Musings: The Connectors, Leaders and People on the Move

Dundas Central Gets top prize for innovation and hospitality too! I visited MSL contest winner Heidi Siwak’s School recently and was pleasantly surprised by a gym full of teachers and students to say thank you to MindShare Learning and celebrate the achievements of Heidi Siwak and her students in winning our national contest.

I was totally surprised (not to mention late) and didn’t expect such a warm welcome. The sense of community, teacher and student engagement was most evident at Dundas Central. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from this small town humble school just outside Toronto. Here’s a little trivia that Heidi shared. Dundas Central which was built in 1857 is the home to North America’s first kindergarten class. My tour of the school was very cool ….. amazing architecture…classrooms with floor to ceiling windows and lots of space for the kids. Teachers and students were so proud to share their various projects from robotics to blogging. My time at Dundas Central was not long enough to really appreciate the powerful learning community that Mr. Barry Morlog, Principal, has nurtured. Congratulations and thank you Dundas Central for a memorable afternoon. You are most certainly a school on the move!

Things really do happen in 3’s The Canadian Education Association announced recently that the Heidi Siwak’s Dundas Central elementary school class has won this year’s Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in the classroom, courtesy of the CEA. The other award came from the Globe & Mail recognizing Heidi as one of the country’s most innovative teachers.

Congratulations to my inspirational colleague, Dr. Don Knezek, CEO, ISTE,  who announced recently that he is retiring. Don has been has been a global leader in pushing the 21st century learning paradigm. Don has been a friend and great supporter of MindShare Learning, keynoting at our conference and co-hosting our Can/Am receptions with the Canadian Consulate. Don, we greatly appreciate your thought leadership in transforming learning. Thank you again for your ongoing support of MindShare Learning. We look forward to catching up with you at ISTE 2012!

Anne Kerr, Toronto DSB Superintendent, and longtime friend of MindShare Learning caught up with us at the ABEL Summit and shared she’s soon to be retiring from the TDSB. Congratulations on a successful career and for your ongoing innovative spirit! I’m sure we’ll cross paths again soon!

The Tech Awards – 2012 Nominations Now Open

The Tech Awards program inspires global engagement in applying technology to humanity’s most pressing problems by recognizing individuals, organizations, and companies that use innovative technology solutions.

It was great catching up with Lia De Cicco-Remu from Microsoft at the C21 Summit recently. Thanks for sharing news about their Partners in Learning YouTube Channel. Check out the awesome YouTube video of Ian Fogarty, Innovative Teacher Winner, and The New Maryland School/Partner School Winner.  Awesome work Ian! I had the good fortunate of presenting with Ian last year at the SMART Tech Global Conference. Nominations for the 2012 INNOVATIVE TEACHER Awards are now open.

In case you missed it, the Fraser Institute recently released their annually school performance results along with compare the academic performance of your child’s school website. The following is the link to do your comparisons.

MindShare’s friend, Dr. Tony Bates, professor emeritus UBC,  recently recommended graduate programs in e-learning…my alma mater Pepperdine University makes the grade! If you’re considering a graduate degree, it’s a great list.

MSL Logo
MindShare Learning 21st Century Classroom Contest Winner Heidi Siwak pictured centre with School board Trustee Jessica Brennan (L-R), John Laverty Superintendent, Barry Morlog, Principal, Robert Martellacci, President, MindShare Learning

As I reflect back on our first issue of the MSL Report, I continue to strive to retain the human side of the education sector and the passionate leaders that I have the good fortunate of connecting with from both education and industry.  It makes the many long hours and late nights burning the midnight oil to meet our deadline that much more rewarding. Thanks to our loyal readership for your continuing inspiration!

Until next time, walk the digital talk!

Cheers, R. M.