Not so photogenic, but here I am…

Backed up with a degree in instructional design for online learning, I provide educational services to a number of organizations in Ontario. Online course development is Moodle (preferred) or in Brightspace / D2L. The chief difference between these two is how they are developed. Moodle is open-source and a community of users worldwide contribute to the many innovations and improvements that are regularly promulgated. Brightspace, though it is well integrated with learning expectations of jurisdictions like Ontario, does not implement new features with the same momentum. Online quizzes, for example, are far more advanced in Moodle than in Brightspace and are essential as checkpoint and evaluation tools. If you need help with Moodle or Brightspace, I may be able to help.

From August 2018 until June 2024, I taught at the Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy in Brantford. The Ontario curriculum courses I taught were mainly mathematics, computing and design and manufacturing (with a robotics and control systems focus).

About a week after being hired, I was asked by the school principal to lead the school’s robotics initiative. Though I knew a little bit about robotics competitions, this was something very new to me and I welcomed a challenge. FirstRobotics is facilitated by a network of mentors, in our case a veteran team from Hamilton’s St. Mary Catholic Secondary School’s MakeShift (FRC4039) was (and continues to be) particularly helpful and, more recently, from another veteran team from Hamilton’s Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School Celt-X Robotics (FRC 5406).

Since our rookie year, Brainstorm Robotics (FRC 7509) won three consecutive STEMley Cups and in 2024 won McMaster University’s FRC competition. I learned a lot from both mentors and students. We focused on capacity building, designing, prototyping, coding, and fabricate parts with conventional hand or power tools, and with automated tools, e.g., OnShape CAD, Fusion 360; 3D printer and Mach-3 on a CNC router. Each year, we added additional features to our competition robot, whether pneumatics, intakes or shooters, mechanical grabbers, telescoping arms or climbers and swerve drives. Coding in Java became more sophisticated, using a newer sub-system / command architecture.

Now, as I leave the STEAM Academy and Brainstorm Robotics (FRC7509), I am looking for alternative ways to stay involved in STEM education and the First Robotics FRC program, hopefully in the Burlington area.

I’ll post instructional design, leadership and technical tips¹, robotics notes, personal thoughts and reflections on teaching and learning here. You can easily search content using the search tool or by title, month, category or by clicking on keywords in the tag-cloud. Feel free to subscribe to my RSS feed².

(Updated June 16, 2024)

¹ chiefly related to BrightSpace, Moodle, Microsoft Office or Google applications, Camtasia Studio, and FirstRobotics.
² instructions on how to subscribe to my RSS feed are available here.