About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Laurier B.Ed. students take on the Cardboard Challenge

We have had a great first week with our entering Bachelor of Education students at Laurier. Quite an engaging and enthusiastic group!

Earlier in the week, we engaged in the Cardboard Challenge. If you're not familiar with the story behind the challenge, check out this website and the great movie on it:

Cain's Arcade

Our teacher candidates worked in groups of 5-7 and were given a few cardboard boxes, some tape, and access to some other recycled supplies (kleenex boxes, plastic containers, etc.). Their task? To come up with a creation that expressed their creativity and/or that could be "accessed" later in the year when dealing with stress. After 1.5 hours, they had come up with AMAZING creations! Thanks to one of our new students, Christie McKerron for this photo collage of the different projects:

The Cardboard Challenge has become a global initiative to help support 21st century skills such as collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving. More information can be found at:

Global Cardboard Challenge

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Developing social entrepreneurship with partners in Haiti

Details continue to come together for our October networking trip to Haiti. We now have 9 confirmed Canadian participants, including leaders from universities, technology companies, and the government sector.

We have two anticipated outcomes of the networking trip:

1. Higher education - supporting the development of a "social incubator", on-line learning, and English language programming at universities in northern Haiti.

2. K-12 education - supporting the development of on-line training modules for teachers and technology integration for classrooms.

In both cases, what we are striving to do is to access the social capital that is already available, provide support for it, so as to develop innovative, made-in-Haiti solutions for local social challenges. Haitians have an entrepreneurial spirit ... Laurier's on-going work in Haiti is supporting that "DNA" for social change.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How digital technologies can support principals in Haiti: Creativity and innovation in school leadership

For the past two years I have led a research project investigating how digital technologies such as smartphones and tablets can support the leadership abilities of principals in Haiti.

Earlier this year, the results of the study were published in International Studies in Educational Administration, 42(1). The key findings of the study were that digital technologies can support:

1. collaboration and problem-solving
2. adapted leadership practices
3. local and cross-cultural learning

One of the interesting results of the study was that I found the participants developed trust with each other through the participation in the on-line professional learning community. Trust is a key element that leads to collaboration. Collaboration and sharing of resources have not been common amongst principals in Haiti. The digital mentoring project helped build this trust and collaborative practice.

I also found that digital technologies supported the ability of principals (both in Haiti and in Canada) to engage in "glocal" learning. Principals examined broader contexts for ideas and solutions that could address local challenges.

For further information on the article, please consult my Laurier Research Publications web-site by clicking on the link below:

Steve Sider Research Publications