Dr. Valerie Irvine is a professor interested in ways to put the student back at the centre of learning. Shifts to support this in any aspect of K-20 policy and practice creates a domino effect: personalizing demands change in assessment; giving learners agency demands shifts in modality, access, and a recognition that learning happens wherever the learner is; inclusivity of special needs and addressing social justice demands shifts in power structures; liberating structures requires open access resources; to access open educational resources and to create a personal learning network, educators, leaders, and learners will need to develop digital, newtorked, and open literacy; and, ultimately, to create systematic shifts, developing stronger relationships and respect will be required.
She has served on and chaired leadership committees in both research and teaching at the university (Departmental, Faculty-level, and Senate) as well as in executive roles within national and international conferences, as well as in regional IT leadership organizations. She has over $1.4 million in funding to her name from sources including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, Government of Canada Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), BC Ministry of Education, TELUS, SMART, and more. Under her graduate supervision, her MA and PhD graduate students have been able to secure scholarships, including SSHRC, and land positions ranging from educational developers to tenure-track faculty at universities.
She is the educational technology graduate and undergraduate area advisor at the University of Victoria. Her MEd cohorts of K12 teachers have been offered in multi-access format with our cohort hashtag trending in Canada during their final oral presentations. She has taught in face-to-face, blended, online and in multi-access format, so has a deep understanding of modality. She started teaching both online and open since 1998 and has not used a learning management system in over a decade. She developed both the multi-access framework and also coined the term cyberproxy, both of which seek to merge face-to-face and online modalities, although the latter explores the idea of network code and telepresence robots to support accessibility for those with special needs. She has developed an undergraduate course in educational technology that is now core in all teacher education programs in the Faculty of Education. Her most recent teaching evaluations are 4.83 and 4.55 out of 5.0. She is available to share her expertise via contract work in speaking engagements, mentoring leadership on digital strategies, educational reform, program reviews, and grant-writing.
She has conducted workshops and served as keynote speaker at regional, national, and international conferences. She offered the first global online edcamp, co-located edcamp, and K-20 edcamp globally. She has served as conference chair of the EdMedia conference (2013) and is currently working to form a new pan-Canadian association and conference under Congress.
Her passion for service expands past her core work areas as she is dedicated to advocacy with regards to the climate crisis and she has been driving a 100% electric vehicle since 2013. She also serves as an advocate for those with special needs (especially where modality is an obstacle, such as learners with disabilities and anxiety). She is an ally for LGBTQ2, Indigenous, victims of violence, and those struggling with mental health. Her pronouns are she/her.
She is also a single parent to two amazing teenage daughters and two wonderful Havanese dogs.
She is more prolific on Twitter at @_valeriei, but can be reached at virvine at uvic dot ca