About Tom March
The 3rd Person Background
Tom March has been “working the Web” and contributing “Bright Ideas for education” since 1994. It all started with WebQuests and continued from there to include a range of other Web-based teaching formats, tools like Filamentality and Web-and-Flow and an emphasis on quality as seen in BestWebQuests. These days, Tom focuses on supporting systemic change toward 1:1 digital learning. Primarily this means The Edge-ucators Way and CEQ•ALL as main components of “Next Era Ed” (pdf). You can read more detailed background, download a CV/résumé or see how Tom now supports schools through in-person workshops and “strategic friend” consulting.
If you’re interested in the personal story, you can read the Ozline Story 2.0 which was an update from the original introduction when we started ozline.com as a Web and learning designs consultancy.
By Tom March
The 1st Person Story
I began this career in education loving life as a high school English Teacher. After about ten years, I received a three-year fellowship during which two colleagues and I developed eLearning activities and sites for educators and students. You might be familiar with some of these like Filamentality, Eyes on Art and early WebQuests. Being the mid-90s and the early days of the Web, we were able to make a mark and I was off-and-running as an online educator and consultant. This made our family’s move to Australia in 1998 a smoother transition as I continued to develop online activities, create Web sites, write articles and lead hands-on workshops.
Between 1998 and 2013 I’ve been working continuously to make learning in schools as real, rich and relevant as possible (the New 3Rs). It seems every year of two, I add something else to solve a part of the problem. What problem? The fact that when we scaled-up education to suit the large numbers of students in the 19th and 20th centuries, we made the best of what we had and created “Assembly Line Schools.” Limited staff and resources meant that a “one-size-fits-all” approach, with year groups and content areas, was the best option. Most of my work attempts to use technology to dissolve this artificial constraint and to make learning more human and meaningful – which research overwhelmingly finds leads to better results.
2013 heralded a new phase in my career. As many would know, since 2000 I have juggled my contribution to education with raising two wonderful sons. As these things happen – they are both now venturing into the world and their adult lives. Which allows me to look forward to a different phase of life. If I have nay say in the matter, this will be making deeper, long-term contributions to a smaller number of schools and learning organisations. Since leaving school-teaching and becoming a consultant, I have missed the chance to immerse myself in making a difference and helping a few things grow. Visiting and working with many schools in the past has given me the experience to know what works and which are dead ends and my goal is clear:
To work as member of a strong team to systemically transition education from mechanistic Assembly Line Schooling to more human, personally meaningful learning.
In this role, I hope to:
- continue to develop my pedagogical expertise and approaches
- use my skills fully to serve the greater good
- engage in perplexing problems requiring creative solutions
- leave a lasting impact for good
I suspect this will include Next Era Ed, The Edge-ucators Way and CEQ•ALL as research-based frameworks.
Please feel free to contact me if you like.