Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 1998 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Stephen MacKinnon

School: Athens District High School

Principal: Michael O'Donnell
School website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Secondary computer studies

Teaching approach:

  • Motivate students.
  • Allow students to make important decisions about classroom procedures and priorities.
  • Use project-based learning to put education into meaningful contexts and teach students to work collaboratively as a team.

Outstanding achievements:

Redesigned the school's computer studies program to keep up with rapidly and continually changing technology.

Creates a learning environment that produces achievers. In 1998, two different classes won major Internet competitions:

  • Internet technology class, in partnership with a class in the United States and another in Japan, produced the best secondary school project in the Virtual Classroom contest sponsored by AT&T.
  • Ontario Academic Credit (OAC) computer problem-solving class placed first in the International Schools CyberFair '98 for creating a website on the maple syrup industry (incidentally documenting the ice storm damage of 1998).

Major contributor to the report of the Ontario Advisory Committee for Advanced Technology in Learning to guide the province on how information technology can be used most effectively in lifelong learning.

Rave reviews:

"Our collaboration with [Stephen MacKinnon] in the Virtual Classroom convinced me of his outstanding ability as a teacher. Without his guidance, the Grand Prize would not have been awarded to us." Teacher, Himeji Shikisai High School, Japan

"I learned the true meaning of teamwork. It amazed me that minds from across the globe could come together through a computer screen to create such a wonderful project." Student, on winning the Virtual Classroom Grand Prize

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