2021 has been yet another remarkable and challenging year for innovation and change in education. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” to quote Charles Dickens. As we reflect, we want to honour those individuals and organizations, who went beyond the call of duty to impact Canada's learning systems in the most positive ways, despite COVID continuing to plague our country.
With that, I'm pleased to share this year's selections for Canada's Top 21 Learning & Technology Newsmakers of 2021. This year, we once again pay tribute to all Canadian educators who stepped-up to sustain learning, dealing with all the complexities of COVID protocols. Be sure to click on the image as it will take you to additional resources.
We once again witnessed educational institutions, not for profits and EdTech companies, pivot to provide essential supports and while it wasn't perfect, many students thrived through the journey of learning.
With Mental health and well-being amongst students, teachers and parents at crisis levels, we once again turned to Dr. Steve Joordens, UofT Psychologist for his insights and inspiration. And new on the scene, Janet Omstead, health and wellness expert to lend their expertise in getting us through these unprecedented times.
Dr. Sugata Mitra, one of the world's most notable educational experts, author, and TEDx first $1 million prize winner, captivated our delegates at the 12 Canadian International EdTech Leadership summit with his passion. You'll love his perspective in the 'new normal,' in education.
Chris Usih, Chief Superintendent, Calgary Board of Education, tops the list as well with his courageous leadership and always cheerful and positive mindset. You can get a glimpse into Chris' world by checking out his opening recorded keynote available in the Canadian EdTech Summit Playbook.
Kudos to Dr. Bonnie Schmidt and her team at Let's Talk Science, who continued to demonstrate their STEM leadership throughout the year offering rich online experiences to keep students engaging in the learning.
We can't ignore two stellar award-winning Canadian EdTech solution providers, Prodigy Learning & Paper Learning, who both received accolades from MindShare in the past. Both raised over $100 million in private equity funding this year, to support their continued growth and impact on student learning.
I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Melissa Burns, Schools of the Future Challenge winner and Closing Keynote at the Canadian International Leadership Summit. Be sure to checkout her inspiring story as a former on-stage actor, turned music teacher, unable to teach music due to the pandemic, discovered STEM learning and Minecraft to engage her students.
In closing, as we prepare for the holidays, this year's selection of 2021 Newsmakers provides us hope for better year ahead. Special thanks to each of you for nurturing one of the world's top performing education systems.
As always, we welcome your comments and encourage you to please give a shout out to our Top 21 this year.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude to our many contributors this past year, from passionate education experts, teachers, students, sponsors, partners, advisory board members and our team here at MindShare Learning. It took us 20 years to be an overnight success in education, thanks to your support! And, we're not done yet!
From our team to yours, wishing you a memorable holiday season with your families. Stay safe, take good care of your health and keep the digital learning curve steep!
P.S. This year's Charity of Choice is ConnectedNorth project that fosters student engagement and enhanced education outcomes in remote Indigenous communities.
Robert Martellacci, M.A. EdTech President, MindShare Learning Technology™ Chief Digital Publisher, The MindShare Learning Report™ Founder, MindShare Workspace CEO & Co-founder, C21 Canada™