Introducing David Porter: New CEO of eCampusOntario

After driving from Vancouver to Toronto, navigating mountains and prairies, it was a joy to travel through the forests and lakes of Northern Ontario in the home stretch and to see the place names of many familiar spots from my youth along the shores of Georgian Bay. I’m delighted to be back in Ontario after many years living, studying, and working in the West.

I’m also honoured to have been selected to lead eCampusOntario.ca. This truly is a tremendous opportunity to help more Ontario students get access to post-secondary education. In the new economy, online and digital education is an increasingly important part of the post-secondary landscape, and I look forward to guiding eCampusOntario’s efforts to further expand the reach and breadth of online college and university programs and courses throughout the province.

My experience in British Columbia’s education system is broad. I’ve taught at all levels in the public education system. I’ve been a teacher, a teacher-librarian, a teacher educator, and a post-secondary administrator. I’ve been a graduate student twice, and I currently teach in the Master of Educational Technology program at the University of British Columbia. I’ve worked at Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology most recently in senior roles, and prior to that at BCcampus, where I launched the organization as its first executive director, with a mandate similar to that of eCampusOntario.

Throughout my career, I’ve been an advocate for the benefits of adapting new technology to deliver educational opportunities, initially through technology-enhanced distance learning programs aimed at bringing educational equity to rural and remote communities. I am passionate about challenge-driven innovation. In both institutional and system leadership roles, I’ve helped promote widespread access to online and flexible educational programs and services.

During my term at BCcampus, I led a team that brought many innovative initiatives into the BC post-secondary sector including shared instructional technology services, a networked approach to student services across BC institutions, and Canada’s first government funded open textbook program that lowered costs for students and expanded opportunities for instructors. I’ve also worked as a project leader and consultant for international open and distance learning projects and consultancies in India, Malaysia and Vietnam, and most recently in Mongolia.

As I begin my tenure at eCampusOntario I am confident that we will find many new and exciting ways to harness information and communications technologies to support educational services for Ontario students and instructors. I also expect we will be bold in exploring emergent opportunities that will further benefit learners, educators and institutions in the Ontario post-secondary sector and make our province a leader in Canada and internationally.