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

I love my job! Despite my kids inquiring on occasion, “dad what is it exactly you do for a living.” I’ve been called a bridge builder, connector, and thought leader.


My former teacher, Mr. Everett challenged his students to envision the future

The reality is I created MindShare Learning. The start-up trend will continue to grow as our future leaders graduate to discover the job market is not plentiful.  I was like many youth who didn’t have a clear focus on where I was going in my future, other than the hope of being a pro hockey player. And that’s ok! I’m currently on my third career.

Teachers have the most amazing opportunity to make an impact. During my keynote at the TDSB event this past month I proudly shared the fact that I’m an alum from George Harvey S.S. More importantly I shared the story of my former teacher,  Mr. Everett, who  left an indelible mark on me. He challenged us with a smile, “where do you plan to live when you grow up? A two story house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, wife/husband  and 2.5 kids? Your 20’s are the years of your could haves and should haves.” Wow! Did Mr. Everett get me thinking!  He cared about us  and challenged us through PBL (project based learning). I was thrilled to meet up again with Mr. Everett at our high school reunion a few years ago. I shared that thanks to him I decided to go to university because I didn’t want to have regrets.  My message to the audience of educators besides sharing EdTech trends was that you have the opportunity to be someone’s Mr. Everett. Maintaining an innovative and human spirit is so critical when you’re in the people business. Today more than ever before, teachers are empowered to have a greater voice as agents of change, thanks in part to social media. You are no longer, “just a teacher,” as I often heard in the past at conferences. You really do matter in the student success equation. #YouMatter!

Not to ignore principals in the success equation as they are so integral to schools thriving. Here’s an excellent video I stumbled upon — Why Principals Matter.

At the District Superintendent/CEO level, I was elated to host along with my colleague David Roberts, C21 Canada president,  the inaugural C21 Canada CEO Academy meeting in Toronto recently. The forum provided insights on trends challenges and opportunities for national collaboration in moving the 21st century learning agenda forward in Canada. Stay tuned for some exciting developments from this group. The notion of go BIG, or go home really resonated.

It was great to chat with MindShare’s friend, John Malloy, former Director of Education at HWDSB, and newly minted  Assistant Deputy Minister at Ontario Ministry of Education at the recent CEA Paul Martin event. It was great to learn that his portfolio includes innovation! We look forward to our future collaborations!

Congrats to our partners, DSBN and Director Warren Hoshizaki, and Kevin Graham, who celebrated surpassing their fundraising goal at the recent Woodend Gala to officially open the Walker Outdoor Living Centre at Woodend.

I enjoyed mindsharing with Wili Liberman recently from Teach Mag, who gave me a heads up on this excellent free resource they created capturing the excitement of the Canadian Arctic expedition from 1913-18.

80 North

80 Degrees North- Freely accessible bilingual content for teachers and students.

On the Future is Open Front: Check out the Open Textbook Library http://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/BookDetail.aspx?bookId=50

While we’re well into the 21st century, we cannot ignore the widening skills gap that is evidenced in research conducted by the Conference Board of Canada:British Columbia Economy Losing Billions due to Skills Shortage. Hence C21 Canada recently released a parent’s guide to assist parents in understanding the notion of 21st century learning. Here’s another valuable website for parents courtesy of the Canadian government: Cyberbullying Information for Parents.

I’m off to SXSWedu next week in Austin, Texas. Besides looking forward to getting away from the cold winter, I will be moderating a panel in partnership with the National Film Board.

Be sure to keep me in the loop with your success stories, news and events! I always enjoy hearing from our readership.

Until next time, keep the digital learning curve steep!

Robert Martellacci, M.A. EdTech
Publisher & Managing Editor, The MindShare Learning Report™
President, MindShare Learning™


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