Collaboration Technologies – Challenges and Solutions

The BCNET Collaboration Technologies Working Group is a multi-institutional team that investigates technology solutions to enhance collaboration for B.C.’s research universities and institutes. Currently, they are evaluating emerging technologies in the realms of HD videoconferencing, VoIP, and screencasting.

In this session, representatives from the working group will discuss today’s technology challenges and provide examples of real-world solutions. Use cases from Canadian campuses in the domain of telepresence, livestreaming and HD videoconferencing will showcase how everyone is  “bridging the gap.”

Panel Participants

Mark Zuberbuhler, Executive Producer – Digital Media Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, UBC

Mark Zuberbuhler’s responsibilities include strategic planning, project development and facility management. CTLT – Digital Media’s creative environment specializes in video development, high-definition videoconferencing, webcasting, and interactive multimedia. Its primary objective is to work collaboratively and strategically with faculties and students to effectively utilize media technology in teaching and learning. CTLT provides consultancy and support to faculty members and graduate students at UBC in their professional development in teaching, learning and the use of educational technology.

Todd Zimmerman, Manager, Collaboration & Research Relations, UBC Okanagan

Todd Zimmerman is the Manager of Collaboration & Research Relations for IT, Media and Classroom Services at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna BC. He also serves as the Collaboration Coordinator for WestGrid, a consortia that provides high performance computing resources to researchers in Western Canada. Through his work with WestGrid and Compute Canada, he has helped coordinate and develop national collaborations and strategies to ensure researchers have access to state of the art collaboration facilities and technologies. He has also helped design and configure many advanced collaborative environments at institutions across Western Canada. He received a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems from BCIT and has been working in research and collaboration support since 2002.

Keir Novik is the Information Technology Manager at BCNET and Network Security Analyst at SFU.

At BCNET, Keir is responsible for core IT services and supporting the Applications Advisory Committee working groups. Recent projects have been in the areas of videoconferencing, collaboration technology, and identity management. Keir obtained his PhD in computational physics from the University of Cambridge, UK and was previously at the University of London, UK. Keir is the co-chair of BCNET’s Collaboration Technology working group.

Mary Burgess, Director, Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies, RRU

Mary’s role at Royal Roads is the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies (CTET). CTET is responsible for supporting faculty through the course development process, providing faculty professional development, and research, implementation and support of both online and classroom learning technologies. The unit also provides media support services such as supporting video conferencing facilities, video live streaming, and the creation of interactive media. Mary has a Master of Educational Technology from UBC and has been with Royal Roads since 2002.

Grant Potter, e-Learning Coordinator, UNBC

Grant has been pursing research and development of educational technologies in secondary and post-secondary sectors for the last 14 years through his work in the Canadian Arctic, China, and BC and currently oversees educational technology initiatives with the UNBC Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Grant has presented many keynote addresses, presentations, seminars, and workshops at national and international conferences exploring educational technology for teaching and learning.

Irwin Devries, Director, Instructional Design, TRU

Irwin heads up the Instructional Design team at Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning. His background is in program development, educational technology and open/distance learning in professional and higher education. At present he supports the TRU anchor partner role in the international Open Education Resource university collaboration. Irwin is experienced in video production and videoconferencing for use in educational programs, and was a research partner in the CANARIE-funded “LOGIC” case study project.

James Nattall,  Manager Media Services, ECUAD

James Nattall is the Manager of Media Services at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He provides leadership and strategic direction in various areas of classroom technology. The University’s Media Services group provides creative support and multimedia expertise for campus administrative, academic, and institutional initiatives. Coordination and development support includes: the design, installation and servicing of all multimedia presentation equipment and systems, event support, video conferencing facilities, video capture and live streaming services. James recently collaborated with North Island College to lead the design and implementation of the ECU’s interactive videoconferencing facilities. He has worked in educational technology in higher education for the last ten years and prior to that, he worked sixteen years in the film industry.

Jonn Martell , Director of Technical Operations, FDU

Jonn Martell is Director of Technical Operations at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Vancouver. He manages the team that supports networking, security, video conferencing and audio visual equipment at the Vancouver campus working closely with FDU’s main campuses in the US. He also teaches networking, wireless and information security at UBC and FDU. Jonn’s past experience includes running his own consulting business and leading the deployment of wireless LAN and VOIP at UBC when he worked in the central IT department for 16 years. Jonn is an avid boater and can be seen on or near the water during the summer months.


Panel Discussion

Intended Audience

General: Faculty, staff, students

Session Duration

90 minutes

Session Schedule

Wednesday, May 2nd
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Lohn Policy Room (7000)
7th Floor


Keir Novik