Robert Martellacci is the founder and president of the International award-winning MindShare Learning Technology. He’s a champion for igniting student success to help all students thrive through innovative solutions and partnerships in Canadian schools. Often referred to as the ‘connector,’ Robert specializes in forging mutually beneficial partnerships between education and technology solution providers.
A passionate lifelong learner, Robert pursued a transformational learning journey earning a master’s in educational technology from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Psychology and Education. His Pepperdine experience inspired the creation of the MindShare Learning Report—Canada’s Learning & Technology eMagazine.
Robert’s innovative spirit and desire to see an accelerated pace of change in education led to the creation of C21 Canada–Canadians for Learning and Innovation. A not-for-profit he co-founded and currently serves as its CEO.
“My WHY is really about connecting industry and education, and finding the best products to make the greatest impact to support student success.”
Your Journey to your WHY
I didn’t find my passion until my 3rd year at York University when I changed my major from Economics to Sports Administration. I discovered my passion when playing hockey for the school team. My skills as sports information director doing PR game management and promoting team travel challenged me in every possible way. It instilled in me a growth mindset and I still play lunchtime hockey focusing on healthy living. I’ve been fortunate to have many role models and mentors along the way.
One of my mentors, my coach, asked me to interview a star athlete so I interviewed the legendary Johnny Bower, Hall of Fame Goalie. I didn’t realize that was going to be the start of my podcast career. I asked him if he ever thought he was going to make it since he started playing at 35. He said, “I always believed I was going to make it.” One of my teachers wrote in my yearbook, “the only sign in life is growth.” and she drew a little flower. Teachers don’t realize the power of their words and the impact they make. It was all about having a growth mindset. We remember those teachers and mentors that cared for and challenged us.
I challenge myself to stay in shape. I rollerblade. One tip to stay in shape, rollerblade, don’t run. Running pounds the joints.
One big focus that changed my life was working with Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank, who started SoftKey Software Products as an opportunity to aggregate many companies under the Learning Company. I launched the Canadian unit as country manager. We had a dozen acquisitions including MECC, Broderbund, SkillsBank, SkillsTutor, etc. in 18 months. It was truly a startup and an incredible experience. In 1998, we did the first virtual tour of MayaQuest live. When it was all said and done, in 1999, it was sold to Mattel who took it to another level, the largest global player. Unfortunately, toys and EdTech didn’t go hand in hand then. It failed during the 2000 dot.com crash. So many EdTechs failed during that period. Today, it seems like there has been an explosion of EdTech companies, and are going through another tech crush.
So at the CanAm Summit we just had, the theme was the State of EdTech in Canada and driving innovation through evidence-based research. It was all about what was working. We’re creating a Canadian pandemic crisis preparedness playbook. In fact, I’m talking to McGill University about creating a Ph.D. focused on this topic.
[This is Barbara: Keep listening to Robert’s story on how he started MindShare Learning, his amazing MindShare Learning Report, C21 Canada, his new innovative learning space in a mall, Mindshare Workspace Innovate, and more…]
MindShare Learning [https://mindsharelearning.ca/]
MindShare Learning is Canada’s leading EdTech industry strategy, news, and events media company. We counsel education and industry leaders in understanding the emerging needs of learners to succeed in the 21st Century’s global knowledge-based digital economy.
MindShare Learning’s partial client list includes Adobe, Blackboard Inc., C21 Canada, Cisco Canada, DELL, Epson America, Follett, Global Scholar, Intel Canada, Microsoft Canada, Ontario Ministry of Education, Research Machines (RM) PLC UK, SMART Technologies, Steelcase.
C21 Canada [http://c21canada.org/]
C21 Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization that advocates for 21st Century models of learning in education. The goal of C21 Canada is to witness an accelerated pace of 21st competencies, instructional practices, and digital resources and services being integrated into Canada’s learning systems. C21 Canada is a unique blend of national education associations and knowledge sector businesses united in their belief that 21st Century models of learning must be adopted in public education on an urgent basis to position Canadians for economic, social, and personal success in the high skills, knowledge, and innovation-based economy.
MindShare Workspace Innovate [https://mindshareworkspace.com/]
Canada’s first mall-located coworking innovation space redefining the future of work and learning in Canada. Designing Inspirational Learning Spaces is about people, collaborative design thinking, and creating community and strategic partnerships.
Driving Innovation through Evidence-Based Research – McGill University
MindShare Learning, Canada’s award-winning education technology thought leader hosted the 13th Canadian EdTech Leadership Summit — “The State of EdTech in Canada: Driving Innovation Through Evidence-based Research,” in partnership with McGill University on October 19-20. The Summit brought together global education stakeholders and industry leaders to learn and share alongside world-class speakers.
Robert Martellacci, M.A. EdTech
Founder & President, MindShare Learning Technology/MindShare Workspace
Chief Digital Publisher: The MindShare Learning Report
Co-founder & President, C21 Canada—Canadians for 21st Century Learning & Innovation
Twitter handle: @MindShareLearn
- mindsharelearning.com (Company)
- mindsharelearning.com/report (MindShare Learning Report)
- mindshareworkspace.com/ (Company)
- C21 Canada: https://c21canada.org/
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For more information about Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.