Class Overview

The use of technology in disasters.

This is what I teach.  It is a graduate level class that I’ve had the pleasure of crafting over the past few years based on my experience and research.  There is some theory in the class, but I prefer most of the class to be a practical account of the different ways to use technology during a disaster.  The information can easily extend to risk management, crisis management, business continuity, or anywhere that technology may need to be used in “less then perfect” situations.  Since it is usually the only technology course in an EM student’s courses, I cover a lot of materials in a very short time.  There is simply not enough time to make students an SME in each topic.

MIT’s move to open education really caught my attention.   Learning can occur anywhere — and it does.  I’ve been able to pull together information and build this class because of information that others were willing to share and my personal experience.  It only makes sense that I share some of the lessons with the hope that others learn even if they’re not in an academic program.  As a student, I hated to buy text books on rapidly changing topics, so this is also my way of helping student save a little cash.

I want my students to know enough about a selected topic to understand the importance and alternatives.  I believe that knowing what to research and where to get more information is more important than memorization of fact.  Through links and references, each topic will provide exploration tangents.  These tangents off the materials allow students to find SMEs in topics of interest.  In my experience, students learn better about topics they are interested in.  The internal motivation to learn is the greatest teacher.

I consider myself an pracademic; a professional in the field who happens to also teach.  The course revolves around the question of: what do I wish I knew when I was starting, and what I do I wish more EM’s knew to increase our success as a collective of professionals?  Transparency in education will allow other practitioners to agree with or call out BS on what I’m teaching.  Posting the material like this enables SMEs and EMs to review it.  Thanks to feedback, I’m filling in the gaps.  Please comment and make suggestions.

All the class materials are linked to the Class Content category on this site.  They’re posted in no particular order here, although my students will have a class-specific syllabus that shows the reading order.