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MindShare Musings–The Connectors, Leaders and People on the Move

MindShare Musings by Robert Martellacci

It’s been a fascinating start to 2012 in the EdTech space. We have Apple announcing its entering  the  eTextbook game (sure to spur on innovation across the sector) and reaching new market cap heights with another 15 million plus iPads sold last quarter. By contrast we have RIM in Canada trying to avoid the same fate Nortel.

Regardless of the success of these two titans, we are reminded that it’s not about technology and nothing lasts forever-it’s about learning, leadership and anticipating the future.  Speaking of which the following is a Harvard Business Review blog entitled What do Great Leaders Do? . . . . It’s a “must read” Blog. The quote that caught my attention, “These leaders make people feel emotionally engaged and inspire them to walk the extra mile.”

On the leadership front, watch for the official launch of C21 Canada this month.  I was fortunate to partner up with former New Brunswick, deputy education minister, John Kershaw and his associate, David Roberts in establishing this fledgling organization.  The new Coalition for 21st Century Learning and Innovation (C21 Canada) will be a not for profit organization with a mandate to advocate for 21st Century models of learning in public education. The coalition wishes to see 21st Century competencies, such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and culture, infused into curriculum, and an accelerated pace of integrating digital technology into Canadian classrooms in an effort to more fully engage students, the digital generation, in their learning.

It’s great to see it all coming together, thanks in large part to the founding education and industry partners. Watch for more details on how you can get involved.

I had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Gary Bitter from ASU, who was the founding president of ISTE and a legend in the learning technology space. Besides touring me around the ASU campus and enjoying some amazing authentic Mexican food in Scottsdale, he shared some the following free PD video apps for teachers that his team created, thanks in part to grant funding. One of Dr. Bitter’s video libraries (DVL/PT3-integrating technology into the curriculum) on line as an app for free.  See Teachw/technology(iPad) and PT3 (Android) – there are 22 videos of classroom instruction modeling technology integration each lesson includes all the artifacts. They also have several other iPad/iPhone and Android app (search under Arizona State University).  I encourage you to connect with Dr. Bitter directly at bitter@asu.edu

Speaking of ASU, one of the most innovative companies in K12 based out of SkySong is Adaptive Curriculum.  On my recent visit I learned my former TLC colleague, Melinda Cook, was recently promoted to new VP of Sales. Congrats Melinda!

Doug Connolly, President, Distribution Access dropped me a note recently to share the news Distribution Access signed Definitive Agreement to Acquire Jobs People Do Inc. Read more

I’m pleased to share that the great folks at ERAC (B.C. Ministry of Education) launched their Commons (eraccommons.ca) | ERAC http://bit.ly/y47r8z  I don’t get out to the western Canada enough but I plan to do some this spring.

Staying on the western theme. There’s lots of exciting things coming from Calgary based SMART Technologies in 2012. Among them are:

  • SMART’s first interactive projector…..an affordable option that enables you to add interactivity to almost any surface. Read more
  • SMART Notebook 11….many more capabilities, even more intuitive and easy to use. Learn more

On the Discovery Education Canada front, Tom Metuzals, shared the news that rock star EdTech leader from Saskatchewan,  Dean Shareski, is the newest addition to the Discovery Canada team..

Be Inspired!  This is a conference I would love to attend next year with some amazing speakers. Learning without Frontiers conference that took place recently in the UK. http://www.learningwithoutfrontiers.com/category/talks/

I tuned into Don Tapscott’s CBC Radio show this past weekend ReCivilization it was outstanding!

Tania Sterling shared she is making a  big leap from her classroom teaching position to join Pearson Canada effective February 1st, 2012. She has assumed an exciting role as Pearson’s Digital Learning Consultant/Research and Communications Manager. It is a secondment until August 31, 2013. Congratulations Tania!

Last but not least, in case you missed it! MindShare Learning Report Top 12 Canadian EdTechPredictions for 2012


My other passion besides EdTech is playing and coaching hockey. It was great to be a part of the 50 years of hockey celebration at York University recently as chair of the varsity hockey alumni chapter. Alumni, coaches and friends gathered following the York vs. UOIT game recently to share, reflect and re-connect. It was great to see so many familiar faces and to learn how many alums went on to lead very successful careers. Something to be said about the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence! Did I mention that the home team won too!

Until next time, walk the digital talk! Cheers, RM


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