Peter Skillen Director at Large

My involvement with ECOO goes back to 1980 with various levels of engagement through the present time.

I have:

  • been a regular speaker and a featured speaker at the yearly conference—as well as at many of the regional and Special Interest Group (SIG) conferences (taking me across the province from west to east to Rainy River in the more northern region)
  • helped found SIG-Logo in the early 1980s, and subsequently was president through that decade, to support educators who wanted their students to program (code) across the curriculum
  • authored many articles for ECOO Output—the organization’s newsletter of years gone by
  • served on the Board of Directors in various capacities for about 16 years throughout the past 4 decades
  • served on the ECOO conference committee for approximately 20 of the yearly conferences—most often as the Keynote or Featured Speaker organizer—most recently from 2005-2011
  • co-founded Minds On Media—one of the conference’s most popular professional learning events which has run at ECOO (and other Ontario conferences since 2009)

Beyond ECOO

My dedication to ECOO is strengthened by my passion and involvement in learning and teaching globally.

Current and Recent Projects

Flattering Speaking Invitations

  • MIT (Massachussetts’ Institute of Technology) – to deliver a keynote address on students’ use of hypermedia to advance their learning
  • The Media Lab (MIT) – to join Seymour Papert in a conversation with his graduate students on constructionist and curricular uses of Lego TC Logo robotics
  • Leningrad (St. Petersburg) – by the Soviet Academy of Sciences to contribute to the 2nd East/West Invitational Seminar on New Technologies in Education
  • Prague – by the Soviet Academy of Sciences to contribute to the 3rd East/West Invitational Seminar on New Technologies in Education
  • Moscow – by the Institute of New Technologies in Education to assist teachers in implementing science-based programs with Canadian teachers via telecommunications
  • International Courseware Design and Evaluation conference in Tel Aviv, Israel Early Childhood Education – Focus on Technology conference in Tel Aviv, Israel (with Seymour Papert)
  • Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators (OAME) – thinking skills related to information technologies and mathematics
  • Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO) – student constructionism in science and integration of technologies
  • Post-Graduate Guest Lecturer at Feevale University, Brazil (two consecutive years) A week long component focusing on constructionism, curriculum integration and information technologies
  • Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC), Computer Using Educators (CUE – California), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)

Awards

  • Certificate of Achievement from North York Schools
  • Certificate of Excellence – Telecommunications in Education award from ISTE
  • Making IT Happen award from ISTE (for my work with ECOO—an ISTE affiliate)

Professional Path

  • 13 years teaching elementary students
  • 18 years as a Computers in Education consultant in Toronto District schools
  • Course Director for Computers in the Classroom Additional Qualifications Course, Parts 1-3 (1986-1993)
  • 2000-2003 Logo Computer Systems Incorporated (LCSI) – chaired by Seymour Papert. I was Lead Designer for an online, collaborative, scaffolded journal writing environment I conceived during graduate work
  • 13 years at the YMCA of Greater Toronto
    • 8 of those as curriculum leader/teacher in the YMCA Academy which I co-founded
    • 5 years as Digital Age Learning manager in the organization
  • I started using computers with grade 1 students in 1977. It was not so much a fascination with computers that got me started—but a fascination with the social and cognitive impact of technology on student learning and classroom teaching.
  • In the early 80s, I introduced project-based telecommunications to my school district (then North York – part of Toronto) through such applications as: FrEdMail, National Geographic’s Kids’ Network, GlobalLab, I*EARN, ThinkQuest, Orillas, CitySpace (an incredible virtual reality initiative of 1994), Canada’s SchoolNet and Global SchoolHouse.

Vision for ECOO

Ontario has one of the top education systems in the world. This honoured status is due to excellence at all levels—including our educators in all positions. ECOO is a subject association in Ontario and has a vital role to play in supporting, listening to, learning from, and working with:

  • the Ministry of Education
  • the Professional Development departments within the teachers’ federations
  • other subject associations
  • educators at all levels and in all roles
  • community partners in the service of learning

ECOO has an amazing yearly conference. But, we can do more. We have the most energetic and dedicated educators. Together, we can continue to build ECOO into a vibrant learning community which provides vision, support, and resources to ALL our educators.

We want to engage you.

We want your participation, ideas, energy, and leadership.

As great as Ontario is, there is always much more to do. As a member of the Board of Directors, I will be seeking to leverage your expertise and to have you join us in new initiatives!