google group once. I’ve relied on e-mail pretty extensively. I’ve had students do assignments online, looking in databases or for other information. And I’ve dabbled in a few other things (like holding office hours in a chat room). Still, the vast majority of my experience is in the traditional classroom, leading discussion and giving lectures.

At present, my dream job is working in instructional support/instructional technology at a college or university. One of the things I love most about teaching is the problem-solving and strategizing about how to make the best course possible. I’d like to get some background and training so I can be competitive for those positions (I’ve applied for a number over the past couple of years but have yet to get an interview). As I said above, I’m also hoping to learn about other areas I could work in. I know a little something about instructional design in the private sector, but not much. So, in addition to preparing myself for what I know about, I’m really hoping to discover more options.

I suppose the most important thing to say is that I'm very excited about this course and getting to work with everyone here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Glad to meet you!

I work as an independent consultant these days. My work focuses on the integration of technology into the educational programs of students with disabilities. Before I retired, I was the Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) ( ). I do a lot of assistive technology consultation, training and technical assistance.

I have taught online but I do it by the "seat of my pants" I can't wait to get some formal instruction about e-learning, what works and what's new.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


Add your picture and brief biosketch to this fall 2011 E-Learning Strategies for Online Instruction Blog site. You will receive an invitation in your e-mail account to participate. All that is required is for you to set up a GOOGLE account, if you don't have one and add your information to the page. I've included a help document (PDF file format) in module 1 assignments should you have problems posting.

Let me know if you have any questions.