My name is Mark Viola and this is my ninth MET course. I am from Toronto and have taught at all-boys private, Catholic school for the past 14 years. My teachable subjects are Visual Arts and Mathematics – but I have been a full-time art teacher for the last 10 years or more.
My interest in Ed. Tech. began a few years ago when I began to experiment with new learning technologies in my own visual arts courses. I was amazed at the level of engagement of my students and at the meaningful learning experiences that occurred. For the first time in a number of years I was really excited about what was happening I’m my class. I was fortunate enough to have a very supportive administration at that point that not only allowed me to continue using ICT in my own pedagogy but to take on a leadership role in the school to help other teacher with ed. tech integration. This has lead to a new role for me at boy school – in addition to teaching I am also the Educational Technology Integration Leader. Fancy title for someone who work s with students, staff, IT and administration to develop an Ed. Tech. plan for the school and help with the integration of those technologies. Over the past few years my role has turned into one that centres on Professional Development and creating a culture of educational technology.
My areas of interest are mobile technologies and professional development. I believe that we are at an important crossroads with mobile technologies in education – the benefits of the technologies are obvious, but the lack of training and support for staff explains why so many schools still have a ‘no device’ policy. Mobile technologies have the potential to have the greatest effect on how students learn if properly used in a classroom.
Outside of the classroom I am a father of three (7 year old, 5 year old, and a 9 month old) and I coach baseball, hockey and recently Lacrosse. When I have a moment to myself (which are not many these days) I enjoy running and will soon start my training program for a marathon in the fall (fingers crossed). I am a huge Blue Jays fan and Raptors fan so there has been a lot of excitement in my home these past few weeks – hopefully we can keep this going.
I look forward to meeting and working with you on this great journey.