MindBridge CEO delivers keynote at HULT Women in Business Conference

On May 3, 2017, Esin Sile, Ph.D. will deliver a keynote talk at Being the Boss, the 2017 HULT Women in Business conference sponsored by HULT International Business School.

The half-day conference brings together executives, founders, top industry experts, academics, and students for a dialogue around vital topics for women in leadership, including: challenges in the workplace; leadership roles and their impact in organizations; entrepreneurship; and personal branding.

In a talk entitled “Lifting the Next Generation Women” Dr. Sile will share insights from her global experience in Business and Economics that will help attendees use both their personal strengths and market insights to support career-long success.

2017 HULT Women in Business Conference

2017 HULT Women in Business Conference




What words do you associate with MAKERSPACE?

Insights from a Roundtable: What to Make of Makerspaces?

For the last decade, makerspaces have evolved from the simple incorporation of new equipment in classroom corners into full-blown hubs of innovation. As more schools choose to participate in the maker movement, the need is emerging for clearer guidelines and best practices around creating, designing, and implementing successful makerspaces. As with all innovative pursuits, it is important that every school learn how to best adopt the trend or spearhead the initiative so that the return on investment of time and money is “worth it” for both the institution and the stakeholders that it serves.

After developing a whitepaper based on research from early 2016–including engaging a group of administrators from a national conference for independent school technology leaders–we were excited to explore makerspace activity in the Northeast, to get the local pulse of the movement, and to enable cross-institutional learning. As such, MindBridge invited school leaders to join us at Sacred Heart School in Kingston, MA for a roundtable discussion entitled “What to Make of Makerspaces?” Our goal: to turn expertise and collective experience into actionable insights for guiding the growth of makerspaces.  Driving question: how could their schools create successful spaces that both enhance the value proposition of the school and provide a valuable experience for students and faculty alike?

Key results from a survey delivered prior to the workshop revealed the following:

  • Fifty percent of schools present had a makerspace.
  • Spaces were described as: an opportunity for Project-based Learning; an integral element of the Visual Arts curriculum; an extension of learning that focuses on the future; and an add-on tool to assist with classes
  • Sixty percent of schools had a dedicated faculty member leading makerspace initiatives
  • Eighty percent said “Yes” to resources being available for related educational and professional development for faculty
  • Seventy-eight percent had formal opportunities for showcasing students’ makerspace experiences (including newsletters, open houses and student exhibitions, competitions, social media demonstrations, video portfolios of their work, and grant workshops)
  • Most schools were in the “just developing” phase of measuring the effectiveness/success of their makerspaces, with some using student and teacher feedback.
  • A final, and quite interesting finding is shown in the figures below. Despite the perceived importance of the maker movement to a school’s value proposition, satisfaction with curriculum integration remained low.

Satisfaction with maker-curricula













The above results, along with guiding insights around makerspace structure by our team of presenters (Esin Sile, Ph.D., CEO MindBridge Partners, Keith Gillette, Senior Advisor, MindBridge Partners, Scott Roy, CTO, Carney, Sandoe, and Associates), laid the groundwork for conversation around a list of exploratory questions. Of all topics discussed, three main themes emerged: (1) The need for greater collaboration, cohesiveness, and support in makerspace development and management; (2) supporting the creative process of students, and (3) incorporating community partnerships in programming.

Collaboration, Cohesiveness, and Support

The presiding sentiment around developing a makerspace from most attendees was that the strong desire for space creation and success was not matched with a provision of adequate team resources. Resources can often be underestimated because there is lack of clarity around “what it takes” to adopt a novel initiative. However, this can quickly lead to overwhelm and frustration on the part of the lean team (or single person!) that is tasked with making it happen. Participants shared that typically such work is added on to existing tasks, and they are left wondering how it’s possible to manage it all. Even with a designated faculty member to spearhead the process, building a makerspace should be a team effort—ideally with representation across several departments.

Besides sharing workload, an additional benefit of having a committed and diverse team with multiple institutional perspectives resides in a more comprehensive integration strategy. In one school, maker programming in Grades 4-6 ensured that teachers in Grades 7-9 knew exactly what skills students were prepared to engage moving forward—a great example of how it pays to be involved.

Supporting the Creative Process of Students

The maker movement encourages a kind of learning that is more reminiscent of days of yore than what is typically provided (and expected) from today’s students. Most college prep institutions aim to prepare students with rigorous academics and full extracurricular schedules, programs aptly positioned to place significant pressure that results in not only eustress, but also distress for students. Students are “trained” for excellence. One school leader voiced: “Kids are so trained, even by 3rd grade, [that] they are waiting to be told what to do.” Several individuals remarked on a pervasive fear of failure, which is quite the challenge for spaces designed to promote independent thinking and open creation. “When the point is the process and not the end product, the kids don’t understand.”

Makerspaces provide an opportunity for schools to develop a culture of “Celebrating Failure,” which ultimately prepares students for innovative pursuits in the real world. And the aforementioned process-not-product focus places value in students’ ability to carefully document the creative process, putting the weight of evaluation only on final documentation. However, one participant noted that students really do need some form of direction. “Even if a student is a ‘high achiever,’ assume they know nothing about the task at hand. Today’s kids are consumers, not so much creators.”

As for other resources for supporting students’ creative process: the placement of a makerspace near the library encouraged an open style of learning, whereby students worked until they reached a roadblock and then visited the library to pick up the necessary knowledge. And and creative programming option that is appealing enough or more closely tied to real-world vs theoretical problems may result in excitement and engagement that far outweigh any hesitancy to “make”.

Community Partnerships in Makerspace Programming

Excitement and real-world applicability drive the final theme that emerged during workshop discussion. The potential impact of makerspaces extends far outside of institutional walls when one considers their relevance to the broader community. One school opened up space development to parent and alumni input and received enthusiastic feedback with offers to assist both on-site and in the separate capacity of helping to build partnerships with other organizations in the community.

A final consideration regarding makerspaces outside of school walls—it helps to consider the environmental impact of the tools that are used. Part of our charge as educators is to teach the next generation to “Create Responsibly” during their formative years. Methods learned and habits formed during free creation will indeed carry over into future pursuits.

In summary, to create a sustainable makerspace, it is important to create, develop, implement, and promote the space in a strategic, intentional, and systematic way. A focus on designing metrics for assessing the impact of the makerspace on teaching and learning will add to sustainability, especially in leaders’ ability to garner support from stakeholders along the way. Indeed, the forward-looking trend will be towards assessment and pedagogy as programs become more formalized.

We hope to continue the conversation around makerspaces in independent schools as the movement continues to evolve. If you’d like to bring a roundtable discussion to your school, please email us at info@mindbridgepartners.com!




Boston in the Fall

Here’s what’s coming up for MindBridge in October!

MindBridge Partners has a big month ahead! Check out the happenings below:

We’re running a workshop at Sacred Heart School, Kingston on October 5th: “What to Make of Makerspaces?” where we will dive into the rapidly evolving trend of Makerspaces in K-12 independent schools. We invite you to fill out the pre-registration survey and sign up on Eventbrite at your earliest convenience—space is limited!

We are excitedly working on a podcast series for EdTechTimes that will explore the latest trends on the minds of independent school administrators. Stay tuned for a sneak peek of featured K–12 schools.

Get ready for our live webinar: “How to Power Up Your Value Proposition!” On October 14th, Esin and team will lay the groundwork for developing a better understanding of your school’s value proposition and present a series of steps to help to strengthen it. Registration opens next Monday 9/19. Sign up for updates here, and save the date!

CIC Cambridge Offices

Dr. Esin Sile to deliver keynote at CollegeFindMe enrollment conference

MindBridge Partners CEO Dr. Esin Sile will be the keynote speaker at the 1st Annual Conference for education startup CollegeFindMe, a global platform connecting college admissions with student applicants.

The conference, entitled “The Future of College Enrollment in the Digital Age,” will give college admissions officers and high school counselors a unique opportunity to interact with each other and discuss mutual concerns while obtaining the expert opinion of higher education leaders and innovators. Topics covered are intended ” to revolutionize the transition from high school to college.”

CollegeFindMe predicts that emerging technologies in the field of Enrollment Management will increase the efficiency of both admission officers and school counselors, allowing them to focus more on the needs of their students. Given the current role of technology in increasing global exposure, it will also better allow colleges to enroll qualified students from all over the world who are eager to benefit from a U.S. education.

The conference will be held at the Cambridge Innovation Center on September 21st. Registration is by invitation only. If you’d like to learn more about CollegeFindMe, we invite you to watch this interview with founder Christina Bai, produced by our friends at EdTechTimes.


Session Notes

Transformative Trends in EdTech: ATLIS Session Round-Up

The 2016 ATLIS National Conference may have ended, but the learning continues!

Last week MindBridge Partners joined Carney, Sandoe & Associates to lead an engaging and insightful session on current transformative trends in education technology in independent schools. A full room of ATLIS 2016 conference attendees—all leaders in the independent school IT space—focused the discussion on the topic of Makerspace. Participants shared their experiences in developing and enhancing makerspaces at their institutions. We also discussed the importance of strategically aligning such edtech initiatives to the school’s goals and mission.

Follow the link below for our Collaborative Session Summary, which reflects key takeaways supported by anecdotal evidence from a pre-conference survey fielded by Carney Sandoe with more than 600 IT directors across the nation.

ATLIS 2016 – Transformative Trends in EdTech – Collaborative Session Summary – MindBridge Partners – CarneySandoe

We look forward to continuing the conversation on makerspaces and other transformative trends in K-12.

Please contact MindBridge Partners at info@mindbridgepartners.com for more information.

IT in Education

MindBridge to present on EdTech Trends and IT Teamwork at ATLIS Conference 2016

MindBridge is excited to participate in this year’s ATLIS Conference beginning this Sunday April 17th thru Wednesday April 20th in Atlanta. Slated as a “Must-Attend Event for Technology Leaders in Independent Schools,” this national conference gathers the independent school community for focused professional development seminars, networking, and idea-sharing. Attendees for ATLIS 2016 come from over 150 independent schools, associations, and companies across the country.

This year, MindBridge Partners is presenting two sessions:

In “What’s Next? Transformative Trends in EdTech” (4/17 1:00-3:00PM) MindBridge CEO Dr. Esin Sile and Senior Advisor Keith Gillette are teaming up with Carney Sandoe and Associates CTO Scott Roy to kick off the conference with creative collaboration:

“In a rapidly changing education technology landscape, some school tech initiatives can lead to more questions than answers. Be prepared to tackle new edtech challenges by getting a head-start on the issues that are trending.

This session will kick off the ATLIS conference with a roundtable platform to highlight and discuss three transformative trends in education technology that are impacting your schools: Student Data Privacy, 1:1 / BYOD, and the Maker Movement. You will have the opportunity to choose a transformative trend, engage in lively roundtable discussion with industry peers, and participate in developing a set of best practices for applying the trend to real-world scenarios.

Whether your school is just starting to grapple with the trend or whether you already have projects underway, you’ll benefit from the insights and strategies developed in this hands-on working session.”

Senior Advisor Keith Gillette will then take the lead in presenting “Get Your Team RACIng: An Integrated Approach to IT Job Design,” (4/19 10:00-10:45AM) as a conference send-off focused on team implementation readiness:

“Too many schools aren’t ‘firing on all cylinders’ because it’s unclear who’s responsible for even routine work. This is especially challenging in IT, where complexity and interconnection rule. Learn clear frameworks for apportioning job responsibilities that respect the intricacy of IT tasks and allow for clear delineation of responsibility without sacrificing teamwork.”

We are looking forward to connecting with and learning from peer leaders in independent schools!

Check out our presenter bios below, and be sure to tune in to our Twitter Feed and Google+ page for updates and insights from ATLIS 2016! For more information on the sessions, email us at info@mindbridgepartners.com. 

• • • • •

Esin Sile, PhD

Esin Sile, PhD is a seasoned Economist and Consultant who has worked extensively with institutions and organizations in the education sector, partnering with clients in K-12 and higher education institutions to provide strategy based on data-driven research. She has more than 15 years of consulting experience, with her expertise in the education sector spanning enrollment management, branding and marketing, pricing and value, strategic planning, academic program management, and innovative practices. Esin has also advised clients globally on how to best adopt innovative and entrepreneurial strategies in their organizations.

Esin is a frequent speaker at international conferences on education innovation and entrepreneurship. Throughout her career, she has advised clients on issues related to complex litigation, regulatory proceedings, and strategy development in a wide array of industries. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University, an M.A. in Economics from Brown, an M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS, and a B.A. in International Relations.

• • • • •

Keith Gillette, Senior Advisor, MindBridge Partners

Keith Gillette has more than 20 years of experience designing and delivering information technology solutions in K-20 educational contexts. He has launched and administered multiple 1:1 student computing learning initiatives. In addition to multi-platform network and systems design and administration experience, Keith has expertise in IT infrastructure design and construction management in both new building and facilities remodeling.

Keith holds an M.S. in Information & Telecommunications Systems Management, an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, as well as numerous IT industry certifications, not to mention his B.S. (what else?) in philosophy. Keith is a senior member of the American Society for Quality and brings Six Sigma certification and a quality systems/process management orientation to his work in strategic planning, systems design, project coordination, and operations management.

• • • • •

Scott Roy, Chief Technology Officer, Carney, Sandoe & Associates

Scott Roy has spent 17 years in independent school technology search and placement and 5 years in technology consulting. He currently holds the role of CTO at Carney Sandoe and Associates and also works as a Placement Associate and a Search Consultant, recruiting computer science teachers and technology directors for independent schools. He is proud to be a 5 year volunteer for grade 5 mathematics at Renaissance Charter School, Boston, MA, and a mentor for students enrolled in Trinity Education for Excellence Program (TEEP).

Scott worked as Senior Systems Engineer at Microsoft Corporation, an IT Group Manager at UniFirst Corporation, Consulting Services Manager at Welsh Consulting in Boston, and roles as both Managing Associate/Director of Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Carney, Sandoe & Associates. He graduated with a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, an M.S. in Computer Science from Boston University. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

MindBridge Partner and Author Katy Tynan talks the Evolution of Work

Fact: The workplace is evolving.

…but what do paper airplanes have to do with it?

Last Thursday, MindBridge Partner and Author Katy Tynan gave a talk at the CEO Club of Boston on the roles of technology and human behavior in the evolution of the workplace. She describes a “coming employer/employee seismic shift,” and how if we are to succeed, we must be ready to change everything we’ve learned about working and managing others.

Check out her talk below.

Katy is speaking today at the MAPCS Annual Professional Development Conference.

Dr. Sile discusses transformational trends in the global market for education technology.

MindBridge Partners CEO presents at 34th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkish Relations

MindBridge Partners CEO Esin Sile, Ph.D. attended the 34th Annual Conference on United States-Turkish Relations in Washington, DC.

For over 30 years, The Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkish Relations, has been the largest gathering of government leaders, entrepreneurs and industrialists, academics and policy makers who focus on the full range of bilateral issues. (from website)

Dr. Sile was a panelist at the Education Session on Monday, September 28th.   This year’s session emphasized the increased role that education and education technology have been playing between the two economies. Over the last few years, the potential for disruptive business models in education technology has captured the interest of investors on both sides. (This is due in large part to government efforts to integrate state-of-the-art computer technology into public education systems.) As such, the global market potential for educational products—which vary from online curricula to educational gaming to tools for teachers and administrators—is growing by the day.

The panel on “Commercial Diplomacy through Investment in Education” addressed current and future investment behavior in education and education technology. Dr. Sile presented transformational trends with the greatest potential in education technology.  She also discussed the role of technology disruptions in creating more effective and improved approaches to education—approaches which have become increasingly fragmented, competitive, and global. Finally, Dr. Sile addressed how some of these trends, such as Peer2Peer Learning, can be utilized within the Turkish education system.

Interested in learning more about the research? Send us an email! info@mindbridgepartners.org.


MindBridge Partners to present “Leading EdTech Transformation” Workshop in November

MindBridge Partners will present a half-day workshop on Friday, November 20, at the Courtyard Marriott Boston-Natick from 7:30AM-Noon.


In this workshop, entitled “Leading EdTech Transformation,” we will provide leaders of school technology initiatives with actionable insights to guide their strategies in choosing new tech and implementing it successfully. It’ll be an exciting opportunity for attendees to connect with a broader community of peers and experts, all navigating a fast-changing Edtech landscape.


Presentations By:
  • Framingham Public School District Superintendent Stacy Scott
  • Operations Executive and Entrepreneur Katy Tynan
  • CIO and Educational IT Consultant Keith Gillette


Please visit the Eventbrite page to learn more and to register: http://leadingedtech.eventbrite.com/


We look forward to seeing you there in November!