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Summer Musings

“The Connectors, Leaders and People on the Move”

What a memorable 2010-2011 academic year it’s been! Full of learning & innovation, inspiration, perspiration and sometimes pain.  What’s crystal clear is that nothing replaces hard work and focus when it comes to achieving excellence.  With that I’m pleased to share news from across our Canadian landscape. Congratulations on a successful year!

 MindShare’s friend and colleague, Dr. Stan Shapson,  VP of Research and Innovation at York University recently retired from his position after serving two 5-year terms. We were fortunate to attend a wonderful tribute reception for Dr. Shapson last month. York University president, Dr. Shoukri thanked Stan Shapson for his dedication and service to the university. “I would like to thank Stan Shapson for his outstanding leadership and friendship,” Shoukri said. “During his time at York, Stan was instrumental in advancing York’s research and innovation mandate, as well as raising the university’s profile externally. Among his many contributions, Stan helped to oversee the launch of the Markham Convergence Centre, an important research initiative in the provincial government’s ONE Network.” 


The MindShare Learning 21st  Century EdTech Leadership Summit, has a new date: Monday, November 14, 2011 and is shaping up very nicely with the recent keynote addition of Chris Kennedy, Superintendent, West Vancouver School District. Other keynote presenters include, Dr. Ron Canuel, CEO, Canadian Education Association and Dr. Eric Hamilton, Pepperdine University, School of Education and Psychology.

Congratulations to MindShare Learning advisory board member, Dr. Ron Owston, Director of the Institute for Research on Learning Technologies at York University. He recently received a two-year, $72,000 grant from the Insight Development Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The purpose of the grant is to study the accessibility for persons with disabilities of the Open Virtual Usability Lab (OpenVULab), an online tool designed to research the usability of websites. Collaborating with Dr. Owston is Dr. Melanie Baljko from the York Department of Computer Science as well as several doctoral students. For information about OpenVULab.

 Great to see my former Pepperdine University prof, the always provocative Dr. Gary Stager at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia last week. As a tribute to Dr. Seymour Papert, he’s now publishing The Daily Papert. I’m pleased to share a link to an exclusive interview I had with Dr. Papert while completing my master’s in EdTech prior to his accident in 2006.  Speaking of Pepperdine, it was great to connect with Dr. Margaret Riel, MALT Program Director and my former thesis advisor. I understand Cadre 13 students survived their thesis defense presentations-Congratulations!

 Kudos to Pearson in their quest to transform from a traditional book publisher to digital in the 21stt Century. They certainly lead the way with the recent news in signing on Sir Michael Barber to join Pearson as Chief Education Advisor. Did you know Pearson’s original core business was building construction?

 Congratulations to the 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award Winners. For more than four decades the AEP (Association of Education Publishers) Awards have honored outstanding resources for teaching and learning.  

Just in….McGuinty Government Continues To Support Pathways to Education A high school graduation rate of 81 per cent in 2009-10, is up from 68 per cent in 2003-04. This puts Ontario in the Top 10 in the world rankings.

Great to hear from my former Pepperdine classmate and MindShare HED editor,  Mitchel N. Townsend recently who shared….his doctoral thesis at UofC is focused on Social Learning and 21st Century collaborative knowledge building. Mitchel also serves as the Co-President of the consolidated Faculty of Education, Graduate Programs Education Student Association (GPESA) where he’ll oversee all related Graduate Student issues, including the two main Faculty of Education Conferences (Faculty and Student Research). 

From the @mindsharlearn Tweetdeck

RT @crutherford: 8 Great TED Talks About The Future Of Education And Teaching http://zite.to/lYBs4W

 RT@KeithHampson: People Are Spending More Time In Mobile Apps Than On The Web http://t.co/GfdkDzI via @alleyinsider courtesy of @colleengauthier:  5 tips for a successful product launch-courtesy of Chuck Norris | Articleshttp://bit.ly/mwXahR

 100 Highest Ranking Websites in eLearning, Training and Development via @celea http://bit.ly/lznhjI #elearning

New edu #tablet maker @mySparkTech appoints MindShare Learning Founder Robert Martellacci to its advisory board http://bit.ly/fG2kJx

Last but not least in the achieving academic and athletic excellence department….

York University Basketball coaching legend Bob Bain (L) retires after a record breaking 38 years at the helm. President emeritus, H. Ian MacDonald (R) shares in the celebration. The duo are teammates on the York Faculty hockey team.

In closing, I was inspired watching a news report on CBC News recently that featured interviews with graduating College and University students. I was struck by their enthusiasm and the great hope that they conveyed during challenging economic times.  

It’s the human spirit that remains the cornerstone of innovation. Here’s wishing you a safe and enjoyable summer! Cheers, R.

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