A Vision for Education in New Brunswick

I posted this video to my blog last night.  I was too tired to comment at the time but didn’t want to lose track of it so that I could comment.  It also gave me some time to read the entire three year plan.

It’s a promotional video that effectively draws attention to the content inside the plan.  Sort of an executive summary, if you will.  As David Warlick notes in a blog post from the 2cents blog entitled “Another 21st Century Promotional Video”, we’ve seen a number of these over the past few years.  The one that started it was Karl Fisch “Did You Know”.  It has a number of versions and has generated a multitude of “shift” and “vision” videos that have highlighted many a professional development session or staff meeting.



I would suggest that this video is different though.  Unlike the regular fare which do a nice job of identifying the situation and shocking viewers with numbers, this video suggestions solutions about what it might look like.  “An English Class that resembles a TV studio”, “Elementary Students studying Spring” are a couple of  examples included in the video.  I can’t help but think that this video shown at a staff meeting would launch smaller discussion groups in a call to action.

But, it’s part of a package and that package includes the three year plan.  While other videos serve to try to inspire teachers and systems to make the change, this video is backed with a plan to generate systematic change as opposed to just tinkering.  I’m particularly impressed with a focus in all subject areas.

I recall a few years ago when Rory McGreal was a keynote speaker at the RCAC Symposium talking about the plans in place to make New Brunswick the most connected of Canadian provinces.  The plan continues a noted in this Forbes article.  So, imagine an entire province with students having this access at home.  Kudos have to be given for a Department of Education stepping up to leverage this opportunity in favour of students.  This could make massive gains in the goal of creating a community where information and knowledge is central.

I hope that consumers go beyond the excellent video and take a look at the complete package.  This has the potential to take New Brunswick students to places that the rest of us dream of.



  1. Yes, no doubt that New Brunswick has been acting from an informed plan for some time now.

    It was just over two years ago now (beginning of summer holidays, pre-iPhone-in-Canada launch) when I travelled in New Brunswick with my iPod Touch. It seemed that everywhere we stopped, I could pick up free WiFi — libraries, restaurants, highway truckstops. Most notable was the free public Wireless Access in downtown Moncton. Very different from Ontario, at the time, where you needed to target your stops intentionally to find a WiFi signal to get online.

    There’s no doubt that unless the WiFi is available everywhere, you need to carry your own 3G, or plan accordingly. Hopefully education in Ontario won’t continue to offer only a spotty “bring-your-own service,” as we move forward.


  2. I’m envious of such top-down encouragement for entire communities to embrace change for the sake of a relevant system of education. Maybe I need to reconsider my long-held belief that meaningful change can only be initiated from the grass roots? (Published from my phone as I wait for my family…)


  3. Thanks for the comments, guys. One has to be curious about the funding model but the alternative is to be happy with the status quo. Rodd, I know that we’ve talked many times about being ahead of the times but this seems to reinforce the notion of needing to catch up.


  4. It is an exciting time to be involved in education in New Brunswick, The Department is showing great leadership as we continue to develop the NB321C vision. The movement now goes well beyond the Department level – they have invited all teachers, all principals, all districts and all those involved in district governance (that includes me) to be part of the process. There have been discussions with groups of students and efforts are underway to have them as active participants in making “the shift”.
    The video has brought us some great attention, and it looks like we’ll be using social media (Facebook and twitter so far) to bring all those interested into the conversation.

    Funding such a digital learning strategy will be a challenge, but there is much that can be done with existing resources, and we’ll keep pressing our case as an investment in the future of N.B.


  5. As an educator in Alberta, it is very exciting to see how another province is attempting not only to identify 21st century skills, but also schools that are already implementing appropriate programming and instruction for the 21st century school. I am administrator in Parkland School Division and a member of our Future Planning Team. One of our goals continues to be to create a vision of how we, as a school division, can meet the needs of the 21st century learner.


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