Career & Learning Portfolio

To view my full online Career & Learning Portfolio please click here.   Download PDF

To download my current resume, please click here.

To view a map of my social media projectsplease click here.      Download PDF

Brent MacKinnon Portfolio of Social Web Projects

What follows is a sampling of projects that I’ve managed or being involved with in my local area (York Region – GTA). 

I am involved with numerous projects in York Region and also virtually involved in a number of e-learning experiences with folks around the world. The examples I have put in my portfolio (below) will give a snapshot of my interests and recent experiences using social media in my work with non profit groups and networks.

  • Streetjibe – addressing youth poverty in York Region
  • Presentation interview with Dr. Uzo Anucha – York University
  • Hidden in Plain Sight – Using Voice Thread to engage visitors to the Photo Voice Exhib (poverty in York Region)
  • Online Learning Conferences and Workshops
  • Social Tech Training Conference 2008
  • York Region Youth Justice Committee – weblog
  • HALT – Youth Community Mapping Program – mapping youth poverty in York Region

Streetjibe – an initiative of Street Kids International

Over the past three year I’ve been managing a project in York Region called Streetjibe – addressing youth poverty in York Region . Streetjibe is a three year capacity building initiative sponsored by Street Kids International. Our purpose is to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the youth service community which includes teachers, mental health workers, outreach workers, counselors, recreation workers etc. who are working with young people who are experiencing different levels of poverty and homelessness. Our goal is to increase the skills, collaboration and networking abilities of front line workers so young people will have improved access to relevant services.

I’ve facilitated 18 workshops in the second year of this project and maintained the Streetjibe online learning community blog. In the third year, a local organization will be selected to host a large community event or forum in 2009 that will showcase the assets of our youth service community and the steps and tools used by Streetjibe in establishing a practitioner learning community in York Region.

I designed the Streetjibe blog which is our online learning community showcasing Streetjibe workshops, important youth events and initiatives happening in York Region and a platform for sharing knowledge, networking and collaboration for youth workers and organizations.

Sarah Howes, a Family Intervention Counselor with Eva’s Place Toronto and Nancy Del Col from World Vision Canada shared their viewpoints about the Stigma workshop and the strengths of Streetjibe learning community approach to building worker’s capacity.

Dr. Uzo Anucha & Brent MacKinnon – Discuss Streetjibe at the ABEL Network at York University



This video was produced at York University Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning Department (ABEL). My interview with Dr. Uzo Anucha from York University was very informal as neither of had time to discuss what we would say. Uzo is so relaxing and casual in her communication style it was easy for me to open up about Streetjibe and what we are aspiring to achieve with our Project. Her knowledge of community development work addressing poverty and homelessness is very extenisive, both in Canada and internationally. We are very fortunate to have found Dr. Anucha through our collaboration with the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University.

Other York Region Projects in which I have utilized social media tools include:

Hidden in Plain Sight – Using Voice Thread as a Community Engagement Tool

PhotoVoice – HIdden in Plain Site (read the full description)

I think you will be relieved to see how easy it is to use VoiceThread and the quality of the comments demonstrate the impact the photo exhibit had on visitors to the exhibit. Since then, the engagement tool was used at the Poverty Day event held at the Newmarket Municipal offices and we w

ill continue using this tool as the exhibit moves around the Region.

Add your organization, service and basic contact information to our collaboration map. It’s easy as pie. This online collaboration map was created at our last Streetjibe workshop of 2008. On the panel to the right, you can add the URL of your agency. This map will give you quick contact information and point you in the right direction for many youth services. If you want to add a new category please email me and I will forward you the password.

From this example, you can you see how your organization, network or business might use this free mapping tool from Mindmeister. You can drag the map with your mouse. Click here to take you to a larger map on Mindmeister.


workliteracy1I often take part in online learning courses offered by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable people in their respective field. The Work Literacy online learning experience is a good example of what you can learn online and even more importantly, develop relationships with participants and leaders of these programs.

Some of the key people that I follow who offer these online learning opportunities are:

Jay Cross – Informal Learning Blog

Jane Hart – Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies

Tony Karrer – eLearning Technology

The Work Literacy course ran from September 29 through November 7, 2008. Although new activities are no longer being added, the community and course content will remain online and we invite new participants to join in and explore the topics below.

Week 1- Social Networking–Ning, LinkedIn and Facebook

Week 2–Social Bookmarking and Tagging

Week 3– Blogs

Week 4–Aggregators and RSS Feeds

Week 5–Wikis

Week 6–Pulling it all Together

Below is a post I made on the subject of reflective practitioner.

Week 3: Blogging for Personal Learning – Work Literacy

“Don’t tell me you don’t have time or that other things are more important. Is anything in your work life more important than continuing to be better at what you do? Because that’s what reflection is about–considering what you can learn from your experiences and then doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t”.

“After reading the blog post from Michele (quote above) on Becoming a More Reflective Practitioner I was motivated to write. Her comments really address my own inertia and the inertia I see in others when I’m promoting the use of blogs and social tech/media for learning, working and professional development.

I’m an active blogger for personal learning over the past 5 years and I use blogs in my projects over that time period. I’m a dyed in the wool blog evangelist however I’m not the best at adopting a more rigorous approach to my reflective practice. I think that at times I am stuck in the shiny toy syndrome where I become enamoured with the latest social media tool. I get distracted in my reflection time by my interest in consuming new ideas and concepts that others are writing about.

Michele’s post especially resonated with me today as I’m facilitating a workshop tomorrow titled “Thinking Critically to Improve Programming”. It’s a series of workshops coupled with online learning via our blog that tries to help youth work practitioners be better at what they do – working with youth experiencing poverty and homelessness. I’ll be adding some of the resources that Michele used in her post to the mix of activities in my workshop.

Like Charlie Bluglass who commented earlier, I’m introducing social media to the youth service community in my Region and really enjoy the challenge of showing how these tools can increase impact and engagement outcomes. By following Charlie’s post, I found the larger Youth Work Online ning site which was very inspiring for me as I plan on doing a similar initiative as my project winds down over the coming months.


My learning experience at the Social Tech Training Conference was fantastic. The experience was so rich in content and it was a fun experience to boot. I met people from around the world who share my interest in using social media tools for social change. Having access to some of the leading people in the elearning and social media world was very rewarding. The conference organizers did an incredible job picking the right topics and encouraging ongoing networking via an internal wiki and setting up a google group so members can stay in touch and discuss issues. One of the benefits (of many) that I took away from the STT2008 Conference was the full conference proceedings package and the wonderful advomentary made at the Conference. You can watch it below.

This learning experience gave me the energy, vision and desire to change my career towards engaging organizations and others with web 2.0 technologies and social media tools. The quality of presenters and the richness of the resources was outstanding. It will be years before I full appreciate the impact this conference had on my development.


In June 2008, Web of Change and MaRS partnered to present the Social Tech Training (STT) – a unique hands-on Web 2.0 oriented learning intensive for people working in the social change sector.

Our rationale: No one working in social change these days can afford to ignore the opportunities offered by the web. Most organizations get stuck, though, on “How do we do it?” “Where do we start?” and “Who can help us?” Interest in high, but the talent pool of people equipped to understand, prioritize, and implement these tools and ideas remains limited.

We brought together the best and the brightest leaders in this sector, and we put together a powerful agenda to help organizations move to the next level. Participants gained new technical, creative, and leadership skills, a powerful network, and were supported to produce a customized, comprehensive “Web 2.0 Plan” for their organization.

York Region Youth Justice Committee

The Youth Justice Committee adjudicates hearings involving youth, families of the young person charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and when possible the victims of youth crime. I’ve created a blog for our Committee so young people and parents/caregivers can have a quick and handy resource to learn more about what the Committee is, how it works and what to expect when appearing before the Committee. I am a founding member of the Youth Justice Committee. My volunteer work with the committee is very rewarding as I take great pride in representing the community at these hearings and bringing my experience in youth work to these highly charged restorative justice meetings.

I felt that having an online resource for young people, family members (or care givers) and for YJC volunteers would be a good way to inform others of our important community work and invite feedback from young people and family members about their experience of going through the YJC process. I decided to create this online resource. You can learn more about the York Region Youth Justice Committee by visiting the York Region Youth Justice Committee blog.

Youth Community Mapping Program – HALT


Multi Media Presentations of Research Findings

This project is now about 5 years old. I find it very interesting that the recently released report “Roots of Youth Violence” recommends that community initiatives and programs can be delivered out of high schools as way to address the disconnect many youth feel in the school system. The HALT program (Homelessness Alliance Through Leadership & Teamwork was such a program with its base at Huron Heights Secondary School and sponsored by the Community Resource & Learning Room and Street Kids International. Visit the Youth Community Mapping Project Blog to learn more about this community based research project.

Our community mapping will be a research process that directly involves youth in examining their own environment. The product of this research will not just be a typical one dimensional quantitative report but instead a rich story, gathered by youth through a variety of creative approaches. The Youth Community Mapping Program is about the development and process of four teams of youth, aged 13 to 24. Each team is comprised of eight to 16 young people, supported by Program Staff and Adult Volunteer Mentors.


The combined research of the youth will be used to establish a map that has a background landscape of youth poverty and homelessness.Within this landscape of poverty and homelessness, each team has been assigned a particular focus area to build our group map.  The Newmarket Mapping Team is focused on the theme of adult-youth relationships. The Richmond Hill Mapping Team will build on the broad issues related to health from a holistic perspective and the Markham mapping team is looking at youth recreation. Our Leadership Team will connect the work of the three mapping teams and organize our presentations to the broader community.
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