ETMOOC – Who is Brian Metcalfe?

The Educational Technology and Media MOOC has invited all participants to introduce themselves by stating:

We would like you to introduce yourself to #etmooc. Declaring your identity, through letting us know a bit about who you are, will help participants better relate to and connect with you.

To try and be more economical with my usual long-winded writing style, I have included an image since we all know that “a picture is worth 1000 words”.

As a retired K-12 Educational Technology Consultant and teacher, I consider myself to be a life-long-learner. My gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar) creation illustrates the three stages in our human development – child, adolescent, and adult. More importantly, the logo portrays that through communicating, collaborating, and “putting our heads together”, each individual can benefit from the ideas that others share.

Life-Long-Learners logo & motto

I believe that sharing educational ideas and resources is just like tossing a pebble into a quiet pond. We have no idea how far the ripples will travel and we have no idea how other educators, and more importantly, how other students will benefit.

The motto “Ancora Imparo!” was uttered by Michelangelo at the age of 87 and translates to “Still, I am learning” or I am still learning”. Imagine such a profound statement being admitted by this artistic genius who recognized that, even in his latter years, there was still much more to learn. As such, “Ancora Imparo!” seemed to be a very fitting motto for my blog and a mantra for all “Life-Long-Learners”.

The vast majority of the participants in the #etmooc learning environment will use gravatar images that are pictures of themselves. However, I have been actively engaged in using and teaching about the Internet since its first introduction to K-12 students and staff. As educators, we were always concerned with protecting the identity of students. We were diligent in preventing student faces, together with corresponding names, from appearing on our web pages to be viewed by a global audience. As such, I felt it was important, at that time, to model discretion and chose a graphic image to represent my identity. Furthermore, if, the extremely knowledgeable educational blogger, Alan Levine can use a “dog” as his gravatar, I feel quite content to utilize my “putting our heads together” image to represent me in the social networking and MOOC environment.

Take care & keep smiling 🙂

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4 Responses to ETMOOC – Who is Brian Metcalfe?

  1. Jodie Reeder says:

    Love your gravatar and what it stands for (not to mention that I’ve never heard that term before) I think this should be the second assignment for our ETMOOC course. 😉

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Jodie for the positive feedback. My blog header picture, from which I extracted my gravatar, was professionally created through a “design contest” run by “99Designs”. Artists and professional designers, from around the world, submitted logos on which I provided feedback and rated. At the end of a week, a creative University professor from the Ukraine was the winner and I received a logo of which I am quite proud.

    I like your idea of suggesting that #ETMOOC participants, who don’t have a gravatar, create one. IF they upload their chosen image to “Gravatar – Globally Recognized Avatars”, the identifying image will “travel” with them through tweets to blogging comments like this one.

    If you want to explore avatars more fully, you might like to look at Voki where one can created avatars and even have them talk. Students have fun using Voki to create talking avatars” that help them protect their online identity by not revealing their face to the Internet’s global audience.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

  3. Hi, I also fall into the Life-Long Learner category though I am not yet retired. In fact after 37 years in the classroom I now work as the Technology Integration Specialist Grades 2-5 at a school in Guatemala City. Always learning…

    Anyway, while I have now switched in this course and a couple of others to using my face as my gravator for years I used an avatar that my students over the years became very familiar with. I, like you, felt that I must model what I was teaching my young students and it worked wonderfully well.

    While mine was a definite representation of who I am it was by no means as inspiring as yours is. It is wonderful. Thank you for the explanation which makes it come alive.


  4. admin says:

    Hi Heather … I love the name of your blog “Teach Less! Learn More!” at: As an educator (for life), I am very impressed with the number of different, and diverse cultures in which you have taught. Your “proud Canadian” Animoto #ETMOOC welcome video at: certainly provides so much more background than this introductory post of mine. Undoubtedly, you have “raised the bar” substantially and I will have to post another entry to help explain, to fellow #ETMOOC participants, more about my passion for learning and sharing. You may also be interested in a blog post that I hope to complete today which showcases a wealth of motivational, educational posters.

    All the best with your on-line courses! I trust that we will be following each other’s exploits during our amazing #ETMOOC experience.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

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