Change is inevitable.
The content we create is ever changing. New ideas mean new conversations, debate and exploration.
The way we reach out and connect with our world is changing. In a marketplace currently obsessed with the augmented reality of Pokémon Go!, it’s impossible to imagine where new ideas will lead.
The way MRU shares ideas is changing too.
“The goal is to get people thinking about issues that impact us locally and globally.” says one of the instigators of this new initiative Dimitra Fotopoulos, Program Director, Business and Professional Education for MRU Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension. “We are looking to shine a light on some of the amazing talent within the MRU community that can speak to these issues and provide some critical insights into them, to get a conversation going and hopefully create a dialogue.”
The inaugural speaker, Joanne Leskow, is an award-winning Organizational Change Management instructor whose keynote entitled “Loving Change” captivated the audience at the exquisite Bella Concert Hall in the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, and promises to influence viewers online to embrace changes in their own lives.
“Joanne is so well versed in managing change and how it can be personal or professional,” says Fotopoulos, who adds, “she came to mind first because of her great expertise in the subject, the fact that she is an excellent public speaker, and most importantly that she connects so well with her students.”
It’s worth noting that many of the attendees of her session were her former students.
Moving forward, MRU Think Talks will showcase speakers and thinkers that resonate with the times, Fotopoulos explains, “We are responsive to what is happening around us and want to share our the expertise of MRU instructors, Faculty, alumni and community with others.” The hope is to amplify the exemplary idea-sharing these instructors do on a daily basis. “It’s a lot like what is currently being done in our classrooms, it’s just connecting with a larger student body online.”
Leskow offered a thoughtful presentation, drawing from her personal and professional experiences. Its roots were in reflection, not merely information. Through her guidance, the audience was compelled to take stock on how they themselves deal with change and how a shift in perception might offer a different, and perhaps more rewarding, life experience.
It’s this type of connection that Fotopoulos encourages, “MRU Think Talks will be aligned with our program offerings so participants can quickly identify what courses or training they would need if a particular topic resonated with them. “
With more scheduled to follow in the Fall, Fotopoulos and her team are excited, “We are looking forward to a dynamic and engaging series where people have an awareness or understanding of topics that they didn’t before, and they can ask themselves, “now that I know this information, what’s next for me, my job, my family
Enjoy Joanne Leskow’s MRU Think Talk.
Watch, Think & Share.
MRU Think Talks
On point. Online.
– by JLove
Good educators know our world is more interconnected and interdependent than ever. No matter which part of the globe you are from, we are facing related issues and challenges. So, how can we foster global collaboration in areas like professional learning, teacher leadership, teacher professionalism and innovation? One way is to bring international cohorts together to share ideas, innovations, best practices and resources through an international conference.
MRU Continuing Education embarked on such an initiative, co-sponsoring the 2016 International Research Conference on Innovation and Leadership in Education in partnership with Kappa Delta Pi, an international educational honor society based in Indianapolis. From July 5-7th, the Ross Glenn Hall was a meta-classroom with speakers and attendees from countries including Colombia, Australia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, China, United States and Canada. There were conversations, presentations and more that prove that leaders in education are lifelong learners themselves.
In the words of several of the presenters and attendees, here the Top 3 benefits that MRU has provided to create and support global leaders in Education:
- Innovative Ideas
Keynote speaker Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Distinguished Chair of Urban Education, thinks the networking of ideas and colleagues is imperative, “Many of us are caught up with our day-to-day responsibilities, committee work and answering student concerns… and this is a venue where we get to think about our work and talk about our work without the politics of the institution or the department structure.”
- Empowering Teacher Leadership through Technology
Ludmila Smirnova, Mount Saint Mary College, NY, explains why she is a strong advocate for technological advancement in the classroom, “Pedagogy is still lagging behind because of state regulations, testing and it forces teachers to teach to test. It’s mostly direct instruction. Technology opens doors. Technology is ahead of pedagogy. It allows students to create, interact, collaborate and produce… and teachers are not prepared for that.”
- Open Mindedness
Dr. Clelia Pineda, Associate Professor, School of Education at Universidad de La Sabana, Chía-Bogotá, Colombia tells us, “Open-mindedness. That’s the key. If you are open enough to learn enough from others. To see diversity as a positive aspect not as a negative aspect. To learn, to gain different perspectives, I think that’s the foundation for good leadership.”
Universally these educators and researchers were pleased to come together to learn. Keynote speaker Dr. Pineda says, “We were so used to fragmentation. Now, there’s a strong emphasis on creating these links.”
Though there were countless other takeaways from the international research conference, this event emphasized the significance of global partnerships, and the sharing of innovative educational practices. They came together at MRU.
The Innovation and Leadership in Education International Research Conference demonstrates MRU’s ongoing commitment to teaching, scholarship, and professional development. Follow-up activities include the formation of intercultural teaching and research teams that will collaborate and then share what they learn during forthcoming conferences and professional development courses offered by MRU’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension and by Kappa Delta Pi. For more information, please contact one of the conference organizers:
Dr. Charlie Webber, Dean of the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension, Mount Royal University firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jodi Nickel, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Education, Mount Royal University email@example.com
Dr. Peggy Moch, Professor, Math Department, Valdosta State University firstname.lastname@example.org
Faye Snodgress, Executive Director, Kappa Delta Pi email@example.com
When asked how she entered, Visser-Klaver reported, “Some friends of mine shared it on Facebook,” but was quick to add, “I usually don’t click it but… this time, I thought ‘it can’t hurt’.”
She was rewarded with a free one-week camp for her daughter Amilyn who, by her own confession is, “Five. I’m almost in Grade One.”
They arrived together at the MRU Kids Headquarters, an on-campus office decorated like a comic book superhero base, to select the camp that Amilyn will attend.
Visser-Klaver announced, “We signed up for the Field Trip Camp. They have a field trip everyday. I just heard they are going to Calaway Park and they’re going to the pool.” This choice was firmly seconded by the young camper herself who chirped in that she was most excited for, “Calaway Park for the rides.”
But for her mom, who looked relieved that the amusement park experience was unparented, she fancied the on campus facilities, “I kind of leaned towards the one with the swimming pool – and went for something that fits her bubbly personality.”
The Junior Field Trip Camp is one of many program offerings for kids aged 5-17 including Sports & Adventure, Music Makers and Tech Academy Camps.
With a smile, they left the MRU Kids Headquarters singing. “I had a little turtle… His name was Tiny Tim… I put him in the bathtub… to see if he could swim…”
With a week off for Mireille and a week of adventure for Amilyn, it sounds like summertime is here.
- by JLove