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

Hanging out at the Marriott Riverwalk lobby while in San Antonio at ISTE13 proved to be a great networking opportunity. One highlight in particular was connecting with EdTech industry leaders and good friends of MindShare Learning, Vicki & George Bigham, who are the key organizers of the EdNet Industry Conference taking place in Denver, Colorado September 22-24. This was followed by a kind introduction to the new P21 president, Steven Paine. One of the BIG ideas that emerged from our conversation is hosting an international summit on 21st century learning in Washington, D.C. I often say, it all begins with a conversation! By the time I wrapped up in the lobby lounge, I had met up with pals Kevin Pawsey, CEO, ITS Learning, Carmi Paris, longtime industry colleague, Luís Silveira Pinto, Education Business Solutions Director, JP Sacouto from Portugal, and another dozen or so others. Thanks to the Marriott for providing a fabulous networking forum! It was a great pleasure connecting with the highly talented Charlene Blohm, principal of C. Blohm & Associates, while at the SIIA news conference. We have a small Canadian connection in that her husband hails from Oshawa, Ontario. I hope to connect with you on your visit this to Canada this summer!

margaret-rielA tribute to my retiring Pepperdine University professor and thesis advisor, Masters in Learning Technology,  Dr. Margaret Riel, who served as co-chair of the online Master of Arts in Learning Technologies at GSEP. Her early work involved the design of a model of cross-classroom communication — Online Learning Circles — in the K-12 context. She designed the program for thousands of teachers from schools around the world to engage their students in the work of learning circles. The Learning Circle model has become the structural design of her online teaching of Action Research at Pepperdine for which she received an award from the prestigious United Stated Distance Learning Association. She has designed and participated in workshops to provide professional development with technology to teachers at universities, national conferences, and as a consultant for professional education organizations. Throughout her career, she has written research reports and articles, designed computer programs, authored curriculum books and software documentation and developed websites, and consulted on television broadcasts. She serves as a fellow for the George Lucas Education Foundation and as the director of Center for Collaborative Action Research. Best of luck as you embark on a new chapter in your life. Thank you again for having nurtured my learning and career. I will forever be grateful! You will be missed!

Also rumoured to be retiring is MindShare’s advisory board member Dr. Greg Malszecki. An award winning professor from York University, Greg has been pulled out of retirement in the past given his immense popularity amongst students. I’ll believe this one when I see it, Dr. Malszecki! He’s been a great prof of mine, mentor, advisor and friend over the years.

Continuing on the Pepperdine front: Thanks to  Mitchel N. Townsend, fellow Pepperdine MA EdTech alum, who shared an intriguing learning theory paper inspired by his EdD studies at UofC, Natural Learning a 21st Century Synthesis.

The Canadian eLearning Enterprise Alliance (CeLEA) recently elected a new board. Checkout the website as new members are welcome! I was honoured to take on the role as co-chair along with Gary Stairs, Chairman & CEO, Stellar + Red Hot Learning. Special thanks to
Dr. Claude Martel, outgoing chair, for his leadership and mentorship.

Congratulations to our friend, York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, who has been named a recipient of the 2013 RBC Top Canadian Immigrant award, presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine. Shoukri is among a list of 25 distinguished recipients of the award, which celebrates the achievements of immigrants to Canada.

backbone-magaCongrats to our partner, John Myers, co-founder of Edsby, who was featured on the cover of Backbone magazinehaving recently won their $100K start-up challenge.







ITAC Ingenious Awards Program | Call for Nominations – Click here to see more

As proud sponsors of the IT4K12 conference, Cathy Yeomans, organizer from ERAC in Vancouver, B.C. kindly shared the  InfoTech site on the ERAC Commons which was created for the IT leaders to continue the conversations around the presentations.Click here for more information.

Late breaking news…. Ontario skills gap costing province more than $24B, report says. This continues to be a concern across the Canadian landscape which speaks on the importance of our C21 Canada initiative pushing for an accelerated effort to prepare are youth with the essential 21st century skills to be successful global citizens. C21 Canadais in a growth mode….new members are welcome! You can drop a note to me, or my colleagues, John Kershaw or David Roberts for more information.


MaryPat&MomitaCongratulations to Mary Pat O’Meara, MindShare Digital Education Specialist who recently graduated from York University with an M.A. in Education.
Pictured with Mary Pat is Momita Ahmed, Junior Digital Media Intern






Until next time, walk the digital talk!

Cheers, R.