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

Phase21I always enjoy heading down to the MaRS Discovery District, the site of our upcoming 4th Annual EdTech Leadership Summit. It was great meeting with Joseph Wilson, Senior Strategist, Education at MaRSDD. Plans for our  EdTech Leadership Summit November 5 are coming along very nicely as is the completion of the MaRS DD Phase 2. Tours of the MaRS facilities will be offered to interested delegates as part of our agenda. Interesting to note, there are now some 200 start-ups on the books, many of which are EdTech focused, according to Joseph. This makes Toronto one of the hottest EdTech hubs in North America.

Speaking of conferences, it was fortuitous that I met up with Ron Reed, Executive Producer, SXSWEdu, at EdNet in Denver, who will be keynoting at the Canadian EdTech Summit. He’s looking forward to our event and in the midst of planning his own that has grown exponentially. If you’re not familiar with SXSWEdu, it’s taking place in Austin Texas, March 3-6.

Continuing on the conference front, I’m looking forward to ECOO2013upcoming this month in Niagara Falls, October  23-25. If my math serves me correctly this marks my 15th year of attending this conference. Congrats to the conference organizers for putting together an impressive agenda. This is one conference of the year in Ontario you don’t want to miss as an educator looking to augment your ICT skills and professional learning network.

Thanks to Dr. Tony Bates MSL friend and colleague for sharing this excellent Blended Learning resource from the University of South Florida in a recent blog.

Cheryl Paige, former principal of award winning Joyce Public School and MindShare Learning advisory board member just came off a stint with Ontario’s Ministry of Education.  She had a great suggestion in spotlighting the excellent work being done in Australia. I’m looking forward to collaborating with her in presenting a special section for next month.  There’s also a book we keep talking about  writing together. Timing is everything!

On the EdTech start-up front, congrats to Suraj Srinivas, Co-Founder,Planboard, who has been making a lot of noise in the market with their lesson planning solution. Another worthy start-up to watch is Charity Republic, founded by Popy Dimoulas-Graham. I enjoyed chatting with Popy earlier this week about their very practical volunteer and Co-op solution, Hour Republic.

Congratulations to Brian Silverthorne who will join FrontRow – Canada’s leading classroom audio provider – as the new Country Manager. In this role, Brian will manage all the marketing and sales activities for the Canadian distribution of FrontRow products. Brian brings vast expertise as former North American Director of Sales for SMART Technologies.

I’m intrigued by Malcolm Gladwell’s recent audiobook that I’m reading and we’re recommending, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. The bestselling author of Outliers, Tipping Point and What the Dog Saw, hails from Elmira, Ontario. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Gladwell at a previous ISTE conference where he keynoted. If this book is anything like his previous, he’ll top the charts once again.

On a lighter note, we just wrapped up a successful sailing season aboard Shannon, captained by friend & colleague Dr. Ron Owston, Dean, York University Faculty of Education. My teammates certainly help keep my learning curve steep! Congratulations to Dr. Owston, who shared his term has been extended to 2015 at York’s Faculty of Ed.  Thanks for an enjoyable and memorable season!sailingpic








A victorious final RBC sailing regatta of the season
Pictured left to right: Michael Skinner, Dr. Ron Owston and Robert Martellacci 

Cheers, R.