Purpose and Rationale


David Thompson 1770-1857 (Pinterest) labeled for Non-commercial Reuse

The dictionary definition of a pathfinder, otherwise known as a “groundbreaker, trailblazer, trendsetter, leader” ( is a person who discovers or shows others a path or way. Such was the case of David Thompson, who learned astronomy and mathematics, and who, with one seeing eye and a limp, mapped a great deal of the territory that is now western Canada. He died almost penniless, but we are ever the richer for the life journey he experienced and recorded.

In developing this pathfinder, a digital record of an academic journey, albeit much less taxing and smaller in scope, I pay homage to David Thompson, whose journals, maps, and drawings served to document and track his own journey, but also to provide a map for others.

Pathfinder. (n.d.). In Retrieved from

David Thompson. (n.d.) In The Canadian Encyclopedia online. Retrieved from

Intended Audience

Though this pathfinder is intended as a personal mapping of topics pertinent to my PhD journey, it is made public with the intent that others, including those working in informal learning environments such as libraries and museums, including teachers, teacher-librarians, and academics whose interests lie in technology enabled learning environments, may find the connections interesting and informative. As a digital archive, it will also serve to delineate the twists and turns taken, both deliberate and unexpected, in emulating the mindset of a maker.