Living Sky School Division's director of education has been asked to become one of 21 members of a national initiative to provide insight, leadership and direction to a 21st century learning, innovation and technology agenda.
Randy Fox told the division's board of education last week he will be participating in the C21 (Canadians for 21st Century Learning and Innovation) Shifting Minds Academy for Learning, Innovation and Technology.
"Basically," said Fox, "C21 is a non-profit organization looking to develop a more national agenda for the development of innovative learning opportunities for our students."
Fox and Dr. Guy Tétrault, director of education for the Sun West School Division, are the only two Saskatchewan representatives to the academy made up of what C21 Canada president David Roberts describes as "the most innovative and progressive CEOs from public school systems across Canada."
The formation of the academy was announced at the beginning of December as a concept connecting 21 innovative K12 School District CEOs from coast to coast. It was inspired by summits and round table events in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Education Canada and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.
Fox told trustees last week Canada and many of its provinces, including Saskatchewan, are lagging behind when it comes to STEM in education, which is to do with science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Canada is behind the United States, for example, said Fox, when it comes to having students be part of innovations to help them excel in things relative to STEM.
"Part of what this organization is trying to do is to move that agenda forward so that when we have young people that are interested in those subject areas and those careers they can get the basis they need in high school,” said Fox.
Fox told board members his commitment would be to participate in one conference call per month, provide suggestions and feedback regarding national standards for 21st century learning, support the development of a position paper on 21st Century Learning, Innovation and Technology and possibly attend one to three face-to-face meetings per year.
"I'm hoping two things, that I can share some of the good things we are doing in our school division, particularly around using electronic devices, iPads, et cetera, in the classroom, but also bring back some good ideas for us."
Board chair Ken Arsenault congratulated Fox on being selected to serve on the academy.
Fox has been the director of education for Living Sky since the superannuation of Ron Ford on 2010. Prior to that, he served as assistant director of education, having moved to North Battleford from his position of director of education for Biggar’s school division after the province-wide amalgamation of boards in 2006.
Fox holds a Masters of Education from Aspen University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Administration from the University of Regina, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Arts, also from the University of Saskatchewan.
He is also a member of the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents of Saskatchewan.