Congratulations to 2009 Award Winners!

The following individuals are the “Faces of Innovation” that serve as an inspiration and encouragement to others to accept the challenges of enhancing education through Information Communication Technology.


Andrew Schmitt

Project Title:   The SparkPlug - Math Technology Initiative

Team Members:      
Wanda deCastro
Steve Smith
Brian Chandrapal
Helen Gill
Karen Madaras

Andrew Schmitt at Joyce Public School in the Toronto District School Board has been a lead “Sparkplug” teacher in his family of 14 schools. The goal of the program was to increase math achievement of Grade 3 and 6 students by addressing gaps in teachers’ knowledge of mathematics and the developing of a blended learning community. Grade 3 and 6 teachers used SMART boards to participate in electronic conferences. During the conferences, they shared notebook files, resources and insights about teaching mathematics and improving achievement.



Jim Nehmetallah

Project Title:   Come Together - A Converging of Technologies

Jim Nemetallah of St. Anne High School in the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board has developed a new and exciting broadcast system to improve communication within the school. By merging internet television broadcasting and publishing, this initiative has enhanced engagement of students, staff and parents of the school. Jim divided his Grade 12 CommTech class into 3 groups: Morning Announcement Crew, Saints T.V. Production and Saints Web Team. The live broadcast news program is recorded and posted to the school website. Student and parents can log on to watch 5 days of archived shows. Broadcasting of promotions, entertainment and school events is available as well.  



Steve Joordens

Project Title:    PeerScholar:
An Online Peer-assessment Tool

Team Member:  Dwayne Paré

Dr. Steve Joordens and Dwayne Pare of University of Toronto Scarborough developed PeerScholar as an online peer assessment tool that supports enhanced thinking and writing skills. With increasing class sizes in universities, it is difficult to assign open-ended writing assignments and as a result, multiple choice assignments are common. In order to give students meaningful assignments that would develop their skills, Steve and Dwayne developed a program that allows for peer assessment of written work. Students learn the basics of a well thought out argument and are able to compare their work online.



Monty Bell

Project Title:    Accessing the World: In Sight and In Sound

Team Members:
Anne Hall
Albert Lee
Deirdre Moore

Monty Bell and The Global Learning Initiative Team have expanded the reach of videoconferencing and webcasting for students, staff and the community in Burnaby, B.C. They can hear keynote presentations and then participate and collaborate in discussion and response using on-line tools. Special programs such as large group forums, high profile speakers, online professional development and current issues forums are all strategies that connect Burnaby to the rest of the world.  



Central Canada

Marco Pollanen

Project Title:   enVision: A Tool for Live Web-based Communication

Dr. Marco Pollanen of Trent University developed enVision, as a freeware program that provides web-based whiteboard-chat capabilities to assist students in the communication of mathematical content. At first, Marco used this to assist students to produce mathematical expressions for online communication. He discovered that the application allowed him to engage many students concurrently. As well, the program relieved math anxiety /phobia because students felt anonymous in their interactions. Students have great access to their instructors for individual help and greater opportunity for student-student and student-teacher dialogue. enVision is also used as a tool to enhance the completion of online assessments and has expanded to other disciplines as well.


Eastern Canada

Andrew Jones

Project Title:   Educational Technology:
A New Age Message In A Bottle

Team Members:
Robert Griffin
Karen Doiron
Susan Jones
Leanda McQuaid
Patrick Cook

Andrew Jones and a team of colleagues at Grand Manan Community School have a 4 pronged approach that included technology to enhance collaboration and learning in the school. In order to improve literacy rates, staff developed collaborative projects in which Grand Manan students interacted electronically with students from other areas of Canada. The staff implemented the use of Fast ForeWord and Destination Reading to improve reading scores. They developed a communications network with homework blogs and a Homework Lunch wiki site so parents knew the work that was not completed. As well, new hardware and software tools were purchased for the school. 


Western Canada


Lise Pethybridge

Project Title:   Second Languages in Alberta Team Members:

Stacy Harper
Nancy Armstrong
Wayne Poncia

Lise Pethybridge of the Alberta Distance Learning Centre has developed a multimodal distributed learning program in French and Spanish to meet the needs of students who are learning a second language at a distance. The program began as a way to implement the compulsory second language requirement that begins in Grade 4 in Alberta. Since then, the program has expanded through to Grade 9 for the fall of 2009. As well as supporting distance learners, the program has become a resource for regular classroom teachers and can be used online in class and blended learning.


Green Award

Jacob Chan

Project Title:   AW: Academic Workspace

Team Members:
David Freedman
Marlena Rivett
Kelvin Jermyn

Jacob Chan of the Toronto District School Board championed the Academic Workspace (AW), a powerful web platform that allows collaboration and interaction among students and staff. Users log on to a dashboard that allows them to see calendars, events, announcements, library and resource bookings. The site has the live chat, e-mail, whiteboard and Live Meeting functionality for school or class use. Teachers can provide immediate feedback to assignments and can ‘model’ on-line behaviour in an environment that is protected and authenticated. Students who are absent, on co-operative education assignments or suspended can still be part of the on-line class experience as AW promotes collaborative project based learning from outside the school.