Education

PowerSchool: The Promise and Perils of Big Data

PowerSchool: The Promise and Perils of Big Data

March 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Okay everyone, take your seats — we have a lot of material to get through today. What’s that? When’s recess? Where do you think you are, Finland? Today, as promised in the headline, we’re going to look at the promise and perils of  Big Data in the education sector.  Read More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

March 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Old King Coal I was so puzzled today when I reached into my mailbox and pulled out a 1720 edition of The Cape Breton Post.  “King coal” screamed the headline on the front page. Hallelujah, a coal mine has opened on the island! I searched excitedly to see what otherRead...

A Brief Introduction to PowerSchool

A Brief Introduction to PowerSchool

February 22, 2017 at 1:50 pm

What is this PowerSchool of which Nova Scotian teachers speak? The datafication (a word I thought I’d made up but which turns out to be real) of P-12 education happened after my time in the Nova Scotia public system, so I had to do some reading (a little skill I pickedRead More

Anatomy of a Bill: A Play in One Act

Anatomy of a Bill: A Play in One Act

February 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

The Nova Scotia New Democratic Party made a freedom of information application to the Nova Scotia government last December requesting: All communication (including emails, letter and other electronic messages) briefing notes and other documents related to An Act Respecting a Teacher’s [sic] Professional Agreement. The request referred to legislation that Education MinisterRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

February 15, 2017 at 11:15 am

Aussie Hemp Local businessman Parker Rudderham announced last week that his hemp oil company, Highland Hemp, had signed a $14 million deal to supply an unspecified amount of hemp oil to an unnamed Brazilian pharmaceutical company. When reading local business stories, I like to ask myself, “What would the Wall StreetRead More

Empty Classes: A Week in the Life of a Labor Dispute

Empty Classes: A Week in the Life of a Labor Dispute

December 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

The most insightful comment I’ve heard about developments this week in the dispute between the Nova Scotia government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) came from a former union organizer of my acquaintance, who said the government’s decision to lock students out amazed her: One of the hardest things aboutRead More

‘Whatever Happened to Learning Being an Adventure?’

‘Whatever Happened to Learning Being an Adventure?’

December 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Before writing a word about the workplace conditions of Nova Scotia teachers, there is something I need to say: everything I know about the Nova Scotia school system is based on having passed through it as a student in the 1970s. In other words, I know bupkis (to borrow a termRead More

Protests in support of teachers at Nova Scotia's Province House (Photo via Twitter)

Dr StrangeJob: Corporal Punishment

December 7, 2016 at 1:04 am

We’d all do well to start over again, preferably with kindergarten. – Kurt Vonnegut The education system in Cape Breton needs a lesson plan. The P-12 system is in chaos, NSCC faculty are more than two years without a contract and the CBU Board of Governors has placed its presidentRead More

AG Slams Education Department’s Capital Planning

AG Slams Education Department’s Capital Planning

November 30, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Nova Scotia Auditor General Michael Pickup released his Fall 2016 report today (November 30), focusing on childcare centers, capital planning for schools, critical infrastructure resiliency and the AMANDA software used to manage licenses and permits. (Interestingly, the day the AG’s report dropped found Premier Stephen McNeil on his way to theRead More

The Ethicist: Public versus Private

The Ethicist: Public versus Private

October 12, 2016 at 7:40 am

Why do we allow our politicians and public servants to get away with elevated rhetoric that is not reflected in their actions? (Full disclosure: as a professor, I work in the public sector.) Why, when they are caught in an expense scandal or ignore their own promises, do we letRead More

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