DNArt gets coveted spot at Micro:Bit Live 21

Yesterday, DNArt students presented in the #1 coveted spot, directly following the opening Keynote, at the Micro:Bit’s foundation global event. 92 countries, over 80 presentations.

Students stayed afterschool until 8 pm working on their code and finally victory. Others felt empowered when they made changes and additions to my PowerPoint. The next day, their day off, they arrived early in the morning. Some had spent time at night creating an animated logo for our background. Once we got the technology figured out, the talk went off without a hitch. The student who was too quiet spoke loudly, the student who struggled with English practiced the pronunciation, the person who was too fast (me) was a better speed., the person who struggled with what to say on a slide was smooth and the person who is normally very nervous was not sick to their stomach!

Here is proof that students can do good work, work that is recognized around the world. We do not have to leave NB to do cool things and have an impact on the world.

Published by McGill

Chris Ryan and I with lots of help from Patrick Howard from UCCB, were published today in the McGill Journal of Education! Thank you to Patrick for his persistence!!

“What’s the Big Idea?” A Case Study of Whole-School Project -Based instruction in Secondary Education (Howard, P., Ryan, C., Fogarty, I. McGill Journal of Education Vol 55, N3,
Fall 2020, pg 619-640 ISBN 1916-0666)

The article recounts the progress started in the transdisciplinary Science 12 class with projects like the Xenotransplant Project that happened in one classroom, to our first attempt at a whole school project with the Saxby Gale, and finally with a more formal, structured project of “What Does It Mean to be Human?” Patrick and his team interviewed Chris and I, other teachers and students as well as video recorded debriefs to provide an academic lens and language to what we are trying to do.

This is the concluding paragraphs.

The research here demonstrates the experiential pedagogies such as whole school, project-based learning resulted in meaningful experiences for high school students. The descriptions of those experiences, and the outcome of employing a qualitative, phenomenological lens, revealed important structures of the students’ life worlds as they were immersed in a specific pedagogically approach. The Shift away from traditional, didactic, teacher-centered approaches revealed fundamental thematic structures that emerged for students. It is important to inquire into student-lived experience to provide for a fuller understanding and the lived meaning of pedagogical interventions. findings, such as those presented here, provide the possibility of a more informed, attentive, action-sensitive professional knowledge and practice in the development of educational experiences designed to influence the learning experiences of secondary students.

Presenting in Maharashtra India


Was way fun talking about Developing Global Competencies for the 4th Industrial Revolution in the Collaborative Classroom to over 500 teachers in India. I’m hoping we can do a deeper dive and get past a superficial introduction and get to some depth and detail. It is less about the latest tech fad and more about leveraging the tech to get the group dynamics and pedagogy that you need. The curriculum document tells me what to teach but the Global Competencies tell me how to teach.

Back in the Saddle Again!

After almost two years, I was finally able to present at a conference again!! This time, I was asked to speak across the world to 15,000 teachers in India about “Developing Global Competencies for the 4th Industrial Revolution in the Collaborative Classroom”. It was fun to see how the fundamentals of that work using SMARTBoards to influence group dynamics is still very relevant post-pandemic. Thank you Sakal Media Group, NiE and YIN!

Alpha LEONIS Project is published Putting a Capital A in steAm

What does it mean …STEAM? for a decade, I have been attending conferences and visiting schools, many with inspirational stories and videos about integrating STEM and the Arts. I am proud of my work with the Innovative Collaborative, a think tank in the US who is taking stock and advocating for A in STEAM. While there are many fantastic examples in the k-8 sector, I have only seen one example in the high schools.

alpha LEONIS- Interactive Art Installation

Typically, the Arts are often an way to make the work pretty or just a last minute add-on. We are not leveraging the resilience, critical thinking and creativity that many of the arts processes can offer STEM. Too often in STEM classes, we are looking for the one right answer to a lab or word problems or projects, which does not reflect the daily activity of STEM professionals on the cutting edge. The art needs to inform the science and the science needs to influence the art.

The inaugural year of the LEO Project (alpha LEONIS) happened during Pandemic learning is a high school example of a transdisciplinary project where science students had an artistic experience. with great success. The mentorship and relationship with the Living Architecture Systems Group, Brilliant Labs, The Riverview Arts Center, the ArtsSmart, Riverview High School and Anglophone East School District is a wonderful example of the community working with students.

We have two publications.

The first one is the Brilliant Labs Newsletter

The second one is a progress report where the wandering path and the layers are made visible. The University of Waterloo’s Living Architecture Systems Group published this on their web page as one of their many projects around the world.

Hemmings House and Current Generation

It has been a long time coming, but we finally got a chance to work together. Ever since the Millennial Dream, Code Kids and Sistema documentaries, I have wanted to work with Hemmings House.

I always thought that you had to have the movement before the video, but they helped me to understand that the making of the video is also the start of the movement. We had such great success last year that our students lamented, “Why can’t every student in Atlantic Canada have such an educational experience?”

So we want to make a longer documentary to show the shift in Culture when students get a personalized, trans-disciplinary education that solves real world problems. It builds the competencies and contributes to the Profile of a Learner that we hope to have in our graduates and our citizens.

Featured in NB Dept of Education Profile of a Learner

NB Dept of Education unveiled their hard work to evolving our education system to prepare our students for an uncertain future. They are making tangible and bold steps to becoming the world leader, standing on the edge of education system reform globally.

One of the components of a profile of a learner is student agency. They gave three examples of projects that develop student agency. One of them was initiated by my previous student teacher, now friend and administrator extrordinaire, Nick Mattatall at Bessborough Middle School around a community Garden. The second example is Current Generation.org who are making lights for those in light poverty. The third is around climate change with the floods in Fredericton.

It seems that the UN SDGs are a natural way to inspire and bring context to student learning in addition to empowering students to move with confidence and competence to make a change in the world. Students can make small and large contributions locally and globally. It all matters. They matter.

Here is a small clip of the video, “Profile of a Learner” from the NB Dept of Education.

Jane Goodall Receives Current Generation Lights in Belgium

Jane Goodall receives Current Generation Lights at Fund raiser in Belgium for the Innovative Labs Schools.

Our friend Koen Timmers has partnered with the Jane Goodall Foundation to introduce Innovative Labs Schools that will bring modern teaching strategies and opportunities to remote villages. When their RV arrives at a village, they will have computers, interactive whiteboards and a world via the internet at their finger tips. They have devices and connectivity, but can only charge their devices when the RV is in town. What happens during the times between visits?

We are working towards the idea that Current Generation lights will be distributed to the remote villages and that BrightCases will be use to solar charge their laptops.