Microsoft needs you

An interview with Marc Seaman, VP, Education Segment, Microsoft Canada Since Marc Seaman started as the lead of the Microsoft education team 8 years ago, a lot has changed, particularly in the past year in response to the demands of the pandemic. But even before that, he wanted to shift the focus away from things—devices,Continue reading “Microsoft needs you”

How literate are Canadian students?

They can read, but when it comes to functional literacy—expressing ideas, crafting arguments—some feel that students could, and should, be doing better. “I saw the need,” says Hafsa Esmail, founder of Power of Words Academy, “and I wanted to fill it.” At the time she was working as a team manager of Investigations Services at theContinue reading “How literate are Canadian students?”

Everything starts with a breath

Sonya Scodellaro, marketing manager with Geox Canada, admits that it’s been an interesting year, particularly around order fulfillment and the growth in online sales. “We’ve really seen the demographic come down in age,” she says. “We’re seeing those young moms and dads—from that 25 to 34 age-range—as the largest share of our audience online, andContinue reading “Everything starts with a breath”

“COVID is not going away”

An interview with Sir James Mitchell on his thoughts on life in the pandemic, and the need to make a change. • Born and raised in Bequia, Sir James Mitchell served as the second Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from 1984 to 2000 and as Premier of Saint Vincent from 1972 to 1974. He founded the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1975,Continue reading ““COVID is not going away””

The Our Kids Review of Rosseau Lake College

For Our Kids Media 1. Introduction “I had a bit of a crush on Rosseau Lake for a long time,” says principal Graham Vogt. While working at other independent schools in various roles, he says the school always exerted a pull, partially because of where it was—it’s easy to harbour dreams of a life inContinue reading “The Our Kids Review of Rosseau Lake College”

Why your school needs Zebra Robotics 

For many educators it’s been a struggle to meet the requirements of the new Ontario coding curriculum. What if you didn’t have to?   In June 2020 coding was introduced into the Ontario math curriculum for the first time. For a range of reasons, it understandably caused more than a few ripples in the educational community.Continue reading “Why your school needs Zebra Robotics “

Learning in the spaces in between

When Glarea first opened its doors, the intention was to be different. It is. “I really need to share this, because I think it’s a fantastic story.” That’s Rita Rai, the founding head of Glarea Elevated Learning in Surry, BC. The school is new, and the first full academic year was also the one in which COVIDContinue reading “Learning in the spaces in between”

Better Together at Banff Ave Brewing Co.

Each year since it opened, Banff Ave Brewing Co. has given back. Including this very unique year.   “It’s Reading Week,” says Meesh Souliere. “So we’ve had a pretty awesome week.” As with everything this year, that ‘awesome’ comes with a few qualifications. She admits that “this time last year, I remember running around the restaurant. It was just packed all the time. And now, youContinue reading “Better Together at Banff Ave Brewing Co.”

A better way to learn

With 160 courses, a faculty of 70, and 5,000 students, Blyth Academy Online is demonstrating what online learning can be.  When I reached James Newton recently he was working through a chemistry lab. “I’m doing the combustion of methane,” he said. He had all the materials and diagnostic tools at hand, including a calorimeter, orContinue reading “A better way to learn”

Finding an academic home in the online world

From chemistry lab to student council, Blyth Academy Orbit brings the high school experience online. “He’s a great teacher,” says Lauren Enright of her chemistry instructor, Mr. Kearney. “He makes jokes to keep the class interested and engaged. A lot of the concepts in chemistry can be a little bit tricky to wrap your mindContinue reading “Finding an academic home in the online world”

What will camp look like in 2021?

It’s a good question. The answer? Different. And in some ways, more important than ever before. Camp is known for the personal challenges it can offer, the activities that build grit, resilience, and character. That said, I’ve been speaking with camp directors about what they expect for the year ahead, and one commented that thisContinue reading “What will camp look like in 2021?”

Why do parents go private?

The answer can be expressed in a single word: choice.  “While education in public schools is still the dominant form of education in Canada,” says Deani Van Pelt, “the data indicates parents are increasingly looking to independent schools for more choice in how their children are educated.” Van Pelt is director of the Fraser Institute’sContinue reading “Why do parents go private?”

How to grow a school

For architect Elie Newman, it begins with a community, a sense of possibility, and a master plan “As they’ve grown they’ve filled out the spaces and changed their uses,” says Elie Newman about Northmount School. “And now they’re busting at the seams.” That’s true in more ways than one. Northmount is an independent Catholic schoolContinue reading “How to grow a school”

Dressing the future

For a quarter century, Kirstin Broatch has been dressing students for learning and for life We know intuitively that companies are made up of people, not buildings and banks, though we may be prone to forget that sometimes. Should you ever need one, Kirstin Broatch is a particularly good reminder. Owner and CEO of InSchoolwear,Continue reading “Dressing the future”

Corn Nut Creek, “Feels Like Travelling Home”

This isn’t a perfect album, and one of the problems with it is that it’s too short. We’re used to albums being a certain length, and while shorter collections are fine, they’re not optimal. There’s not enough time or breadth to really settle in, assuming that you still listen to recordings as albums rather thanContinue reading “Corn Nut Creek, “Feels Like Travelling Home””

Erynn Marhshall and Carl Jones, “Old Tin”

Will Carter, the founder of Clifftop, perhaps the premiere old-time festival in the world, has said that old-time music is about “that tradition of participating in the art. It’s not about a stage.” Of course, there is a stage at Clifftop, though, true to the concept, it’s the participation that people go for—dozens of circlesContinue reading “Erynn Marhshall and Carl Jones, “Old Tin””

Living in the moment with Adolphous Greely

Twenty-five men, 350 pounds of supplies, and a chance to change the world. “This was not simply some new Arctic expedition,” says historian Michael Robinson, “this was really an attempt at a new science of the world.” It was the international polar year, and fourteen expeditions set off to collect data about the world. Together,Continue reading “Living in the moment with Adolphous Greely”

If you haven’t heard Twisted Pine’s “Right Now,” here’s why you need to

There has always been a streak of rebellion running through the musical world, with artists seeking to be new and different. Bill Monroe was one of those, and frankly, so was Mozart, though it’s perhaps hard to see from our vantage point. Some are angry different, like Jimi Hendrix shredding the US national anthem atContinue reading “If you haven’t heard Twisted Pine’s “Right Now,” here’s why you need to”

A multi-faceted approach to learning at a distance

Parents want clear plans, strong leadership, and options. And that’s exactly what Blyth Academy is delivering.  “We’ve learned a lot,” says Kathy Young of the experience of educating through a pandemic. “I think some of it is what good educators have always known,” such as the value of personalised instruction, the need to be responsiveContinue reading “A multi-faceted approach to learning at a distance”

Bringing character forward

While it’s easy to recognize character—we know it when we see it—it’s famously more difficult to define. Harder still is to describe how character arises. In his recent book, The Second Mountain, David Brooks struggles with the concept, something that he’s been doing since he wrote, The Road to Character in 2015. There he describedContinue reading “Bringing character forward”

Willard Gayheart and Friends, “At Home in the Blue Ridge”

A few years ago, when Dori Freeman released her debut, self-titled album, it seemed that she had sprung, fully formed, from the head of Zeus. Well, this album, on which she participates, fills in the blanks. Willard Gayheart is her grandfather. As the titled of the album suggests, they’re at home, just hanging and picking.Continue reading “Willard Gayheart and Friends, “At Home in the Blue Ridge””

Caroline Herring, “Verse by Verse”

Throughout her career Caroline Herring has regularly looked to literary sources for her writing. Her companion discs of 2010, “Silver Apples of the Moon” and “Golden Apples of the Sun,” gain their titles from a Yeats poem, “The Song of Wandering Aengus.” In 2011 she released an album of songs retelling a children’s story, “TheContinue reading “Caroline Herring, “Verse by Verse””

Che Apalache’s, “Rearrange My Heart”

Joe Troop was born and raised in North Carolina, where he learned bluegrass; he later moved to Argentina, where he taught it. With three of his students he formed Che Apalache: Pau Barjau (banjo), Franco Martino (guitar) and Martin Bobrik (mandolin). They play bluegrass spectacularly, and clearly know the traditions backward and forward and backContinue reading “Che Apalache’s, “Rearrange My Heart””

Checking in with the Foghorn Stringband

The Foghorn Stringband was founded more than 15 years ago, and their origin story is as charming and unexpected as the music that they play. Sammy Lind is from Minnesota, and Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms are from Washington state, one from the farmland in the east, the other from the coast. They started playing AppalachianContinue reading “Checking in with the Foghorn Stringband”

A sense of place

Bill Fisher, outgoing executive director of the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, reflects on what community means to him for the Banff Canmore Community Foundation “It was pretty tenuous, I think,” says Bill Fisher of the earliest days of the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, which he has lead as executive director since 2018. That may haveContinue reading “A sense of place”

Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton

While there have been other recordings that document Doc Watson’s early years as a performing musician, they tend to shine a light more directly on him as a stage performer, which of course is what he became. This recording, Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton, distinguishes itself in some key ways. It’s earlier, for one—it’s Watson’sContinue reading “Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton”

Glarea, set to open this fall, is the school to watch

“The school, pretty much at this time last year, was just an idea,” says Nadia Irshād, an administrator who has been with Glarea since it launched nearly five years ago. The idea was to offer students a uniquely immersive academic experience, one that would contribute to their understanding of themselves as learners and build theContinue reading “Glarea, set to open this fall, is the school to watch”

155 years of Trinity College School

“I had an accident with gunpowder,” wrote Peter Perry in his diary. He was a student in the very first cohort at TCS, and was maybe a bit of a handful. In time his diary entries became more detailed, if equally enigmatic. “Thursday, [April] 12th. Rainy all day. Dinner: veal and roly-poly. Did not take any pudding.Continue reading “155 years of Trinity College School”

Jake Blount, “Spider Tales”

One of the reasons that the Harry Smith anthology of American Folk Music was such a sensation when it was released in 1952 was that it demonstrated that, to a nation watching “I Love Lucy” and listening to Jack Benny, there were more voices out there than they perhaps realised. That, in essence, it wasContinue reading “Jake Blount, “Spider Tales””

The Special Consensus, “Chicago Barn Dance”

“The good thing about playing music,” says Greg Cahill, “is that you feel good a lot of the time, because you get to play music, and make a lot of great friends, and meet a lot of nice, really good people.” Cahill founded The Special Consensus in 1975, and if there is a guiding principleContinue reading “The Special Consensus, “Chicago Barn Dance””

What is it like to be Jamell Ollivierre?

What is it like to be Jamell Ollivierre? I can’t answer that question, of course—certainly we can’t really know what it’s like to be anyone other than who we are—though the outlines are there. I met with him one morning at the patio of Keegan’s in Lower Bay, just off the beach, the waves rollingContinue reading “What is it like to be Jamell Ollivierre?”