First and foremost, Ted is an educator. He has taught high school students at Maple Ridge Secondary School for over thirty years. Although he has had several opportunities to take other jobs both inside education and in the private sector, he has felt his primary calling is to help prepare teenagers for success as they move into adult life. Ted has taught courses in Computer Science, Math, Social Studies, Business, Digital Art, and Music.
In 1997, Ted received the Prime Minister's Award For Teaching Excellence. Ted was awarded this prestigious Canadian national award for his work in developing a real-world technology curriculum for grade 11 and 12 students that prepares them for employment in the areas of website design and computer networking directly out of high school. Ted was recognized for his work in creating his innovative problems-first teaching strategy, his "4 D" approach to solving problems, his unique use of role playing in the classroom, and his idea of progressive withdrawal as a way to foster independence in his students.
In addition to being a classroom teacher, Ted has also been a department head, an administrative assistant, and a technology consultant. He is currently the Coordinator of The Digital Art Academy for the Maple Ridge School District in Vancouver, B.C.
Ted has also taught at the post-secondary level where he taught computer networking, graphic design, and desktop publishing for Okanagan University.
Ted is also an author. He has written or co-written ten books on the future, effective teaching strategies, educational technology, and graphic design. He is currently working on three new book projects.
Prior to entering the teaching profession, Ted worked for several years in the computer industry as a programmer, salesperson, and consultant. In addition to his work as a teacher, for the past twenty-five years Ted has also consulted with school districts and businesses on effective teaching for the digital generation and the implementation of instructional technology. His clients have included Apple Computer, Microsoft, Aldus, and Toyota, as well as many school districts and educational associations.
In his role as an educational futurist, Ted encourages educators to consider the impact the astounding changes taking place in the world today are having on students and learning. He is passionate in his belief that schools must change so they can effectively prepare students for the rest of their lives.
"My focus is not just on technology - it is on the underlying instructional approach. In my view, the real issue in schools today is the 20th century mindset of the vast majority of teachers. So when they go to use technology, they graft it onto an old view of what instruction looks like, what learning looks like, and what evaluation looks like. Most teachers are stuck in what I call the horseless buggy stage of implementation of technology - they have taken the new technology and limited its use by trying to make it fit into an old mindset for instruction. Of course I use technology in my classes - I run possibly the only Digital Art Academy in a high school in North America. But my approach does not focus on the tools, it focuses on the task and how teachers and students can take on different roles in the classroom that will equip them with 21st century skills. And my presentations stress that we must insist that students use technology as an integral part of their schoolwork. However, often teachers tell me that they can't teach 21st century skills because the school won't give them technology. I disagree. Technology is often the best tool to use to accomplish a task and students must be given practice in using it in school, but my instructional approach can be implemented in any classroom so that students can begin getting the skills they will need for success in the future regardless of whether there is technology in the room or not."