The only sign of life is growth.
Mrs. Fogarty, my grade 12 English teacher wrote in my grade 12 Yearbook, “The Only Sign of Life is Growth.” I read it and reflected on the message trying to read between the lines … was Mrs. Fogarty worried about me? Why would she write such a thing? Hence, I never forgot this thought provoking message. It’s served as one of my guiding principles in life, which I’ve shared with my kids and others I’ve encountered through coaching. As leaders in the educational sphere, it’s vital that we continue to mentor our youth. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a BIG difference.
Do your homework.
Dr. Bryce Taylor, founder of the Sport Administration program at York University always preached, “do your homework.” He loved to throw curve balls, no pun intended, with random pop quizzes. He taught me to expect the unexpected, whether it was in class or in the boardroom. I came to learn: in life you always need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and to have a plan “B.”
It’s about integration, not adoption.
I had the good fortune of interviewing Dr. Seymour Papert, Professor Emeritus, MIT for a podcast while completing my graduate work at Pepperdine University. During the interview he stopped me cold in my tracks when I referenced the term “adoption” with respect to technology in the classroom. He boldly declared, “It’s about integration, not adoption, young man.” From that point on, I clearly understood the importance of having pedagogy tightly “integrated” with any technology deployment in schools.
It’s about the journey to discover your passion for learning and life.
It took me a while to discover my passion for learning while in undergrad. I was fortunate to gravitate to the field of Sport Administration that sparked my career passion and first career. I often hear of teenagers not knowing what they want to do in life, or major in at university. That’s really ok! Part of the process is to encourage them to explore courses and programs, so that they can find their niche in life. It’s estimated, today’s youth will have 5-8 different careers in their lifetime. I’m on my 3rd, so I have a ways to go!
Until next time, walk the digital talk.
Another favorite saying of mine that evolved since originating the MindShare Learning Report. As a technology aficionado, there is nothing that irks me more than being amongst technology leaders who are using pen and paper to take notes. Hence, “walk the digital talk.” The notion of modeling in education is critical when it comes to supporting and nurturing the digital revolution in education. The underutilization of technology due to the lack of PD in schools is one of the greatest challenges we face in transforming the 21st Century classroom.
The views expressed on this site are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pearson Foundation.
Robert Martellacci, MA EdTech, is founder & president of MindShare Learning, an international EdTech strategy consulting company founded in 2002 based in Toronto, Canada.
In 2012 to commemorate MindShare’s 10th anniversary, the organization is entering its next phase of evolution to form the MindShare Learning Institute, to round out its four pillars of services with a focus on consulting, research, publishing, and professional learning-focused events.
Mr. Martellacci has over 25 years of expertise in the learning & technology space as an administrator at York University & Country Manager, TLC School Division. His board appointments include: vice-chair, Canadian eLearning Enterprise Alliance; and board member, York University Institute for Research on Learning Technology. Mr. Martellacci is the co-founder of C21 Canada—Canadians for 21st Century Learning & Innovation.
Mr. Martellacci is a lifelong learner who is committed to connecting business and education to transform learning in the 21st century to support student success. He completed a transformational learning journey as a mature student earning a master’s in educational technology from Pepperdine University, which inspired the creation of the MindShare Learning Report—Canada’s Leadership, Learning and Technology eMagazine. One of his signature slogans: “Until next time, keep the learning curve steep!"