Musings: Back to School

It was great to get away for a week to re-charge and re-connect with the family this summer in Northern Ontario. I was fortunate to snap the sunset pic below that helped inspire our new tagline…”Connecting to Success.” While this is viewed as a good thing, work-life balance remains a challenge for us in the digital age. Excellence does not come easy, especially when I’m burning the midnight oil as I sit here at my computer. I’m more mindful these days of feeling less guilty for not getting my tweets out multiple times through the day. It’s really about quality too!

One of the highlights of my return from summer holidays was attending last week’s TDSB “Creating a Culture of Innovation” kickoff event, where I was honoured to interview Sir Ken Robinson. I hope you’ve taken the time to tune into our podcast. As I delve deeper into his background, I have a greater appreciation for his life’s challenges  that helped shape the remarkable man he’s become today. Here’s a video interview with Sir Ken Robinson where he shares the great influence his father had on him as a young child.

On the digital classroom front, our June poll revealed that 75% of our readership supported the use of PDA’s in the classroom for learning. One device that we’re not likely to see in great numbers in the classroom is HP’s Tablet. They barely launched its tablet and pulled the plug on with a three-month window due to initial slow sales. Interestingly enough, when the dropped the pricing to $99. Was this perhaps a PR ploy? The thought was actually sparked while speaking with an HP exec. I actually had the opportunity to play around with the HP Tablet at ISTE this past summer and was quite impressed. Don’t be surprised if you see it back in the not too distant future. Continuing on a very hot trend, I’m predicting that SMART Technologies will be launching a tablet later this year. You heard it here first!

Watch for more detail on the MindShare Learning Leadership Awards in honor of Marshall McLuhan’s 100th anniversary, where we will recognize  one education and one industry leader at our upcoming MindShare Learning Canadian EdTech Leadership Summit, November 14th at York University.

Here’s a great resource for Back2School that we proudly sponsored, the CEA School Calendar. It provides key dates for school districts across Canada and other great information about education in each of our provinces and territories.

Our partner Discovery Education Canada kicks off its Den webinar series this month. Join us for the Discovery Education Canada Back-to-School 2011Webinar series as we explore the basics of Discovery EducationSTREAMING, join in the Discovery Education STREAMATHON, build upon 50 more ways to utilize digital media, and create digital stories with Discovery Education.

Edmonton’s Dan Riskin starts his shift at the helm of the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet. Discovery is a great network my kids and I enjoy watching. While they operate separately from Discovery Education, both offer excellent content.

CTF President Paul Taillefer takes over from Mary-Lou Donnelly and begins two-year term

Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards…nominate someone here! Deadline: September 9th.

Fellow CeLEA board member Lidia Sani, partner at Redwood eLearning shares the following career opportunity recently…..they are in search of a French speaking project manager to manage the translation of multiple technical eLearning and Instructor led modules. Duties would include working with the translator, overseeing voice over recordings, liaising with the production department and QA. This position would be a contract position which would start around the end of September and run approximately 4 months. Please contact Lydia Sani at

Innovative Schools and Districts take note! We’re always in search of potential pilot schools for software and hardware partners. Please feel free to drop me a note if you’re interested

If you’re not convinced that mobile computing is the future in education, checkout what the University of Alaska has created for their students below.