Meeting the Needs of Learners

Tuesday, May 31 at 5:30 PM

It all begins with our learners. Whether you are a parent, teacher, education professional, or trainer, an understanding of the interests, passions, and needs of the learners we engage with informs and drives what we do. Often, we stick with established practices and this obvious and critical connection is overlooked.

This session seeks to understand the motivations of learners at different stages and stations in life — be it high school, post-secondary, and beyond. We will hear directly from a cross-section of learners about their needs and perspectives and discuss how that can inform the learning opportunities we create for them.

As a foundational plenary, we hope that this session will put a learner-centred focus on our thinking as we move though the conference and beyond, putting ourselves in the shoes of the learners we serve and having their perspectives in mind when making decisions and developing new learning opportunities.

Chris Read

Moderator | University of Waterloo Associate Provost, Students

Chris has an undergraduate business degree and a master’s in business administration. He brings a strong track record of creating innovative services and partnerships backed by sound business operations for the benefit of students. Chris works to ensure that Waterloo students have the richest possible educational experience both inside and outside the classroom, and maintains and builds upon the university’s commitment to student success.

Victoria Beale

Victoria Beale attended elementary school in Niagara-On-The-Lake and moved on to attend middle and part of high school in South Carolina. She moved back to Canada for Grade 11, attending Centennial CVI in Guelph. She has competed in the DECA business competition the past two years along with membership over her high school experience in Model UN and various community service clubs. She also participated in the Ontario Government’s Summer Company program, running her own business over the summer. Victoria was a standout member of Beyond Borders, winning the Character in Leadership award.

Mackenzie Sharratt

Mackenzie Sharratt attended Paris District High School where she was very busy with academics, varsity sports, a part-time job, and volunteer work.

Kenzie chose to continue her education at Conestoga College for Marketing because it seemed like the more practical option and offered a “hands-on” working environment. However, she has now transferred into the Psychology program at Guelph University with plans to continue into a Master’s degree in Industrial-organizational psychology after graduation. Her long-term goal is to be a guidance counselor at a secondary or post-secondary school.

Daniel Marcoux

Daniel Marcoux graduated from the University of Guelph Humber with a degree in Applied Computing and a diploma in Wireless Telecommunications Technology. He was then hired by a small tech company in Waterloo called Sandvine, where he worked in the Quality Assurance department for 6 years, writing and designing automated tests for integrated network components. 3 years ago he shifted to the Technical Support team, where he is currently the Team Lead for Sandvine’s Americas region (North America and Latin America).

Carley Funk

Carley is a high school teacher in Waterloo Region, and is finishing her second year in Waterloo’s MMT (Master’s of Mathematics for Teachers) Program.

Education 3.0 – Possibilities beyond the Nexus

Wednesday, June 1 at 5:00 PM

Technology continues to change the way we learn, the way we teach, and the way we access information.

Informed by innovative pedagogy and driven by the need for greater societal access to continuous learning opportunities, we are inspired to design new ways to engage students, improve their learning experiences, and create new learning pathways.

This panel of preeminent thinkers and innovators will address the theme of the conference — “Possibilities at the nexus of pedagogy, technology and access” — sharing their experiences with current innovations, as well as their thoughts and insights into directions we could and should take education and learning.

Nora Young

Moderator | Host of CBC Radio’s Spark, Author of The Virtual Self

Nora Young is an informed and ideal guide for anyone looking to examine—and plan for—the ever-changing high-tech landscape; she helps audiences understand trends in social media, big data, wearable tech and more, while showing them how to better protect their privacy in our increasingly digital world. The host and creator of Spark on CBC Radio, and the author of The Virtual Self, she demystifies technology and explains how it is shaping our lives and the larger world in which we live.

Young was the founding host of CBC Radio’s Definitely Not The Opera, where she often discussed topics related to new media and technology. Her work has appeared online, on television, and in print. Along with Cathi Bond, she has been a hobby podcaster of The Sniffer since 2005. Her favourite technology is her bicycle.

Dave Pryce

Dave Pryce brings over 20 years of global public and private sector experience, presently serving as the Vice President of Global Government Relations lead for D2L. In this capacity, Dave works closely with the senior management team to build a world class government relations unit supporting the company’s global expansion. Prior to joining D2L, Dave was based in London and served as a senior executive at BlackBerry, leading the government relations team across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Dave holds a specialized honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies from the University of Guelph and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he also taught in the School of Business & Economics.

Ken Steele

Since 2000, more than 25,000 higher education professionals across Canada and the US have come to rely on Ken Steele as a definitive source of breaking news, bright ideas, and strategic thinking about student trends, technological innovation, branding and recruitment marketing. Ken’s unique perspective has been shaped by award-winning careers spanning 3 decades, first as a humanities computing researcher and Shakespeare instructor, then an IT consultant, ad agency creative director, and ultimately a higher education market research analyst and consultant.

Jeremy Friedberg

Jeremy is an accomplished scientist, educator, speaker, educational game designer and entrepreneur. He has founded several education technology companies, led the development of numerous education communication tools and designed revolutionary educational games which have garnered international recognition with awards from the National Science Foundation, Journal of Science and the United Nations.

Corinne Hoisington

Corinne Hoisington is a full-time Professor of Information Systems Technology at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, VA with over 25 years of teaching experience. Corinne also travels over 200,000 miles a year keynoting to college & university professors and K12 venues in over 70 worldwide cities this year for such customers as the Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft’s Camp 21 International Events, Cengage Learning, the international South by Southwest event, and many other universities and K12 groups. Professor Hoisington is the recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Computer Programming.

Inspiring Innovation in Online Learning: Provincial Consortia Leading the Charge

Thursday, June 2 at 9:00 AM

Four vibrant consortia serving the post-secondary sector are inspiring leadership in online learning across Canada. Come and discover how these provincial collaborative networks are leading change and innovation in online learning and collaboration across post-secondary institutions. This panel will provide insight into the strategic and innovative initiatives underway in each province and beyond. Topics will include innovations to increase access to learning, open education and open textbooks, quality assurance and inter-institutional shared services.

Erin McCloskey


Erin McCloskey is a Senior Policy Advisor on technology-enabled learning in higher education at the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Prior to joining the ministry, Erin was secondary science and mathematics teacher and international educator. In her student days, Erin served as President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and Student Premier of the Ontario Secondary School Students’ Association.

Cathy Newell Kelly

Cathy Newell Kelly is the Executive Director for eCampusOntario (alongside Linda Rees). Cathy began her distance and online learning career in 1996 at the University of Waterloo, where she still holds the position of Director, Centre for Extended Learning (on secondment to eCampusOntario). Cathy has been instrumental in guiding the evolution of Waterloo’s long-standing Correspondence program to its current role at the forefront of online learning. She holds a degree in Economics from Waterloo, as well as an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.


Denise Goudy has over twenty years experience in BC’s post-secondary system with small rural colleges and the Ministry of Advanced Education. Working with a team of experts, Denise provides leadership for curriculum development and delivery projects and programs, educational technology projects and professional learning offerings for BCcampus, in the context of the B.C.’s post-secondary sector.

Kim Grenier Mintenko

Kim Grenier Mintenko is the Manager, eCampus at Campus Manitoba. Kim has been with Campus Manitoba since 2003 and was instrumental in the development of Manitoba’s eCourses online learning portal. She holds an MA from the University of Manitoba and has worked in higher education for over 15 years.


Tricia Donovan has served as the executive director of eCampusAlberta since its inception in 2002. Working closely with senior representatives and steering committees from Alberta¹s publicly funded post-secondary institutions; Donovan coordinates the evolution and expansion of eCampusAlberta. Donovan has successfully navigated inter-institutional collaboration in online learning and continues to introduce innovations and best practices in online learning with her colleagues from across the member institutions. Donovan also serves on the WCET e-Learning Consortia CIG and endeavors to promote the value, breadth, and collaborative potential of online learning consortia.