Innovation Conference 2013

Happy Friday! Before I get into the conference I attended a couple of Fridays ago, let’s talk about this again:


It is the lettuce from our garden that I alluded to on Wednesday. And it really is delicious friends. Markus and I have had several side salads in the last couple of weeks and I am so, so excited to be able to pick this out of the garden and eat it…..every.single.time. It never gets old. Emilio also took some home with her, along with some bok choy last week and she was tres impressed with the freshness. It really is good times here at the McCarnaghan residence. However, it is not time to get on to the title of the post.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Innovation Conference at UOIT. Since I already work there, that was pretty convenient for me. I didn’t even have to pay for parking, always a conference plus. I was really hoping to learn about the new technologies that are out there for use in the classroom, so let’s see how that went.


I received a lovely welcome from this bulletin board and made my way to registration where I collected me some ‘swag’. I was a little disappointed here. Usually when you go to a conference you get a mug, some kind of reusable bag, etc but all I got was a pen.


I mean, it was a solid pen and it was a relatively cheap conference fee, so I guess beggars can’t be choosers. However, the day started on a very negative note for some people as there was no coffee.


The caterers did not show up until the first intermission and there were some very grumpy attendees. Yet another instance that I have been quite glad that I am not a coffee drinker.ย  However, they also didn’t have any H2O, so this gave me a slight frown face.

The day started off with a bang in regards to the presenters though. Rejean Bourgault, Vice-President of Avaya, was fascinating. He told us about all of new technologies that are coming onto the market, including robot teachers in Korea. Whelp….that’s not really good news for my job but considering they are creepy as hell….I’m not sure I have too much to worry about.


This is actually what they look like. Shudder.

While his talk was fascinating, this was the only time that education was mentioned during the entire conference, so I must say, it wasn’t really relevant for me. However, since Rejean was so interesting, I continued to tune in. The second speaker was Jerry Boyer, Director of IT at GlaxoSmithKline Inc. He kept making Star Trek inferences, so I was pretty pumped about that. But that was about all I could really get excited about for his particular portion.

After these two speakers, we had break and you could see people doing the fast-walk out the doors to get coffee. During the break, I meandered around and bumped into these young lads who were previewing the latest video game technology.

I even tried it out myself but I can’t say I was very good. I really miss the original Nintendo controller with the two buttons on one side and the cross of buttons on the other side. Simplicity is where it is at for this old broad.

After this,ย  we had another presentation from Susan Dineen, the Executive Director of Fox Group Consulting. While again, she was not related to education, I found her quite interesting, as she was talking about the future of television. Basically, and this should not be a shock to anyone, TV is on it’s way out and what they call ‘over the top programming’ like Netflix, is on the rise. While TV will not be obsolete for quite some time because of news, sports and specialty events, there has been a dramatic increase in people ‘pulling the plug’ on their cable and streaming their TV online.

After this chat it was lunch time and let me tell you….it was terrible. It was advertised as a ‘buffet lunch’ but the only two options were roast beef and green beans (insert vomit noise) or a sandwich station. I got perhaps the worst wrap I’ve ever had in my life and the woman serving it was just as pleasant.


While it doesn’t look too offensive…trust me, it was.

After this I decided to leave the conference as none of the afternoon sessions pertained to anything education related. The timing also coincided with my teacher Ruth’s retirement party. Ruth was my teacher for the College Teaching certificate that I just graduated from in May and she is an absolutely amazing instructor. I really wanted to say my goodbyes because she is by far one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and this is saying a lot because I’ve probably had close to a hundred teachers in my lifetime. I can only think of a couple that compared from high school and obviously this experience was completely different from the experience I had as an adult student with Ruth. I managed to sneak a pic of the guest of honour cutting the cake with her adorable grand-daughter:


The cake was really good too and totally made up for the lunch disaster ๐Ÿ˜‰

After a round of extremely emotional speeches and some crying everyone took a turn signing this giant umbrella for Ruth.


Ruth is moving to the West Coast, so the big joke is that she is going to need plenty of umbrellas because of all of the rain. So along with this signed beauty, several other people got her an umbrella to add to her collection:


I would say she is not going to have a problem locating an umbrella for pretty much the rest of her life! All in all, a good day and I’m really glad I was able to make Ruth’s party because she means a lot to me.

Do you have a teacher that has inspired you past or present? Any favourite memories? Do you like umbrellas?



8 thoughts on “Innovation Conference 2013

  1. I love umbrellas, especially yellow ones.

  2. Mr. B and Marni, hands down!
    I had a couple of really great college profs that will always stand out to me also. I had an awesome college experience because of this. They totally would have tolerated us.

    That wrap does look sad, and those cucumbers look even sadder ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • Haha…you knew who I was talking about ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think if I had of gone to college it might have been a different but you don’t bond with your university teachers in the same way. I’m looking forward to the Teacher’s College moving to two years so I can bond with my students for two years instead of one ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Never put up an umbrella in the house. I did that as a kid and my dad went insane. Apparently bad luck will stick to you like freshly chewed gum on your shoe or similar to how other delicacies will adhere to a blanket.

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