5 Strategies to Keeping the Learning Curve Steep

As the research, innovation and education community turns the corner from summer holiday, ORION recommends Robert Martellacci’s reflection on recharging and readying ourselves to be fruitful in the next season of innovation.


It’s been a long time since I’ve taken three full weeks of vacation. On the eve of our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I decided to take our three children to discover their roots in Italy and Croatia. While there were many highlights on the trip, I did manage to squeeze in a meeting with a professor in Rome focused on eLearning. I came away feeling very positive about our progress in Canada. I also came to appreciate the Roman history and innovative spirit of the leaders who helped establish the Roman empire–keeping in mind there was a rise and fall.

Without delving into the history of the day that led to its demise, I developed a deep appreciation for the innovative spirit that made Rome a global powerhouse.

To borrow from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Or, the change will be made for you! This was one of my BIG “Aha!” moments during my travels.

Today innovation is not an option, whether you’re an educator, or industry leader, the expectations of engagement and just-in-time services places immense pressure on individuals to perform.

I would like to share with you my top five strategies to maintaining an innovative mind and keeping the learning curve steep:


Our society has become overly connected that we don’t get much down time these days. Being disconnected during much of our European vacation gave me an opportunity to reflect on this past year and envision what’s ahead for the 2015-2016 school year.

Think Global

Traveling allowed me to observe other cultures, trends and opportunities for innovation. I also came to appreciate more deeply what a great country Canada is to live in! Our competition, thanks in part to the web, is becoming increasingly global. Your students are depending on you to prepare them for the global, knowledge-based economy.

Embrace social media!

My go-to app at the start of my day is Twitter. It provides me the opportunity to get the latest and most up-to-date news, engage with my personal learning network (PLN) and amplify any messaging we have to MindShare Learning. 

Find a mentor locally and in a foreign country

Connecting with a mutual colleague abroad will provide a global perspective and challenge your thinking around learning and innovation. I met up a prof in Italy who is an expert on eLearning. I came away with a sense that Canada is very much a leader in moving the learning and technology needle forward in post-secondary education.

Reflect and Blog

Blogging is a great activity to ponder and envision the future. It reminds me of the slogan, ‘If you can imagine it, you can create it.” — William Arthur Ward

I hope I’ve inspired you in a small way to keep the innovation/learning curve steep! 

Guest contributor: Robert Martellaci. This article originally appears in Robert’s LinkedIn. The opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinion of ORION.