University of Calgary

Cohorts on Campus

UToday HomeJuly 17, 2012

Education grad student Steve Burchill, left, with classmate Louis Cheng, is on campus for two weeks as part of his Master’s program in Educational Technology. Photo by Clayton MacGillivrayEducation grad student Steve Burchill, left, with classmate Louis Cheng, is on campus for two weeks as part of his Master’s program in Educational Technology. Photo by Clayton MacGillivrayFor a group of people who’ve only met twice, they know each other pretty well.

The cohort of 22 students in the Master of Education program in Educational Technology are on campus for two weeks of intensive course study, where they have the opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss ideas and issues in their field of research.

Despite the fact they get together just once a year, the group keeps in close and regular contact as they tackle assignments, share ideas, and work to widen their depth and breadth of their understanding of the course material.

Take Steven Burchill, for example, who travelled from Ottawa and chose to come to the University of Calgary because of the expertise offered in Educational Technology.

“Technology is growing exponentially, and it is my philosophy that all teachers need to understand the new trends, become proficient with those trends, and know how to incorporate that into the classroom,” he says. “By accomplishing this, we not only keep students engaged but we also increase the potential in our students to be able to compete at the international level as they move beyond our secondary educational systems here in Canada.”

With this philosophy in mind, Burchill sought a Master's program that highlights the latest technological trends and how that relates to not only education but also educational systems.

“I was surprised to find that only a handful of universities across Canada offer such a program,” he says. “And the University of Calgary is one of those institutions.”

Burchill says the strength of the program is to work alongside and learn from the other Master's candidates in his cohort.

“Every student brings a different skill set into the classroom: From principals, vice principals, teachers, mothers, fathers, distance education leaders, employees in the technology sector, and individuals working in the oil fields. I find that I benefit from this vast wealth of experience and knowledge brought into the class each and every day,” he says.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of this cohort. Not only do I get to see my new friends and catch up, but I get to work with the professors in a face-to-face environment as they guide me to become a future leader in educational technology.”

“Plus,” Burchill adds, “I’ve had the chance to visit Calgary, see the Rocky Mountains, and enjoy the Calgary Stampede.”