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REF NO.: 44

SUBJECT: Edge 2009: An International Conference on Inspiration and Innovation in Teaching and Teacher Education

DATE: Oct. 13

The Faculty of Education wishes to invite media to sessions during Edge 2009: An International Conference on Inspiration and Innovation in Teaching and Teacher Education.
There is a full program of speakers from all over the globe, from the U.K. to Saudi Arabia, Australia and beyond. The full program is available online at Outlined below please note speakers who are available for interviews, and whose research areas may be of particular interest:
•ƒn    Harvard University’s Dr. Chris Dede: Amongst today’s plethora of technological tools, it’s hard to know which way to turn to entice our youth and most effectively incorporate technology into education. Dr. Dede’s presentation, (entitled Emerging Interactive Media: What to Use, When and How?) will address the wide array of free interactive media for communities to create and share knowledge that has greatly expanded. With an array of writers workshops, online discussion forums, wikis, mashups, photo/video sharing, social networking sites, blogs, podcasts, social bookmarking and collaborative social change sites, how is one to know which ones are most effective? The session will present education-related examples of each, and interactively discuss how we can use these media for teaching and learning.
•ƒn    Dr. Svetlana Barkanova (Department of Physics, Acadia University): From astrology to YouTube, popular culture can make physics and math more accessible, according to Dr. Barkanova. She questions how to teach astrophysics to a diverse group of 270 students who are forced to take her course as a science elective? Dr. Barkanova first tells her students to identify their Zodiac signs to work into a discussion of thermonuclear fusion, and essentially help students develop a scientific view of the universe as a place in which we live.
•ƒn    Dr. Debra Eckerman-Pitton (Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter Minnesota) teaches middle level philosophy and secondary methods. Her presentation will explore and review social supports (service learning, character education, emotional intelligence and anti-bullying and safety issues) in junior high schools and discuss how these supports can be integrated into curriculum to enhance learning for students.
•ƒn    Filmmaking as research and teaching, “It smells gross sir”: A school gardening and composting project with junior high students, Sexual health education: A critical analysis of “sex ed” teachers’ feelings, attitudes and comfort levels: Some of the graduate students here at Memorial (Joan Dohey, Chris Peters, and Melody Morton-Ninomiya, respectively) are embarking on very creatively contemporary subject matters. Pushing the boundaries of educational institutions and making education timely is essential for capturing students attention.
•ƒn    Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada, will speak about Aboriginal education in this country. He will give a talk on Wednesday, Oct 14, at 8:30 am at the Sheraton Hotel. Media are invited to listen to his brief talk, and participate in a Q&A session following the discussion.

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For more information on Edge 2009 ( or to arrange interviews with the above speakers, please contact Heidi Wicks, communications co-ordinator (Education), at (709) 737-8360/749-7462 (cell), or at


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