Principals’ Meetings

The Minister of Education called a meeting of all the anglophone principals grades 3-12 in the province. I was asked a while ago, “if high school reform could ever change?” There seems to be a sentiment globally that high school cannot change despite the fact that elementary and middle schools and even universities are changing. Riverview High was asked by the minister to present how we are changing the high school experience.

My principal invited me and three other teachers to present along side of him. He joked that he did not want to be know as the principal just because he was wearing a tie or because he was the center of the conversation.

The preparation for the talk was most insightful. I got a chance to really reflect and group think about how the  structures that we put in place changed our practices and eventually our culture. There was some debate on the order. I am convinced that they are all required simultaneously. For some teachers who have the cultural idea, but do not have the structure in place, their desired practice cannot happen. For some early adopters, we were waiting for the structure to allow us to practice the way we want. For others, the structure provided a vacuum or pressure which eventually changed practice and culture.

I wonder what this means for programs. Perhaps we should introduce a program for those who are ready and then wait for the program to make space for others to jump on board.

I guess the big question is…how many to you need on board to make a change??

Grant Frost interview at Eastlink

Grant Frost is doing educators and education a wonderful service. He highlights the fantastic work that local Nova Scotia teachers are doing every day. We do not have to go to some far off country, we have world class teachers right here at home. Thank you Grant for taking the time and energy to profile the many heroes that work in school systems everyday.

Thank you for making space for a couple of New Brunswick teachers and thank you for it being me and Nathan.

EastLink Interview w Grant Frost

I got to talk about why I got into teaching, about how my work at SHAD UNB has gradually been infiltrating into my classroom at RHS. The end of my segment was about Engineering Brightness. The general theme was bringing relevance to student learning by having them solve real problems for real people. The example we used was Engineering Brightness.


It turns out my students/sons were with us. They did the last segment of the episode and talked about their experience with Engineering Brightness. They spoke so calmly, impromptu, and intelligently about their work.


SMART Tech announces support of Engineering Brightness at ISTE

Untold Thank You to SMART for supporting Engineering Brightness. Tracey and John were meeting with SMART after their great work on their booth. Not only did SMART already bring us to WE Day Alberta, but they also created a fantastic video for us. We were already appreciative and humbled by their support thus far.

It was a wonderful surprise to us when they quietly and nonchalantly announced that they were going to expand their support in a concrete way. I found it wonderfully refreshing that it was done without any kind of pomp or circumstance. They just wanted to do it because they believe in what we are trying to do. That means something special to us. SMART have already been wonderful to us. Now we hope to be able to connect some of their engineers, web designers, media specialists and graphic artists with our students.

Thanks to SMART, we are expecting our banner year as we break out onto the world stage as not only an organization trying to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals who are in light poverty, but also as a way to teaching and learning.

Anthony Salcito Visits Engineering Brightness at ISTE Denver 2016

It has been just over a month ago since ISTE and my twin sons are still talking about ISTE Denver. One of the highlights was a generous visit from Anthony Salcito.

The students have participated in the SKYPE-Athon early in 2016 where they had presented the 3D printed wrist lights. Mr Salcito asked them to present him with one when it was closer to being finished. They were hoping ISTE might be a chance to present Mr Salcito with the latest version. I had to caution them that there were 19,500 people in attendance and he might still be busy after being on stage at the keynote, so he might not have a chance to come and see us.

Anthony Salcito visits Engineering Brightness at ISTE Denver

Not long after, a very pleasant lady came to us and asked if we were indeed Engineering Brightness and would we be there for a while. She was going to try and bring Mr Salcito by for just 5 minutes.

Not only did Mr Salcito drop by, but he stayed and chatted for almost 30 minutes. Our watch light that we wanted to give to him was broken during the flight. He did take a Colorado lantern. Then he encouraged the twins to keep using their learning to change the world.

The fact that he took time out of his day to spend a few minutes with them was validating to their work and set them on a path to continue bigger and better not waiting for the start of the school year.

ISTE Denver 2016 Day 1 w Nureva

Nureva brought both me and my twin sons to ISTE Denver. I spoke about how we used the SPAN system to turn a science project into a student run business. My sons spoke about how they used SPAN in their Passion Projects and WW1 Trench Warfare. Here is some video of us in action on day 1.