Take Your Kyle to Work Day (take 1): @ The Letter M Marketing

photo-2As part of my “Take Your Kyle to Work Day” project, I had the unique opportunity to spend a day with the fine people who work at The Letter M Marketing. TLM has a long history, and an impressive list of clients.

What struck me most about TLM is their engagement with the community. They approach marketing as a genuine conversation. This conversation helps businesses and organizations tell their stories, build connections and co-create meanings.

Guelph: Putting the Higher in Higher Ed., since 1964

rock climbing

cc: flickr.com/photos/macieklew

If you know Guelph, you know that Gordon Street Hill is more than a change in elevation. The University sits atop the hill, allowing one to rise out of the depths of downtown and ascend to the glory of higher education.

Now don’t read me wrong, I love the UofG. I’m an staff member, a volunteer and an alumnus. As I said in a previous post, it’s a comprehensive, world-class institution, dedicated to excellence in education.

Again, don’t read me wrong, I love Downtown Guelph. It’s a creative place, with some wonderful, intelligent people doing awesome things.

“The Hill”, however, presents some considerable struggles connecting the University and the Community; physically, culturally and mentally. I’ve talked about this a couple times recently.

I’ve been thinking about this over the past couple months, as we were putting together ePortfolio Week. A tool like an ePortfolio is a powerful one because it’s focus is on the user as opposed to the course. As such, it an serve as a platform for connection between academics, extra-curricular, career and community life. One of the goals was to have an event take place downtown, to make a direct link between “life atop the hill” and “life below”.

eP week lecture

I’m heartened by the fact that I’m not alone in the discussions around the need for University-Community engagement in Guelph. There has been some great work done through a number of partnerships recently to connect the two: Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, Café Philosophique, Café Scientifique, Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium. There are certainly other initiatives I’ve left out.

What are other Universities doing to bridge these gaps? How can we continue to build University-Community engagement? Do physical structures help? Better transit? Funky new initiatives and partnerships?

I had fun during ePweek, and learned a lot

Many thanks to those who participated in the University of Guelph’s first (annual) ePortfolio week.

ePweek 2011

Dave Cormier joined us on Tuesday: Managing to know – a tale of cave paintings, eportfolios, printing press and PLE. Dave’s talk visualized by Giulia Forsythe in the image below:

Managing to Know

Some great presentations during the week, drawing on expertise and experiences from the School of Engineering, Educational Development, Student Life, the Graduate Student Learning Initiative, Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Bachelor of Arts and Science Program.

Envisioning 2020


This year’s TEDxGuelphU conference, envision 2020, will convene leading thinkers and doers of the community:

This is the second TEDxGuelphU, a student run initiative at the University. Props to this year’s organizing team for putting together an awesome event. Tickets for the live audience are sold out. The event will be livestreamed on on the TEDxGuelphU homepage.



cc: flickr.com/photos/spyndle

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m on the eve of re-entry into the world of academe (as a student). My short-list has been shortened and shaken around a bit. What’s surfaced is the Masters Program from the School of English and Theatre Studies (SETS) at the University of Guelph.

It cannot be discounted that pursuing a degree from the University of Guelph in many ways is convenient for me. As a resident of Guelph, and an employee of the University, the logistical aspects of participating in this program are highly attractive. It’s actually for these reasons that I had discounted pursuing further studies at Guelph. It seemed “too easy”, and the voices in my head were telling me to take a more challenging path.

I have many ties to the University, being an alumni, a volunteer and staff member. I am familiar with many of its programs, faculty and staff. I’m repeatedly impressed with the caliber of scholarship and teaching that comes from Guelph. It’s a comprehensive, world-class institution, dedicated to excellence in education.

From the SETS website:

The School of English and Theatre Studies provides life-changing experiences for all our students, offering a top-notch, student-centered education and the opportunity to combine the academic with the social through school events, guest lectures, and student societies. Students work with high profile creative writers, directors, playwrights, and scholars recognized for the quality and dedication of their teaching.

SETS has a number of amazing projects on the go; Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare, TransCanada Institute, and two that I’m really looking forward to getting involved in,

Media Education Project

Media Education Project, a “digital learning commons providing materials, resources and inspiration for media educators”.

Improvisation, Community and Social Practice

Improvisation, Community and Social Practice, “defining a new field of interdisciplinary inquiry…fosters innovative partnerships with community-based organizations…highlights collaboration with arts presenters, educators, and policy makers…inventive flexibility…creative risk-taking…”

Why wouldn’t I want to study here?

Guelph Technology Economy, 2011 Conference

The Guelph technology sector is one of the key elements to the Guelph economy, and is growing. I was honoured to be asked to be part of the steering committee for the 2nd Annual Guelph Technology Economy Conference – January 18, 2011.

Guelph Technology Economy

I participated in the conference last year. It’s an important event for a number of reasons:

  • support for the technology sector in Guelph
  • awareness of the significance of the Guelph technology sector and knowledge-based companies
  • networking and connections between technology companies, higher education, and knowledge-based companies

There’s a great line-up for this, ranging from Jim Jarrell to Doug Minett to Kirk Roberts to Kelly Brooks and others.

Arts & Digital Media, Innovation Guelph, Mobile Applications, Cloud Computing, Data Acquisition and Processes and Local Recruiting, Food, Prizes, and all that.

Conference Website.

Here’s what I learned from #a4a10

Coming down from a conference high. #a4a10 – Aiming for Accessibility: meeting standards, making change was a tremendous event. Congratulations and thanks to the speakers, attendees, organizers and sponsors.

Word clouds from the event:

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Here’s (some of) what I learned and was inspired by:

  • “Meeting the requirements of the AODA really isn’t the goal in itself…we need to nurture a culture of accessibility and inclusion, which is different than simply accommodation and compliance.” (Mike Ridley)
  • Chronic conditions are the health care challenge of the 21st century.
  • Accessibility means revenue. People with disabilities are an untapped resource.
  • Apple & Accessibility
  • WAVE toolbar
  • D2L & Accessibility
  • Accessible Course Templates cc: No Rights Reserved License)
  • Vanilla Ice references have a place at most conferences (e.g. “Stop. Collaborate and Listen”, “If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.”)
  • Simply Accessible (Derek Featherstone). Design ideas for disabilities.
  • “It’s more than getting into the interface. It’s about being able to participate.” (Stephen Hockema)
  • Good design is accessible design.

See you next year!

CourseLink & Desire2Learn – anniversary celebration

May 2010 marks the one-year anniversary of the use of Desire2Learn as an institution-wide Learning Management System at the University of Guelph. On May 5th, we gathered to mark this occasion with coffee, presentations and reflections. Below is one of the slide-decks from this event.

Happy Anniversary. Thanks to everyone for making this a relatively smooth transition, and (of course) for your patience. Looking forward to further development and effective use of online tools at the University of Guelph.

Artifacts from “Community is the Platform” keynote



initial concept map:
original concept map

(not exactly sure why “Platform” was cut off of the first slide in the conversion)

supporting material: tinyurl.com/springIT2010

Get excited and make cool shit.

Get Excited and Make Cool Shit

Bought this at the Student Print Show and Sale on March 19, 20 and 21, 2010 (Friday – Sunday) at the University of Guelph (Zavitz Buildling).

Print by Lizz Caston.