Who We Are
In November 2011, with support of the EDGE Lab at Ryerson University, the GamingEdus project was founded with the goal of introducing educators to the learning potential of video games with a focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and student-led, inquiry-based learning.
Liam O’Donnell (aka Praxismaxis)
Liam O’Donnell is an award winning children’s author, educator and gamer. In early 2011, when Minecraft was still in beta, he set up a school server to support Grade 4-6 students with their literacy, numeracy and social development skills.
His post Messy Learning with Minecraft, captures the chaos and magic of that first day using Minecraft with his students. It has since been cited by gaming and education journals around the world and reprinted in magazines in Europe.
When he isn’t squashing bugs on the GamingEdus and Multi-School Minecraft servers he’s working on his latest children’s book over at liamodonnell.com
Diana Maliszewski (aka Liragrim)
Diana Maliszewski is the teacher-librarian at Agnes Macphail P.S. She is the editor of The Teaching Librarian, the official magazine of the Ontario School Library Association. Diana’s writing credits also include articles in The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research and School Libraries. She maintains an education-themed blog, “Monday Molly Musings”, as well as blogging about the benefits of gaming at home at Family Gaming XP.
Diana has presented at conferences and workshops all over North America on topics such as gaming in education, graphic novels, popular culture, professional learning communities and children’s literature. In 2008, she was awarded the Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award from the Canadian Association of School Libraries for her contributions to the field of school librarianship.
Denise Colby (aka MissColby)
Denise Colby is a teacher with the Toronto District School Board, teaching at the Jean Augustine Girls’ Leadership Academy, an single gender school for grade 4-8 that has a focus on social justice and leadership. Before going back to the classroom, Denise had been a teacher-librarian at Highland Height Jr. P.S. for 8 years. Denise is a member of the TDSB DLL (Digital Lead Learners) program.
Denise has presented at the the ETFO Women in ICT conference, ECOO and the OLA Super Conference ranging in topics from Minecraft and game based learning, Kindergarten programming in the library, and promoting the library within the school.
Andrew Forgrave (aka Gumby_Blockhead)
Andrew Forgrave is an educator with the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board in Belleville, Ontario. He has served on the ECOO Board of Directors in both the Program and Communications portfolios. He is an active participant of the online digital storytelling community ds106, and is a co-founder of 105theHive.org K12 Student Internet Radio. His forays into Minecraft as GumbyBlockhead reflect the realities and challenges of Survival, with an emphasis on exploration, sustainability & custodianship, fair play, and epic builds. Cut down one tree, then plant five.
Jen Apgar (aka 4gapgar)
Jen Apgar is the Itinerant Technology Coach with the Upper Grand District School Board. She taught in the junior gifted program for 10 years and holds her specialists in Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction as well as Special Education. Jen loves all things Google, Apple and Retro-Geek Gaming and imagines that she is actually a character from a lost Steven Spielberg movie, which could only be described as a Goonies-E.T.-Explorers-Gremlins-Cloak and Dagger-Stand by Me mash-up.