Transcript: Government's Role in Education Innovation | Apr 09, 2014

The opening slate shows the title of the show: The Agenda, with Steve Paikin. Another title reads “An agenda meetup. Government’s role in education innovation.” Recorded at MaRS.

Steve and five other people sit in front of a class, in a classroom. Steve is slim, clean shaven, in his forties, with short, curly brown hair. He's wearing a grey suit, light blue tie, and matching, striped tie.

Steve says ANOTHER IN A CONTINUING
SERIES OF EVENTS, PROGRAMS,
MEET-UPS, THAT WE HAVE DONE
OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS,
AT TVO, ON THIS ISSUE.
WE HAD THIS LEARNING 2030
SERIES THAT A NUMBER OF YOU
HAVE BEEN, YOU WERE ON, YOU
WERE A PART OF THAT, ANNIE'S
BEEN A PART OF THAT, WHICH
ARE ALL ON OUR WEBSITE:

A title appears on the screen. It reads “Learn more: Learning 2030. Theagenda.tvo.org”

Steve says SO IF YOU WANT MORE BACKGROUND
TO THAT, WE'VE DONE NUMEROUS
PROGRAMS ON THE THINKING THAT
A KID WHO WAS BORN LAST YEAR,
BY THE YEAR 2030, WHAT KIND OF
EDUCATION SYSTEM, WHAT KIND
OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASS,
WHAT KIND OF POST SECONDARY
SYSTEM WOULD THEY
BE GRADUATING INTO?
WHAT KIND OF ELEMENTARY AND
SECONDARY SYSTEM WOULD THEY BE
GRADUATING OUT OF.
SO THESE ARE SOME OF THE
ISSUES THAT WE'VE BEEN
TACKLING FOR THE
LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.
AND WE ALSO, AT TVO, HAVE A
DIGITAL LEARNING DIVISION, WHOSE
JOB IT IS TO SORT OF DEVELOP
DIGITAL EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS.
SO I GUESS WHAT I'M TRYING TO
SAY IS THIS IS REALLY NOT NEW
TERRITORY FOR US.
WE ARE INTERESTED IN THIS.
AND TO THAT END, LET ME
INTRODUCE OUR GUESTS WHO ARE
GOING TO BE WITH
US THIS EVENING.
IN THE MIDDLE, YOU'LL
RECOGNIZE ANNIE KIDDER, THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION.

Annie waves at the people in the classroom. She is in her sixties, has shoulder-length wavy blond hair, and wears glasses.

A title appears on the screen. It reads “Annie Kidder, People for education”

THEN MOVING OUT ALONG,
JONATHAN LEWIS,
WHO I AM TO CALL
JON, NOT JONATHAN.

Jon says THAT WORKS.
Steve says THAT WORKS.

A title appears on the screen. It reads “Jonathan Lewis, Elementary school teacher”

Jon is slim, clean-shaven, in his forties, with short spikey dark hair. He wears a checked shirt and a thin gray cardigan.

Steve says HE'S A GRADE SEVEN AND
EIGHT YORK REGION DISTRICT
SCHOOL BOARD TEACHER.
TEACHES IN VAUGHAN,
LIVES IN BARRIE.
LOVES THE COMMUTE.

Most people in the classroom laugh.

Jon says OF COURSE.
Steve says MAYBE NOT.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ANNIE IS
JOSEPH WILSON, WHO I AM NOT
SUPPOSED TO CALL
JOSEPH BUT JOE.

A title appears on the screen. It reads “Joseph Wilson, Education Strategist, MaRS”

Jon is clean-shaven, in his late thirties, with short brown hair. He wears a lilac shirt with no tie, and a dark gray coat.

Steve says HE'S A SENIOR STRATEGIST
IN THE EDUCATION PRACTICE
AT MARS DISCOVERY.
AND THEN BESIDE ME IS SOMEBODY
WE MET IN WATERLOO, I GUESS.
YOU WERE ON OUR PROGRAM IN
WATERLOO, MICHELLE CORDY,

A title appears on the screen. It reads “Michelle Cordy, Elementary school teacher”

Michelle is slim, in her thirties, with short light brown hair. She wears a gray blazer and a pearl necklace.

Steve says WHO IS A TEACHER, GRADE THREE
AND FOUR, AT THAMES VALLEY
DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD,
WHICH IS WHAT ACTUAL PLACE?
Michelle says ACTUALLY IN LONDON, ONTARIO.
Steve says IN LONDON, OKAY, VERY GOOD.
AND AT THE FAR END IS SCOTT
WELCH, WHO IS THE CO-FOUNDER
OF EDSBY, WHICH IS SOFTWARE
THAT MOVES K-12 SCHOOLS,
AS HE DESCRIBES IT,
"SECURELY INTO THE CLOUD,
AND TRANSFORMS HOW STUDENTS,
TEACHERS AND PARENTS ENGAGE."

A title appears on the screen. It reads “Scott Welch, Co-Founder Edsby”

Scott is in his late forties, with short wavy hair graying at the temples. He wears glasses and a light blue shirt.

Steve says AS CAPTAIN PICARD WOULD SAY.
EN-GAGE.

Scott nods.

Steve says OKAY, GOT IT.
LET'S GET INTO
THIS ISSUE THEN.
AND, JOE, I'M GOING TO
ASK YOU TO GO -- AM I?
NO, NO, WHO AM I GOING
TO ASK TO GO FIRST?
SCOTT, LET ME GET
YOU TO GO FIRST.
ANSWERING THE MAIN QUESTION
TONIGHT, WHAT SHOULD
GOVERNMENT DO TO SPUR ON
INNOVATION IN EDUCATION?
START THERE,
IF YOU WOULD.


Scott says OKAY.
IT'S ACTUALLY --
IT'S A HARD QUESTION.
AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY.
SO I'VE BEEN BUILDING
COMMUNICATION SOLUTIONS
FOR SCHOOLS FOR 25 YEARS.
I BUILT A SUCCESSFUL EMAIL
PRODUCT, AND THEN WE BUILT
BUILDINGS NEW PRODUCT EDSBY
FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS.
SCHOOLS ARE VERY COMPLICATED
BECAUSE THEY ARE RUN BY ONE
GROUP OF PEOPLE, MANAGED BY
ANOTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE,
AND CONSUMED BY A
THIRD GROUP OF PEOPLE.
AND NONE OF THOSE GROUPS
PARTICULARLY GET ALONG.
AND ALL OF THEM ARE
DEATHLY WORRIED
THAT SOMETHING
BAD MIGHT HAPPEN.
AND SO IT'S SORT OF A
RECIPE FOR NEVER CHANGING.
THAT'S WHY, YOU KNOW, I OFTEN
JOKE THAT REALLY THE ONLY
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHEN I WENT
TO SCHOOL AND WHEN MY SON
WENT TO SCHOOL IS THAT WHEN
I WENT TO SCHOOL, THEY USED
MIMEOGRAPH MACHINES, AND NOW,
THEY USE PHOTOCOPIERS TO
FILL UP THE BACKPACK.
BUT OTHER THAN THAT,
IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME.
SO THE WHOLE REST OF THE WORLD
HAS CHANGED, THE QUESTION IS
HOW CAN WE BRING THOSE
CHANGES INTO EDUCATION?
AND THE ANSWER IS, WE HAVE TO
DO IT VERY CAREFULLY BECAUSE,
YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T JUST PUT
DATA OUT THERE IN PLACES
THAT ARE UNSAFE.
SCHOOLS, THEY'RE
CONSERVATIVE.
THEY'RE SLOW-CHANGING
FOR A REASON.
SO WE HAVE TO RESPECT THAT
AND THEN SORT OF WORK
WITHIN THAT FRAMEWORK.
IT'S ACTUALLY A
REAL CHALLENGE.

Steve says BUT THE APPROACH
THAT YOU'VE TAKEN,
IF I UNDERSTAND IT, IS YOU
HAVE NOT
GONE TO THE MINISTRY
OF EDUCATION AND SAID,
HERE'S OUR STUFF, TAKE IT,
SPREAD THE GOOD WORK.

Scott says CORRECT.

Steve says WHY HAVE YOU NOT -- YOU'RE
DEALING WITH SCHOOL BOARDS
INDIVIDUALLY, YES?

Scott says YUP, YUP.

Steve says WHICH, PRESUMABLY, IS
LOGISTICALLY MORE COMPLICATED
SINCE YOU'RE DEALING WITH
A LOT OF DIFFERENT ENTITIES.
BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU'RE
AVOIDING THE BRASS THAT IS
THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.

Scott says SADLY, THE BRASS IN THE
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
DOESN'T PROVIDE
THE GOLD TO DO IT.

Scott makes a hand gesture representing money.

He says SO HERE'S THE PROBLEM.
HERE'S A GOOD EXAMPLE.
LIKE YOU GUYS ORDER -- HOW
MANY PEOPLE HAVE EVER ORDERED
A BOOK FROM AMAZON HERE?

Most people in the classroom raise a hand.

Scott says YEAH, YEAH.
ISN'T IT NICE?
YOU GET A LITTLE EMAIL TELLING
YOU THAT THE BOOK IS SHIPPED.
YOU CAN FIND OUT
EXACTLY WHERE IT IS.
IT'S FABULOUS.
NOW HERE'S THE
SAD THING.
I KNOW MORE ABOUT A BOOK I
ORDERED FROM AMAZON THAN
I KNOW ABOUT HOW
MY CHILD
IS DOING IN SCHOOL.
WHICH IS ONE THOUSAND TIMES
MORE IMPORTANT TO ME.
THE REASON IS, IF I
DON'T LIKE AMAZON,
I CAN GO SHOP
SOMEWHERE ELSE.
IF THE GOVERNMENT COMES
ALONG AND SAYS TO A SCHOOL,
THIS IS A GREAT PRODUCT,
YOU SHOULD USE IT,
UNLESS THEY FUND IT, THE
SCHOOL WON'T ADOPT IT.
SO IF YOU WANT CHANGE,
YOU HAVE TO FUND CHANGE.
SO, LIKE IN FLORIDA, THEY
ACTUALLY PUT 45 MILLION DOLLARS IN
PLACE JUST SO THAT PARENTS
CAN FIND OUT WHAT HOMEWORK
THEIR KIDS HAVE BY LOOKING
ON THEIR MOBILE DEVICE.
BUT THEY FUNDED IT.
THAT'S THE KEY.

Scott says OKAY.
SCOTT, THANKS FOR
GETTING US STARTED HERE.
JOE, WHY DON'T YOU PICK
UP THE PACE FROM THERE?
WHAT DO YOU THINK GOVERNMENT
SHOULD DO TO SPUR ON
INNOVATION IN EDUCATION?

Steve turns to Joe.

Joe says SURE.
WELL, MY OWN BACKGROUND IS
AS A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER,
A HIGH SCHOOL
SCIENCE TEACHER.
BUT NOW I WORK HERE AT THE
MARS DISCOVERY DISTRICT WITH
ENTREPRENEURS IN THE
FOR-PROFIT SECTORS AND
NOT-FOR-PROFIT SECTORS, WHO
ARE SEEKING TO INTRODUCE NEW,
USUALLY TECHNOLOGICAL
INNOVATIONS INTO THE SYSTEM,
LIKE EDSBY.
AND THIS CAN RANGE FROM
PLATFORMS, APPS, GAMES,
ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOKS.
THERE'S A WIDE RANGE.
THE ENTREPRENEURS THAT WE WORK
WITH HAVE A VERY SPECIFIC
PROBLEM, AND THAT IS -- AND THIS
IS SOMETHING THAT SCOTT HAS
EXPERIENCED FIRSTHAND -- AND
THAT IS THERE IS NO STANDARD
WAY OF INTRODUCING NEW
TECHNOLOGIES INTO THE SYSTEM.
THERE IS NO
PATHWAY TO DO THAT.
IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU KNOW,
AND IF YOU CAN GET A TEACHER
TO TRY IT, AND IT'S A VERY
WILD WEST OF DIFFERENT
PRODUCTS USED HERE AND THERE.
AND SOME OF THEM WORK,
AND SOME OF THEM DON'T.
THERE'S VERY, VERY LITTLE
STANDARDS AROUND
ON THE DIGITAL SIDE.
AND THAT'S A PROBLEM FOR
ADOPTION, AND IT'S A PROBLEM
BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE DATA TO
MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS WITH.
IT JUST DOESN'T EXIST.
SO ONE OF THE THINGS WE'D LIKE
TO SEE FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS
AN INNOVATIONS PATHWAY, WHICH
IS A PATHWAY TO INTRODUCE
NEW INNOVATIONS INTO SCHOOLS
ACROSS THE PROVINCE
AND IN DIFFERENT DISTRICTS.
AND A SYSTEMATIC WAY TO
TEST THESE NEW INNOVATIONS,
TO SEE WHAT WORKS GETS
SCALED, WHAT DOESN'T WORK,
GO BACK TO THE
DRAWING BOARD.
IN THIS WAY, THE DISTRICTS
AND THE SCHOOLS CAN SET UP
TECHNOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS,
TOO, ON WHAT THEY NEED,
IN TERMS OF ROUTERS OR
BANDWIDTH OR PRIVACY CONCERNS,
RELIABILITY OF SOFTWARE.
BECAUSE THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO
KIND OF STANDARDS AROUND THAT
AT THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL.
I MEAN, THIS KIND OF THING, THIS
DOES TWO THINGS FOR ONTARIO.
IT MAKES EDUCATION BETTER FOR
MANY KIDS, AND ESPECIALLY AT
THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL WHERE
ENGAGEMENT LEVELS ARE SO,
SO LOW, THESE DIGITAL TOOLS
REALLY HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY
IN KEEPING KIDS ENGAGED.
AND THE SECOND THING, KIND OF
IN A MORE FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL,
FOR OUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
AS A PROVINCE, THIS CAN REALLY
RECAST ONTARIO'S EXPERTISE
IN EDUCATION AS A FORCE
FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
I MEAN, ONTARIO HAS ONE OF THE
LARGEST CLUSTERS OF EDUCATION
INNOVATION ANYWHERE IN THE
WORLD, AND WE WOULD LOVE
FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO
RECOGNIZE THAT FACT.

Scott nods as Joe speaks.

Joe says I MEAN, HERE AT MARS WE'VE
GOT ABOUT 180 EDUCATION
ENTREPRENEURS THAT WE WORK
WITH DAY IN, DAY OUT.
LAST YEAR, THOSE COMPANIES
RAISED 55 MILLION dollars, BROUGHT
THAT MONEY INTO ONTARIO,
AND CREATED 700 JOBS.
AND JUST LAST WEEK, THERE
WAS A TORONTO BOARD OF TRADE
REPORT RELEASED THAT
IDENTIFIED EDUCATION AND
KNOWLEDGE CREATION AS THE
SECOND FASTEST GROWING CLUSTER
IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA
IN TERMS OF JOB CREATION.
SO THIS IS A MOMENT FOR ONTARIO
TO REALLY BRAND OURSELVES
AS A WORLD HUB OF
EDUCATION INNOVATION.
AND NOT JUST IN KIND OF K-12
STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES,
WHICH WE DO PRETTY WELL IN,
BUT ON THE INNOVATION SIDE,
AND IN THOSE
PATHWAYS TO SCALE.

Steve asks CAN I JUST FOLLOW UP, JOE?
IF YOU HAVE A NEW IDEA FOR
AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGICAL
PRODUCT THAT YOU THINK WOULD
ADVANCE OUR EDUCATIONAL
STANDARDS IN ONTARIO, ARE YOU
SAYING THERE'S NOWHERE TO GO
AT THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION?
THERE'S NO ONE TO TALK TO
TO MOVE THE THING ALONG?


Joe says NO, THERE ISN'T.
THERE ISN'T A DEFINED PLACE.

Scott nods.

Joe says THERE ARE PLACES THAT YOU CAN
TRY AND GET SUPPORT, THAT YOU
CAN TRY AND WORK YOUR WAY
IN FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES,
BUT THERE IS NO
PATHWAY FOR TESTING.
THERE'S NO PATHWAY
FOR INTRODUCTION.
IT DOESN'T EXIST.
EACH BOARD DOES IT A LITTLE
BIT DIFFERENTLY, AS WELL.

Steve says I SEE.

Joe says SO IT CAN BE
VERY FRUSTRATING.

Scott turns to Joe.

He says I KNOW THIS REALLY WELL.
AND THE PROBLEM IS THAT
YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER
EACH BOARD
IS INDEPENDENT.
THEY MAKE THEIR
OWN CHOICES, RIGHT?
THEY DON'T ALL USE
THE SAME COMPUTERS
OR THE SAME DATABASES
OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
SO, EFFECTIVELY, IN ONTARIO,
YOU HAVE 50 INDEPENDENT
DECISION-MAKING BODIES.
ACROSS THE U.S.,
YOU HAVE 15,000.
ACROSS CANADA
YOU HAVE 1,500.
AND EACH OF THOSE MAKES
INDEPENDENT DECISIONS.
AND EACH OF THEM ARE DEATHLY
WORRIED THAT SOMETHING
MIGHT GO WRONG.

Scott stares at Steve.

Steve says SO RISK AVERSE.

Scott says VERY RISK AVERSE.
BECAUSE IT'S OUR KIDS' DATA.
FOR A GOOD REASON, RIGHT?
THEY HAVE TO BE RISK AVERSE.

Steve turns to Annie.

He says OKAY, ANNIE, YOUR TURN.
COME ON IN HERE AND TELL US
HOW YOU WOULD ANSWER THE
QUESTION ABOUT GOVERNMENT
SPURRING ON INNOVATION.

Annie says I FEEL LIKE I'M GOING
TO BE THE CRANK.
BUT MAYBE I'M ALWAYS
THE CRANK, I FEEL LIKE.

Several people in the room grin. Jon drinks some water.

Annie says I THINK IT'S REALLY,
REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT.
INNOVATION HAS BECOME A WORD
WE USE AS KIND OF SYNONYMOUS
WITH TECHNOLOGY,
AND IT'S NOT.
THAT INNOVATION IS ABOUT
MUCH MORE THAN THAT.
I THINK THERE IS A LOT
OF ROOM FOR INNOVATION.
AND I THINK THAT IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT -- WE JUST PUT OUT A
REPORT TWO DAYS ON DIGITAL
LEARNING IN ONTARIO SCHOOLS.
WE DO THINK IT'S
INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.
I'M NOT SO MUCH A CRANK THAT
I'M GOING 'IT'S NOT IMPORTANT',
AND VERY VALUABLE, AND THERE
IS WONDERFUL WORK BEING DONE,
AND BOTH THESE GENTLEMEN ARE
CORRECT THAT RIGHT NOW
THERE'S NO WAY OF
EVALUATING IT.
EVERYBODY'S DOING
IT DIFFERENTLY.
IT IS A BIT OF
A WILD WEST.
BUT I THINK IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT THAT BEFORE WE HAVE
THAT CONVERSATION, OR JUST
FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY AS IF IT'S
THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING, WE
HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE'RE
INNOVATING FOR,
WHAT OUR GOALS ARE.
AND, TO ME, AN INNOVATION IN
ONTARIO WOULD BE TO BROADEN
OUR GOALS FOR SUCCESS, OUR
DESCRIPTION OF SUCCESS.
WE'RE WORKING ON A WHOLE
PROJECT CALLED MEASURING WHAT
MATTERS, WHERE WE'RE LOOKING
AT WHAT DO WE MEASURE AND WHY.
AND WHAT ARE WE MISSING
IN WHAT WE MEASURE?
SO WE MEASURE READING, WRITING
AND MATH, AND THOSE ARE
INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THINGS,
BUT THERE'S A LOT MORE TO LIFE
AND EDUCATION THAN THAT.
AND CERTAINLY, BY 2030, OUR
KIDS ARE GOING TO NEED A
REALLY WIDE RANGE OF
SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES.

Scott nods.

Annie says AND I THINK -- I'M GOING TO
SAY, EVEN BUSINESS, BUT I
DON'T MEAN EVEN BUSINESS, BUT
THE EMPLOYERS UNDERSTAND,
BUT WE ALSO UNDERSTAND PEOPLE
ARE LOOKING AT THE KIND OF
LIFE OF OUR COMMUNITIES, AT OUR
ENGAGEMENT IN CITIZENSHIP,
THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF SKILLS
AND COMPETENCIES THAT WE'RE
NOT FOCUSSING ON ENOUGH.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE WORK OF
ROGER MARTIN, OR OTHER PEOPLE
TALKING ABOUT WHAT THOSE
ARE, STUART SHANKAR, SOCIAL-
EMOTIONAL SKILLS, SOME OF
WHICH YOU CAN FOSTER INCREDIBLY
WELL THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.

She looks at Scott. He nods.

Annie says IT'S A WONDERFUL PLACE FOR
CREATIVITY, SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL
SKILLS, CITIZENSHIP, PROBLEM
SOLVING, LEARNING TO WORK
COLLECTIVELY, AND IT IS,
AND IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.
BUT I THINK, FIRST OF ALL,
WE HAVE TO GO WHAT DO WE WANT
FROM OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM?
WHAT KIND OF KIDS DO
WE WANT TO TURN OUT?
AND HOW CAN WE MAKE IT A
LITTLE BIT MORE ALIGNED
WITH WHAT HAPPENS
AFTER THEY GRADUATE?
SO WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF SKILLS
THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO BE
SUCCESSFUL AT UNIVERSITY, AT
COLLEGE, AT WORK, AT HOME?
HOW DO WE GET THEM TO VOTE?
NOBODY VOTES ANYMORE.
HOW DO WE GET THEM TO HAVE A
SENSE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
WE JUST HAD A HORRIFYING
REPORT FROM THE U.N.
ON CLIMATE CHANGE.
HOW DO WE GET KIDS TO HAVE
SOME SENSE THAT THIS IS
REALLY IMPORTANT TO THEM,
THAT THEY'RE CONNECTED
TO THEIR WORLDS?
SO, YES, TECHNOLOGY
IS IMPORTANT,
BUT IT ISN'T INNOVATION.
INNOVATION IS REALLY THE WAY
THAT WE THINK ABOUT EDUCATION.
AND I THINK THAT FOR
THE LAST TWENTY YEARS,
WE'VE GOTTEN AWFULLY
SIMPLISTIC IN THAT WAY.
THAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S THE JOKE
I ALWAYS USE, THAT BECAUSE
THERE'S SO MUCH POLITICS IN
EDUCATION, WE LOVE THE KIND
OF SIMPLE SUCCESS OR FAILURE.
WE LIKE THE GRAPH
UP GOOD, DOWN BAD.
THE END.

She gestures up and down with her hands. Scott nods and chuckles. Other people in the room laugh.

Annie says SO, FOR US, IN OUR
ORGANIZATION, AGAIN, EVEN
THOUGH WE UNDERSTAND DIGITAL
LEARNING AND DIGITAL LITERACY
IS AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT
THING, WE THINK, FIRST,
WE HAVE TO SET BROADER GOALS,
FIGURE OUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO
MEASURE THOSE GOALS, AND THEN
FIGURE OUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO
IN OUR SCHOOLS IN ORDER
TO INSTILL THOSE IN KIDS.

Steve looks at Annie and says LET ME ASK YOU THE RUBBER
HITTING THE ROAD FOLLOW-UP.
WHICH IS, I GET HOW AN APP
IS TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
THAT COULD LEAD TO IMPROVED
OUTCOMES OF WHATEVER
YOU WANT IN EDUCATION.
BUT NON-TECHNOLOGICAL
INNOVATION, CAN YOU GIVE ME
A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF
WHAT YOU'RE REFERRING TO?

Annie says OH, YEAH.
SO A NON-TECHNOLOGICAL
INNOVATION IS TO UNDERSTAND,
FOR INSTANCE, THAT SOCIAL
EMOTIONAL SKILLS AREN'T SOME
SOFT, MUSHY THING THAT YOU'RE
JUST BORN WITH, THAT YOU CAN
ACTUALLY TEACH THEM.
SO THEY'RE REAL SKILLS.
YOU NEED TO SPEND
TIME ON THEM.
YOU NEED TO SPEND TIME ON
THEM WHEN KIDS ARE YOUNG.
AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY
MEASURE SUCCESS IN THEM.
SO AN INNOVATION WOULD BE FOR
THE GOVERNMENT TO GO THESE ARE
THE THINGS WE'RE
GOING TO MEASURE.
WE'RE GOING TO MEASURE
READING, WRITING, MATH,
AND SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SKILLS
AND CREATIVITY, SAY.

Scott nods.

Annie says BUT WE'RE GOING TO SEE
EXACTLY HOW THAT FITS
INTO THE CURRICULUM.
WE'RE GOING TO MAKE SURE
THERE'S SPACE FOR THAT.
AND WE'RE GOING TO TEACH IT.
AND WE'RE GOING TO CONVINCE --
AND PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION IS
GOING TO DO THIS FOR THEM,
SO THEY'LL BE OKAY --
WE'RE GOING TO CONVINCE
THE OUTSIDE WORLD THAT
THESE ARE REAL THINGS THAT
SHOULD BE HAPPENING IN SCHOOLS.
THAT, TO ME, IS AN INNOVATION,
AND IT IS A CHANGE AWAY FROM
THE KIND OF METRICS WE'VE BEEN
STUCK ON NOW, AND ALSO THE
PRESSURE AND FOCUS IN SCHOOLS
WHICH HAS REALLY BEEN
QUITE A LOT TO GET
YOUR SCORES UP.
THERE'S WORK TO BE DONE
IN TECHNOLOGY, BUT...
EVEN THAT WE IGNORE NEURO
SCIENCE IN OUR SCHOOLS.

Joe nods.

Annie says THERE'S A GREAT QUOTE FROM A
FORMER MINISTER OF EDUCATION
APPARENTLY IN FRANCE, COULD
BE APOCRYPHAL WHO SAID,

She frowns and gestures vividly.

She says "THE BRAIN?
WHAT'S THAT GOT TO
DO WITH EDUCATION?"
AND SO WE HAVE TO KNOW
ALL THE THINGS WE'VE LEARNED
ABOUT HOW BRAINS WORK
AND USE THAT TO TEACH.

Steve nods. He says OKAY.
YOU THREE COME AT
THIS FROM ONE PERSPECTIVE,

He turns to Jon and Michelle.

He says AND NOW WE HAVE...

Annie says ACTUAL TEACHERS.

Steve says TWO PERSPECTIVES WHO ARE
ON THE FRONT LINES OF THIS
EVERY DAY, AND MAY HAVE
A DIFFERENT OR, YOU KNOW,
SIMILAR PERSPECTIVE.
LET'S FIND OUT.

He nods at Jon and Michelle.

He says FIRE AWAY.
INNOVATION IN THE CLASSROOM.
WHAT COULD THE GOVERNMENT DO?
YOU'RE ON THE FRONT LINES.
WHAT DOES THAT
LOOK LIKE TO YOU?

Jon says YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK IT'S
EASY TO START POINTING FINGERS
AND SAYING WHAT CAN THE
GOVERNMENT DO, BUT I THINK
WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN TO IT,
I THINK IT'S THESE PARTNERSHIPS.

He turns to Annie. She nods.

Jon says WHAT CAN WE
DO TO CONTINUE TO
ADVANCE THESE THINGS FORWARD?
I THINK THAT IT'S EASY, AS A
TEACHER, TO FEEL LIKE THERE'S
NOT -- YOUR NETWORK ISN'T AS
LARGE AS IT COULD BE, AND
YOU'RE NOT SITTING DOWN WITH
AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU SHOULD
BE WHEN IT COMES TO
INNOVATING IN THE CLASSROOM.
AND I THINK THAT, I AGREE
ANNIE, THAT PART OF THAT FOCUS
HAS TO BE ON THE PEDAGOGY.
I THINK FOR A LONG TIME WE
THROW DEVICES AT KIDS
AND THROW TECHNOLOGY AND
KIDS AND THINK WE'RE GOING
TO MAKE MIRACULOUS THINGS
WITH THE DEVICES WE HAVE,
OR THE APPS THAT WE HAVE,
OR WHATEVER HAVE YOU.
BUT I THINK AT THE END OF THE
DAY IT'S WHAT ARE WE DOING
TO SUPPORT THE LEARNING?
AND HOW DOES THE TECHNOLOGY
SUPPORT THE LEARNING?
AND HOW ARE WE GETTING
TEACHERS TO UNDERSTAND

He turns to Annie.

He says SORT OF, GOING BACK TO YOUR
IDEA AROUND SOME OF THOSE
COMPETENCIES AND SOME OF THE
LEARNING THAT'S HAPPENING,

Annie nods.

Jon says HOW ARE WE SUPPORTING THAT PEDAGOGY
THROUGH THE WHOLE THING?
HOW DO WE GET, EVEN TEACHERS,
TO SHOW THEM HOW TO USE THESE
DEVICES EFFECTIVELY
IN THE CLASSROOMS?
BECAUSE I THINK, SOMETIMES,
IT'S LIKE, GREAT, I HAVE TEN
iPADS, AND NOW MY CLASSROOM
IS GOING TO BE CUTTING EDGE.

Annie laughs.

Jon says AND IT'S THE IDEA OF,
OKAY, WHAT ARE WE DOING
WITH THOSE iPADS?
HOW ARE WE APPROACHING SOME
OF THE CITIZENSHIP PIECES,
THE COLLABORATION PIECES?
ALL THOSE THINGS THAT WE
KNOW ARE GOING TO IMPACT KIDS
IN THE FUTURE, AND HOW ARE
WE LEVERAGING THOSE THINGS?
AND THEN HOW ARE WE SITTING
DOWN WITH OUR ED TECH
DESIGNERS AND SAYING, THIS IS
WHERE WE HAVE TO GO, HOW CAN
WE SUPPORT THAT THROUGH
THE DESIGN PROCESS?
I THINK, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF
THAT HAS TO DO WITH EMPATHY.

Michelle and Steve nod.

Jon says WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE
CLASSROOM, EMPATHIZING WITH
THE SORT OF DAILY GRIND, IF
YOU CAN CALL IT THAT, IN ORDER
TO INFLUENCE SOME OF THE
ED TECH STUFF COMING IN
I THINK IS
REALLY IMPORTANT.

Steve says YOU KNOW, AS I LOOK AROUND
THE ROOM, SOME OF US THOUGHT
TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM
MEANT A BUNSEN BURNER.

He stares at Jon, who laughs. Annie nods.

Steve says IT WASN'T STATE OF
THE ART LIKE TODAY.
SO WHAT HAVE YOU GOT
IN YOUR CLASSROOM?


Jon says WORKING THROUGH YORK REGION
DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD,
I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING
PART OF A LITERACY AT SCHOOL
PROGRAM, WHICH WAS HAVING
TEACHERS SIT DOWN WITH OTHER
TEACHERS IN THE BOARD AND
TRY TO INNOVATE PRACTICES,
AND THEN BRINGING
ADMINISTRATORS OR
SUPERINTENDENTS INTO YOUR
CLASSROOM AND SHOWING
HOW THE TECH IS BEING USED.
SO I'M FORTUNATE TO HAVE
TEN iPADS IN MY CLASSROOM,
AS WELL AS WE WERE ABLE TO --

Steve says TEN iPADS FOR
HOW MANY STUDENTS?

Jon says I HAVE 28.

Steve says SO WHAT DO THEY DO?

Jon says GREAT QUESTION.
I THINK PART OF IT GOES BACK
TO WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

He turns to Annnie, and then continues looking at Steve.

He says WHAT ARE THE SKILLS KIDS NEED
FOR 21st-CENTURY LEARNING?
WELL, WE NEED THOSE
COLLABORATION PIECES.
THE iPAD IS A GREAT TOOL FOR
THAT, FOR COLLABORATING.
WE'RE LOOKING AT A LOT
OF THE WEB 2.0 STUFF.

Steve says BUT IT'S CALLED AN
iPAD, NOT A "WE" PAD.

Jon says EXACTLY.

Several people laugh.

Steve says SO HOW DO THREE KIDS
ALL AT ONCE DO AN iPAD?

Jon says IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU
HAPPEN TO BE DOING.
A LOT OF THE MATERIALS THAT
KIDS ARE CONSUMING WE'RE
PUTTING EITHER THROUGH THEIR
GOOGLE DRIVE OR THROUGH DROPBOX,
SO THE KIDS ARE ABLE TO
ACCESS THOSE MATERIALS THERE.
AS WELL AS WHEN WE PRESENT
OUR IDEAS, OR YOU ARE
CONSOLIDATING LEARNING, YOU
CAN CONSOLIDATE WITH AN iPAD
BETWEEN THREE KIDS.
AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN
WE HAVE AN APPLE TV,
WE OPERATIONALIZED THOSE IN
YORK REGION, SO THEY CAN
WIRELESSLY SEND THEIR
STUFF TO THE APPLE TV,
THEN IT'S ALL OF
A SUDDEN ON THE SCREEN.

Steve turns to the people sitting in the classroom.

He says DOES EVERYBODY
KNOW WHAT THAT IS?
APPLE TV?
YES, OF COURSE YOU DO
BECAUSE YOU'RE HERE TONIGHT.

He nods. Michelle, Jon, and Joe laugh.

Steve says OKAY.

Jon says SO THAT WAY, WE HAVE -- WHEN
WE TALK ABOUT HOW WE'RE
SETTING UP OUR CLASSROOM FOR
SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE, THE
FRONT OF THE CLASSROOM IS
LOST BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE
THIS ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION
ALL THE TIME.
YOU'RE ABLE TO HAVE BANKS OF
KIDS WHO ARE LEARNING TOGETHER
TO BE ABLE TO SEND THEIR
INFORMATION TO THE SCREEN
AND HAVE CONVERSATIONS.
I TEACH VISUAL ARTS, SO IT'S
PRETTY AWESOME WHEN KIDS ARE
CREATING THINGS, YOU CAN STOP
THE CLASS, HAVE THEM USE IT
ALMOST LIKE A DOCUMENT CAMERA.
WHATEVER IS UNDERNEATH THE
iPAD CAN BE WIRELESSLY SEEN
ON THE SCREEN, SO THEN THAT
WAY YOU CAN STOP, HAVE A
DISCUSSION, EMPLOY SOME OF
THOSE CRITICAL SKILLS

He turns to Annie, who nods.

Jon says AS TO HOW ARE THINGS MOVING FORWARD.
WHAT WOULD YOUR SUGGESTIONS
BE AS THEY'RE CREATING THIS,
AND THEN BE ABLE TO SUPPORT
THAT AND BUILD THAT INTO THE
CRITERIA AND HAVE KIDS
REEVALUATING AND CONTINUING
TO INNOVATE AS
THEY ARE WORKING.

Steve says BUT NOWHERE IN ANY OF THE
CONVERSATION WE'VE BEEN HAVING
SO FAR HAVE YOU ACTUALLY SAID,
HERE'S WHAT I DEPEND ON THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE
DAY FOR TO PUT INNOVATION
IN MY CLASSROOM.
SOUNDS LIKE YOU THINK THAT'S
YOUR JOB OR
YOUR DECISION.

Jon grins.

He says YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK IN
MANY RESPECTS, AS A TEACHER,
WHEN YOU WALK INTO YOUR
CLASSROOM, YOU FEEL RESPONSIBLE
FOR THOSE KIDS.
I THINK, IF THE GOVERNMENT
WANTS TO IMPACT CHANGE,
THEN WE NEED TO BE SEEKING
OUT THOSE PARTNERSHIPS
AND BE MAKING THOSE PARTNERSHIPS
MORE EASILY HAPPEN.
BECAUSE I THINK, FOR THE MOST
PART, TEACHERS THAT ARE IN
THE SCHOOL ARE ALMOST, IN SOME
WAYS, ARE DISCONNECTED TO
SOME OF THOSE DECISIONS
AND POLICIES BEING MADE,
SPECIFICALLY AROUND INNOVATION.
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT WHAT TOOLS
WE'RE USING IN THE CLASSROOM,
YOU'RE STILL SEEING A LOT OF
DIVERSITY ACROSS, NOT ONLY
SCHOOL BOARDS, BUT
WITHIN THE SCHOOL BOARDS.
AND THERE ARE CERTAIN TOOLS
THAT THE BOARD HAS SUPPORTED,
BUT THEN THERE'S OTHER
TOOLS THAT, AS TEACHERS,
WE'RE LIKE, 'THIS
IS A GREAT TOOL.
I WANT TO USE THIS
IN THE CLASSROOM'.
BECAUSE IT FITS WITH WHERE
YOU'RE GOING PEDAGOGICALLY,
IF YOU CAN SAY THAT.
SO IT'S GREAT, AS A TEACHER,
TO BE ABLE TO INNOVATE
SOME OF THAT, AS WELL.

Steve nods.

Jon says AND THEN, IT'S HOW DO WE, AS
TEACHERS, BE ABLE TO THEN
ACCESS SOME OF THOSE
DECISION-MAKERS IN OUR BOARD
SO WE CAN HAVE SOME OF
TECHNOLOGIES ALSO COMING
TO THE FOREFRONT.
WHAT'S KIND OF COOL ABOUT
THAT, TOO, IS THEN IT'S
CONNECTED TO THE PEDAGOGY.
SO THEN NOT ONLY ARE YOU
PROMOTING THAT TOOL,
BUT YOU'RE PROMOTING
A WAY OF USING THAT TOOL
IN YOUR
CLASSROOM WITH IT.

Steve says GOTCHA.

He turns to Michelle.

He says MICHELLE, BEFORE WE START, I'M
HAVING A MINOR PANIC ATTACK

Michelle looks surprised.

Steve says SINCE I PRONOUNCED YOUR NAME
TWO DIFFERENT WAYS WHEN WE
STARTED, AND I'M NOT SATISFIED
THAT I ACTUALLY GOT IT RIGHT.

Michelle says IT'S MICHELLE CORDY.

Steve says IT IS.
I GOT IT RIGHT EVENTUALLY.

Michelle says YOU DID.
YES, GOLD STAR.
WELL DONE.
LEVEL FOUR ON THE RUBRIC.

Steve, Michelle, Annie, and others grin.

Steve says WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOLD
STAR IF I GOT IT RIGHT
THE FIRST TIME.
OKAY, LET'S GET YOU
TO WEIGH IN ON THIS.
INNOVATION IN YOUR CLASSROOM.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

Michelle says INNOVATION IN MY CLASSROOM,
AND INNOVATION ACROSS ALL OF
ONTARIO AND BEYOND, THE
MOST INNOVATIVE PEOPLE
IN EDUCATION ARE...?

Several people in the audience say KIDS.

Michelle nods.

She says YES, CORRECT.
THEY'RE THE INNOVATORS.
THEY'RE THE ONES THAT ARE
IN THIS PROCESS OF LEARNING,
AND THE WORLD IS INFINITE.
AND WE'RE THERE TO HELP FORM
THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF
THAT WORLD, AND THEIR
CONNECTIONS IN THAT WORLD,
AND WE DO THAT AT SCHOOL.
SO THE WORRISOME THING IS,
IN SOME CASES, PERHAPS MANY
CASES, KIDS ARE COMING TO
SCHOOL AND THEY'RE LEARNING
TO NOT BE INNOVATIVE.
AND SO WE DO HAVE TO THINK
ABOUT THE SKILLS THAT WE WANT
THEM TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE.
AND I'M ALL FOR THAT.

She glances at Annie, and then continues talking to the whole audience.

She says I'M ALL FOR DEMOCRACY AND
VOTING AND ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
IN THE FUTURE, BUT I ALSO
RECOGNIZE THAT I WORK WITH
EIGHT AND NINE AND
TEN-YEAR-OLDS EVERY DAY.
AND EACH DAY IN THE CLASSROOM
SHOULD BE IRRESISTIBLE
LEARNING EXPERIENCES.
IT SHOULD BE MAGICAL.
AND IF WE CAN USE INNOVATIVE
TEACHING PRACTICES,
AND I AGREE, TECHNOLOGY AND
INNOVATION ARE NOT SYNONYMOUS,
BUT INNOVATIVE USE OF
TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP US CREATE
A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT,
LIKE I SAID, IS IRRESISTIBLE,
WHERE STUDENTS CAN SEE
THEMSELVES IN THE CURRICULUM.
SO HOW CAN GOVERNMENT
SPUR ON THAT INNOVATION?
HOW CAN THE GOVERNMENT
HELP ME, HELP US
IN THE CLASSROOM DO THIS?
I THINK WE ALWAYS NEED TO
START WITH THE STUDENTS.
AND I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE
SOME SPACE IN THE CURRICULUM.
ANNIE TOUCHED ON THAT.

Annie nods.

Michelle says THERE HAS TO BE SOME ROOM IN
THE CURRICULUM FOR STUDENTS TO
SEE THEMSELVES, FOR THEM TO
INQUIRE, FOR THEM TO ASK
QUESTIONS, AND THEN HAVE THE
TEACHER, AS MENTOR, HELP GUIDE
THOSE INQUIRIES AND
THOSE COLLABORATIONS.
SO I TEACH GRADE
THREE AND FOUR.
THE GRADE FOUR CURRICULUM,
IN HALF THE YEAR,
I'LL COVER 4,500
YEARS OF HISTORY.
THAT'S SERIOUS.

She nods.

She says IF YOU HAVE TO COVER THAT
KIND OF CONTENT, YOU COVER IT,
YOU DON'T UNCOVER IT.
SO IF THERE'S NO SPACE IN THE
CURRICULUM FOR STUDENTS TO
SEE THEMSELVES AND ASK THEIR
OWN QUESTIONS, DO THEY GET
TO INNOVATE RIGHT NOW?
WILL THEY BE INNOVATORS
IN THE FUTURE?
I SUGGEST, NOT LIKELY.
IF THERE'S NO SPACE WITHIN THE
SCHOOL DAY, MEANINGFUL SPACE,
NOT JUST CLUBS, THOSE ARE
FANTASTIC, THOSE SUPPLEMENT
THE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE FOR
CHILDREN, BUT THERE NEEDS TO
BE SPACE WITHIN THE SCHOOL
DAY THAT'S STRUCTURED,
WHERE WE'RE ACCOUNTABLE,
WHERE WE'RE MEASURING THESE
INNOVATIONS, WHERE STUDENTS,
WITH THE GUIDANCE OF THEIR
TEACHERS, CAN EXPLORE
WHAT'S POSSIBLE.

She turns to Steve.

Steve says BUT THE DAY IS
ONLY, YOU KNOW...

He frowns and shrugs slightly. He turns to Jon.

YOU'RE LEAVING FOR SCHOOL
AT 6 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
EVERY DAY, RIGHT?

Jon says PRETTY CLOSE.

Steve says OKAY.
EVEN BEFORE 6.

Michelle says SURE.
SO THAT'S WHERE TECHNOLOGY
CAN PLAY A ROLE BECAUSE
TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP US
AMPLIFY AND AUGMENT THE
OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN
THE CLASSROOM.
IT CAN GIVE STUDENTS
OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE
CREATIONS OF THEIR LEARNING.
MAKE THEIR LEARNING AND
THEIR THINKING VISIBLE TO
THEMSELVES, MOST IMPORTANTLY,
TO ME, TO THEIR PARENTS.

Steve says BUT THERE'S ONLY SO MANY HOURS
IN THE DAY, AND THERE'S ONLY
SO MANY HOURS WHERE
THEIR ATTENTION SPAN IS
AVAILABLE TO YOU DURING
THE COURSE OF THE DAY.

Michelle says YEAH.
SO WE NEED THAT
TIME TO BE AWESOME.
YOU KNOW, IRRESISTIBLE.
IT HAS TO BE DELICIOUS.
YOU SHOULD BE ABLE
TO DIVE IN WITH BOTH FEET
TO THE QUESTIONS THAT
ARE BEING PRESENTED.
AND I THINK WITH ALLOWING
MORE SPACE IN THE CURRICULUM
FOR THAT TO TAKE PLACE FOR
STUDENTS TO ASK THEIR QUESTIONS.

Steve asks WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
YOU KEEP SAYING THAT.
'HAVE MORE SPACE IN THE
DAY' OR IN THE CURRICULUM.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Michelle says WELL, THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME
WHITE SPACE, SOME BLANKS,
SOME LET THE STUDENTS
ASK THEIR OWN QUESTIONS.
NO, SERIOUSLY.

She grins.

She says BECAUSE I'LL BE LIKE, BOYS AND
GIRLS, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE
TO LEARN ANT MEDIEVAL TIMES?
AND THEN I TAKE
THEIR STATEMENTS.
AND THEN I'M LIKE, 'YES, THAT'S
GOOD BECAUSE THEY NAMED THREE
OUT OF THE FIVE
CURRICULUM EXPECTATIONS',
AND I'M GOING TO
GO WITH THOSE.
WHEW.

She makes a gesture of relief-

She says THOSE TWO INQUIRIES THAT
THEY'RE INTERESTED IN THAT
AREN'T IN THE CURRICULUM,
I CAN'T GO THERE.
SO I WONDER IF OUR CURRICULUM
HAS PERHAPS GONE TO THE POINT
WHERE IT'S SO BROAD
THAT IT'S SHALLOW.
AND THAT WE'RE HAVING A
DIFFICULT TIME REALLY ALLOWING
STUDENTS TO SEE THEMSELVES
IN THAT CURRICULUM.

Steve says HMM.
THAT SOUNDS QUITE DEPRESSING.

Jon laughs. Annie grins.

Michelle says NO.
BECAUSE SOMEBODY IS LISTENING
TO WHAT I'M SAYING,
THESE FANTASTIC IDEAS,
AND THEY'LL CHANGE IT.

She gestures vehemently as she smiles.

[laughing]

Scott gestures. Steve points at him.

Scott says I'M NOT AN EDUCATOR,
BUT I IMMERSE MYSELF.
I ACTUALLY GO TO PEOPLE LIKE
HER AND SAY, TELL ME WHAT
MAKES A BAD DAY?
AND HAVE YOU EVER READ ANY
OF THE CURRICULUM DOCUMENTS?
SHE'S RIGHT.
I MEAN, THEY'RE LIKE 90 PAGES
LONG, AND DENSE, AND AT THE
END, YOU SORT OF HAVE TO
SIGN YOUR NAME AND SAY,
I HAVE TAUGHT ALL OF
THIS TO MY KIDS, RIGHT?
END OF STORY.

Steve says WHEN YOU KNOW YOU
PROBABLY REALLY HAVEN'T.
NOT TOTALLY, NOT
EXACTLY, NOT...

Scott glances at Steve, and says I BELIEVE THERE'S ONLY ONE
POLITICALLY CORRECT ANSWER.

[laughing]

Michelle says I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO THE
WEEDS AND ONLY POINT THE
FINGER WAGGING AT
THE CURRICULUM.
THAT'S JUST ONE AREA WHERE
WE CAN BE MORE INNOVATIVE.
PART OF IT, YOU KNOW, IS
TEACHERS AND PARENTS AND THE
STAKEHOLDERS IN EDUCATION,
ALLOWING OURSELVES TO LET GO
OF THE COLLECTIVE MEMORY
THAT WE HAVE OF EDUCATION
BECAUSE THAT'S GETTING IN
THE WAY OF INNOVATION.
WE ALL NEED TO GIVE OURSELVES
SOME PERMISSION, SOME BREATHING
SPACE, FOR SOME
CREATIVE DESTRUCTION,
FOR SOME THINGS TO GO.
SO THAT WE CAN EMPHASIZE SOME
THINGS IN THE CURRICULUM MORE
THAN OTHER THINGS
IN THE CURRICULUM.
SO I DON'T WANT TO GET
TOO MUCH IN THE WEEDS.
I KNOW I GAVE A VERY SPECIFIC
EXAMPLE, 4,500 YEARS OF HISTORY
BUT, GLOBALLY SPEAKING,
AS ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS
IN EDUCATION, WE
HAVE TO GO, OKAY,
WHAT ARE THE THINGS
THAT WE'RE AFTER?
WE'RE AFTER, ACTUALLY, SOME
REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS THAT
ARE GOING TO HAVE MAJOR
BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS NOW
AND IN THE FUTURE, THAT DON'T
JUST RELATE TO THE THREE R's,
THAT RELATE TO, AS ANNIE
SAYS, MENTAL HEALTH,
TO THEIR SELF EFFICACY.

She turns to Steve.

She says LET'S FOCUS, 'COS YOU'RE
RIGHT, NOT THAT MUCH TIME.
SO HOW DO WE PRIORITIZE?
HOW DO WE LET SOME THINGS
GO THAT ARE LESS IMPORTANT?

Steve says WELL, NOT THAT MUCH
TIME, AND BEYOND THAT, ANNIE,
NOT THAT MUCH EQUITY FROM
TIME TO TIME, AS WELL.
YOU MUST HAVE CLASS -- WELL,
NEVER MIND YOU HAVE SCHOOLS IN
GREAT NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT
MAY HAVE ACCESS TO A TON OF
TECHNOLOGY, AND SCHOOLS IN
OTHER NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT
AREN'T SO GREAT THAT MAY NOT
BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS CAN'T
AFFORD TO BUY AND DONATE A
BUNCH OF iPADS TO THE SCHOOL.
BUT EVEN PERHAPS
WITHIN THE SAME SCHOOL,
YOU GET THIS KIND OF

He gestures a balancing motion with his hands.

He says DISEQUITY, AS WELL.
WHAT ARE THE
RAMIFICATIONS OF THAT?

Annie says IN TERMS OF -- I THINK THAT
IS CORRECT IN TERMS OF THE
TECHNOLOGY PIECE,
ALL THE WAY AROUND.
SO THERE IS IN TERMS OF
TEACHERS' KNOWLEDGE,
AS YOU'VE SAID, OR
LEVEL OF COMFORT.
THERE IS, IF YOU'RE RELYING ON
PARENTS TO DO THE FUNDRAISING
TO BUY ALL THE SMARTBOARDS
AND ALL THE WHATEVER.
THERE IS, FROM A
PRINCIPAL'S FOCUS,
THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT
CAN MAKE EITHER INEQUITY,
OR JUST A LACK OF
CONSISTENCY, IN A WAY.
SO ONE OF THE THINGS, WHEN WE
PUT OUT A REPORT ON DIGITAL
LEARNING, WE SAID THERE
NEED TO BE GUIDELINES.
IT'S VERY HARD THIS WAY BECAUSE
YOU WANT A BALANCE, RIGHT?
WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO
DO IS ADD MORE THINGS
TO THE CURRICULUM.

She points at Michelle.

She says AND WE ALSO, PART OF WHAT'S
EXCITING ABOUT THE DIGITAL
WORLD IS THAT IT'S OPEN.
IT'S FULL OF SHARING.
IT HAS A LOT OF
MESSINESS IN IT.
SO YOU DON'T WANT TO STIFLE
THE CREATIVITY IN THAT WORLD,
BUT IT
IS REALLY IMPORTANT,

She turns to Scot.

She says RIGHT NOW -- YOU KNOW, GOD BLESS
ALL THE COMPANIES -- BUT THERE
ARE A MILLION COMPANIES OUT
THERE SEEING A BONANZA OF
MARKETS IN SCHOOLS WHERE
THEY CAN MAKE A LOT OF MONEY.
AND I'M SURE LOTS OF THEM HAVE
SCHOOLS' AND EDUCATION'S
BEST INTEREST AT HEART, BUT
THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME WAY
OF EVALUATING THAT.
SO THERE HAS TO BE SOME
PROCESS FOR EVALUATING
PRODUCTS THAT
BOARDS CAN GO TO.
AND I THINK THAT IS THE
PROVINCE'S RESPONSIBILITY
TO SET UP
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
AND IT'S THE SAME IN TERMS OF
TEACHER'S OWN INNOVATION.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE ASKED
WAS WHETHER OR NOT -- WHEN
TEACHERS DIDN'T HAVE A
TEXTBOOK, WHAT WOULD THEY BE
MOST LIKELY TO TURN TO?
AND QUITE AN EXTRAORDINARILY
HIGH PERCENTAGE OF SCHOOLS
SAID FREE ONLINE MATERIAL.

Scott nods.

Annie says WHICH MIGHT BE GREAT, BUT
IT ALSO MIGHT BE
NOT GREAT.
SO HOW DO WE
THINK ABOUT THAT?
HOW DO WE ENSURE THAT OUR
KIDS ARE GETTING CANADIAN STUFF,
FOR INSTANCE, AND THAT
IT'S OF A GOOD QUALITY,
AND IT'S SOMEHOW
CONNECTED TO THE CURRICULUM?
AND SOME TEACHERS ARE
FABULOUSLY TALENTED AT
SEARCHING THAT OUT, AND OTHERS
GREW UP IN SCHOOLS –

Steve nods.

Annie says ARE NOT NECESSARILY DIGITAL
LEARNERS IN THAT WAY.
SO HOW DO WE ENSURE THERE'S
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
AROUND THAT?
BUT I THINK WHAT YOU'RE SAYING
IS SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE
ALSO HAVE TO STOP THINKING
ABOUT EDUCATION AS A KIND OF
DELIVERY MECHANISM
OF INFORMATION.
SO KNOWLEDGE IS OUT
THERE EVERYWHERE.
SO WE HAVE TO BE TEACHING
KIDS -- I KNOW THIS SOUNDS SO
CLICHE BUT, ANYWAY -- WE
HAVE TO BE TEACHING THEM
HOW TO LEARN.
AND WE HAVE TO BE TEACHING
THEM THE SKILLS THAT
THEY NEED TO PERSIST.
YOU KNOW, TO WORK
WITH OTHER KIDS.

She looks at Michelle as she speaks.

She says WE HAVE TO TEACH THEM THOSE
SKILLS, A LOT OF WHICH CAN BE
TAUGHT WITH TECHNOLOGY, BUT
WHAT WE HAVE TO GET AWAY FROM,
AND THE SPACE ISSUE, IS THAT
IF WE'VE DECIDED THEY NEED TO
KNOW 9,322,000 FACTS BY
THE TIME THEY GRADUATE,
WE'RE DONE.
AND THAT'S THE
THING THAT'S CHANGED.
FACTS ARE EASY TO FIND.

Steve and Michelle nod.

Annie says BUT HOW YOU FIND THEM, HOW
YOU ASSESS THEM, HOW YOU USE
THEM, HOW YOU CHANGE THEM
INTO SOMETHING ELSE, HOW YOU
WORK WITH OTHER PEOPLE
TO CREATE MORE STUFF,
THAT’S THE STUFF
WE NEED TO TEACH.

Steve says JOE, DO YOU WORRY THAT THE
WORK THAT THE PEOPLE IN THIS
BUILDING ARE DOING WILL
EVENTUALLY ONLY END UP IN THE
HANDS OF THE STUDENTS WHO GO
TO THE SCHOOLS IN THE HIGHER
INCOME NEIGHBOURHOODS, AND THE
SCHOOLS IN THE LOWER INCOME
NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT
CAN'T AFFORD SOME OF THE
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT ARE GOING TO
GET FURTHER LEFT BEHIND?
THERE'S A GAP ALREADY.
AND WHEN TECHNOLOGY
IS INTRODUCED,
I GUESS THE GAP
GETS EVEN BIGGER.

Joe says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.
THERE'S A HUGE QUESTION
ON DIGITAL DIVIDE HERE.
I MEAN, FIRST OF ALL, A LOT OF
THE ENTREPRENEURS THAT WE WORK
WITH DON'T CHARGE SCHOOLS
FOR THEIR PRODUCTS.
THEY KNOW THAT THAT'S NOT
WHERE THE MONEY LIES.
SO THEY OFTEN LOOK FOR
OTHER WAYS FOR CHARGING
FOR THEIR SERVICES.
A LOT OF THEM ARE
NOT-FOR-PROFITS.
AND I CERTAINLY THINK THAT'S A
ROLE THE GOVERNMENT CAN PLAY IS
TO EVEN THE PLAYING
FIELD ON DIGITAL ACCESS
AND HAVING TOP-UP FUNDS
FOR REGIONS AND DISTRICTS
THAT CAN'T AFFORD
THESE TOOLS.
IN ONE OF PEOPLE FOR
EDUCATION'S REPORTS, THERE WAS
A SUGGESTION OF AN EQUITY
GRANT, RIGHT, THAT WOULD
EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD FOR
SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS,
AND I THINK THAT'S
SO IMPORTANT.
BECAUSE THE DIFFERENCE IS
HUGE BETWEEN WHAT THE POOREST
SCHOOLS CAN FUND RAISE FROM
PARENT TEACHER COUNCILS
AND WHAT THE BEST
SCHOOLS CAN.

Steve turns to Scott.

He asks SCOTT?

Scott says HOWEVER, THERE IS ANOTHER
PART OF THIS THAT IS
UNBELIEVABLY IMPORTANT WHEN
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT EQUITY.
AND, AGAIN, THIS IS, YOU KNOW,
THIS IS A LITTLE BIT OF A --
I CAN RANT A LITTLE
BIT, AS WELL.

Annie says I WASN'T RANTING.

Scott turns to Jon and Michelle, and says ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS
THAT YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME.
YOU GUYS
are AWESOME.

Steve points at Jon and Michelle, and asks YOU MEAN THESE
TWO TEACHERS?

Scott says THESE TWO TEACHERS.

Michelle says I'M WAITING FOR THE JAB.

Scott says NO, NO, NO.
NO, THERE IS NO
JAB, OKAY?

Steve says WHAT'S THE 'BUT' THOUGH?

Scott says THE 'BUT' IS YOU GUYS ARE
LIKE TEN PERCENT, RIGHT?
THEY
are THE
KEENER TEACHERS.
BECAUSE -- SO ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT WE SEE IS THAT
IF WE WANT THIS TO WORK FOR
EVERY KID, ACROSS THE DISTRICT,
THEN WE HAVE TO ROLL
THESE SOLUTIONS OUT
ACROSS THE DISTRICT.

He waves an arm around openly.

He says THAT'S REALLY CRITICAL.

Michelle says BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?
IN THERE, THERE'S THIS SORT
OF LIKE, TEACHERS ARE CUTE
PUPPIES, WE NEED TO
HANDLE THEM CAREFULLY.
AND I REALLY PUSH
BACK AGAINST THAT.
AND I THINK WHEN YOU HAVE THIS
IDEA THAT INNOVATION TRAVELS
THROUGH A PIPELINE DOWN
TO OUR LOWLY LEVELS,
THEN YOU'RE KIND OF SETTING
UP THAT EXACT SITUATION.
YOU'RE REINFORCING THAT
TEN PERCENT THAT YOU SEE,
THAT I SEE VERY DIFFERENTLY.
SO HOW DO WE CREATE PLATFORMS
WHERE WE CAN HONOUR TEACHING
AS A PROFESSION, AND BUILD,
AND ALLOW THAT INNOVATION TO
LEAK AND TO MIX AND TO
GROW FROM THE BOTTOM?
BECAUSE IF WHEN YOU TALK
ABOUT A PLATFORM, OH, THESE
TEACHERS, THOSE POOR DARLINGS,

She gestures comically.

She says WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THEM,
THEN YOU'RE REINFORCING
THAT SAME SITUATION.
AND ALSO ON THE
EQUITY THING.
THERE'S A REAL RISK THERE,
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT EQUITY.

She turns to Jon.

She says TEACHERS, WE KNOW THIS, THIS
IS SOMETHING WE SAY TO EACH
OTHER THAT TEACHERS KNOW.
EQUITY, IN FAIRNESS, ISN'T
THAT EVERYBODY GETS THE SAME,
IT'S THAT EVERYBODY
GETS WHAT THEY NEED.

Scott nods.

Michelle says SO OFTENTIMES, FROM MY
PERSPECTIVE, I SEE PEOPLE
WANTING TO DEPLOY AND MANAGE,
LARGE SCALE, SUSTAINABLE,
SCALE, THESE BIG WORDS.
YOU KNOW, EVERYONE IN THE
BOARD IS GOING TO HAVE iPADS.
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT OFTEN
HAPPENS IS THAT THE KICKBACK
FROM THAT IS THAT ACTUALLY
NOBODY GETS iPADS.
AND ALL THAT
GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.
AND WE DEFINITELY NEED TO
BALANCE INNOVATION AND
TECHNOLOGY, BUT WE SHOULD
CHECK TO SEE WHICH OF THOSE
GLITTERY THINGS
are GOLD.
AND DO WE NEED TO HAVE THESE
LIKE TOTALLY EASY-TO-DEPLOY
SOLUTIONS FOR ALL 50 BOARDS
IN ONTARIO THAT ARE TOTALLY
DISCONNECTED FROM THE UNIQUE
NEEDS OF THOSE PARTICULAR
COMMUNITIES WHERE STUDENTS AND
PARENTS AND TEACHERS HAVEN'T
BEEN CONSULTED?
SO I THINK IF YOU STARTED TO
ASK KIDS WHAT THEY WANT AND
ASK TEACHERS WHAT THEY WANT,
AND RESPOND TO THE UNIQUE
CULTURES THAT WE HAVE
ALL ACROSS ONTARIO,
I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE A
PLATFORM FOR INNOVATION TO GROW.

She makes rising hand gesture.

Steve says BUT I'M GOING TO GO TO BAT
FOR SCOTT A LITTLE BIT HERE,

Michelle laughs.

Steve says ONLY INSOFAR AS I THINK
HE MEANT YOU TWO ARE SUPERB
AT WHAT YOU DO, BUT NOT EVERY
TEACHER IS SUPERB AT WHAT
HE OR SHE DOES.

Michelle interrupts Steve and says BUT EVERY TEACHER
wants TO BE
SUPERB AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY,
EVERY TEACHER --

Steve asks EVERY TEACHER
TO BE SUPERB?

Scott gestures firmly and says ABSOLUTELY.

Michelle says EVERY TEACHER WANTS THE
BEST FOR THEIR CHILDREN
IN THAT CLASSROOM.
AND WE NEED TO
START FROM THERE.

Steve looks doubtful.

He says ALL 120,000 TEACHERS IN
ONTARIO WANT TO BE SUPERB?
JUST LIKE EVERY JOURNALIST
WANTS TO BE SUPERB, RIGHT?

Michelle says LET'S START FROM --

Scott says I'M ACTUALLY TOTALLY
AGREEING WITH HER ON THIS.
EVERY TEACHER -- YOU KNOW, WE
SPENT A YEAR DOING NOTHING
BUT TALKING TO TEACHERS BEFORE
WE STARTED BUILDING OUR STUFF.
WE HAD THIS LONG
QUESTIONNAIRE.
WE'D ASK THEM THINGS LIKE
WHAT MAKES A BAD DAY
AND WHAT MAKES A GOOD DAY?
WE CAME OUT OF THAT
UNIVERSALLY,
EVERY TEACHER WE TALKED TO,
THEY WANT THE VERY BEST.

Steve asks HOW MANY DID YOU TALK TO?

Scott says MAYBE 75.

Steve says OUT OF 120,000.

Scott says IN MANY DIFFERENT SCHOOLS.

Steve says I'M PLAYING THE BAD
GUY HERE JUST BECAUSE --

Scott says BUT IT WAS SO UNIVERSAL.
IT WAS CLEAR.
THEY WANT THE VERY
BEST FOR THEIR KIDS.
HERE'S THE CHALLENGE THOUGH.
IF WE WANT THIS TO BE THE
VERY BEST FOR EVERY KID IN
SOMETHING LIKE TDSB, WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT 235,000 KIDS,
OKAY, SPREAD ACROSS A
WIDE VARIETY OF SCHOOLS.
NOT ALL THOSE SCHOOLS ARE
GOING TO HAVE TEACHERS WITH
THE SAME ABILITY -- NOT
ABILITIES, BUT I MEAN, TIME.
IT'S LIKE YOU
SAID, MAKING SPACE.
YOU KNOW, ROLLING THINGS OUT
ACROSS THE BOARD IS THE ONE
WAY WHERE WE CAN MAKE IT SO
WHEN WE LOOK AT -- WHEN I LOOK
AT A BOARD THAT WE ROLLED
OUT IN, TAMPA, FLORIDA,
NOT A PARTICULARLY
RICH DISTRICT.
200,000 KIDS.
AND I CAN LOOK AT IT AND I
CAN SAY THIS IS INCREDIBLE.
50 PERCENT OF THE KIDS IN THE
LOWEST INCOME ZIP CODE THERE
CHECK THEIR HOMEWORK ONCE A
DAY TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE.
THAT'S INCREDIBLE.
IT'S ONLY 70 PERCENT IN
THE RICHEST ZIP CODE.

Steve nods.

Scott says SO IF WE CAN ROLL THIS
OUT ACROSS THE DISTRICT,
THEN WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT
EVERY KID IS GETTING IT.

Steve says OKAY.
I DID ASK JON, I
DIDN'T ASK MICHELLE.
YOU HAVE TECHNOLOGY
IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

Michelle says I DO.

Steve asks HOW DID IT GET THERE?

Michelle asks HOW DID IT GET THERE?
I TEACH A ONE-TO-ONE
iPAD PROGRAM.
EACH STUDENT IN MY
CLASS HAS AN iPAD.
AND I'VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE
BECAUSE WE'VE TALKED A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT PARTNERSHIPS
AND HOW IMPORTANT THAT IS.
AND I AM AN ACTION
RESEARCHER, AND I ENGAGE --

Steve asks YOU'RE A WHAT?

Michelle turns to him and says I'M AN ACTION RESEARCHER.

Steve asks WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Michelle says IT'S A TITLE I'VE
MADE UP MYSELF.

[laughter]

THAT WORKS VERY NICELY
WHEN I WRITE GRANTS.
BUT, SERIOUSLY, SHOULDN'T
THERE BE ACTION RESEARCHERS,
AND THIS IS WHAT I DO.
I'M A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE
CLASSROOM AND HIGHER EDUCATION
AND INDUSTRY.
SO I SEEK OUT GRANTS
AND PARTNERSHIPS

She turns to Annie.

She says WHERE I CAN MEASURE.
WHERE PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT
PERSPECTIVES AND BACKGROUNDS
CAN COME AND BUMP TOGETHER
BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE
NEW IDEAS COME FROM.
AND WE TEST AND MEASURE
INNOVATION IN THE CLASSROOM.
SO MY COLLABORATOR,
Dr. KOTSOPOULOS AND I
FROM WILFRED LAURIER,
WE PARTNERED TO LOOK AT
ELECTRONIC PORTFOLIOS
IN THE CLASSROOM.
AND THE BEST ADVICE FOR OUR
STUDENTS TO CREATE EXPERIENCES
AND PERFORMANCES OF THEIR
LEARNING, IN MY OPINION,
FOR THIS PROJECT,
WAS THE iPAD.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE
MOVED FORWARD WITH.

Steve asks HOW MANY STUDENTS
IN YOUR CLASS?

Michelle says I HAVE 21 KIDS.

Steve asks AND THEY ALL HAVE AN iPAD?

Michelle says THEY DO.

Steve asks DID THEY HAVE
TO BUY THEM?

Michelle says NO, THAT WAS PART
OF THE FUNDING.
PART OF THE FUNDING WAS FOR
PURCHASING THE DEVICES,
AND THEN ALSO TO INQUIRE AND
DO RESEARCH AROUND THAT.
SO ONE OF OUR RESEARCH
QUESTIONS THIS YEAR WAS
LOOKING AT STUDENTS' VISUAL
SPATIAL UNDERSTANDING
WITH iPAD.
SO DO YOU THINK MAYBE KIDS
WILL HAVE A BETTER SENSE OF
2-DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY AND
MAPPING SKILLS WHEN THEY GET
TO USE, I DON'T KNOW,
GOOGLE MAPS, AND MINECRAFT?
BUT WE'RE ACTUALLY LOOKING
AT WHAT IMPROVEMENTS ARE
QUANTITATIVE DATA, LOOKING
AT THE IMPROVEMENTS THAT
STUDENTS HAVE IN THEIR
VISUAL
SPATIAL REASONING.

Steve says OKAY, ANNIE, THAT'S
GREAT FOR ONE CLASSROOM
IN LONDON, ONTARIO.
HOW DO WE DO THAT IN EVERY
CLASSROOM IN ONTARIO?

Annie turns to Steve and says I THINK YOU'RE
MAKING IT SOUND LIKE
EVERYTHING IS
TERRIBLE EVERYWHERE.
WE JUST SURVEYED
1,349 SCHOOLS.
AND A, 80 PERCENT OF THEM SAID
KIDS START USING COMPUTERS
IN KINDERGARTEN.
SO THAT'S WHEN IT STARTS.
80 PERCENT OF SCHOOLS.

Steve asks WHAT KIND OF COMPUTERS?

Annie says MOSTLY BRAND NEW.
WE DID OUR PRESS CONFERENCE
IN A GRADE FOUR CLASS.
THEY HAD A MEDIA CART.
EVERYBODY DID HAVE A LAPTOP.

Steve nods.

Annie says IT WAS A COMPLETELY
TOTALLY WIRED CLASSROOM.
AND FOR THE MOST PART -- I
MEAN, EVEN IN TERMS OF THE
DIGITAL DIVIDE, THE
OLD-FASHIONED IDEA OF THE
DIGITAL DIVIDE IS
LESS AND LESS TRUE.
BECAUSE, I MEAN, IF YOU ASK
STATS CAN, PEOPLE HAVE THE
INTERNET AT HOME.
58 PERCENT OF SCHOOLS,
THEY HAVE SOME KIND OF
BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE THING
GOING ON IN THE SCHOOL.
99 PERCENT OF SCHOOLS HAVE
THE INTERNET, OF COURSE.
SO SCHOOLS
ARE WIRED.
AND SCHOOLS
ARE DOING
AMAZING THINGS.
WHAT WE FOUND IS ACTUALLY
THE POLICY HASN'T CAUGHT UP
TO THE PRACTICE.

Steve and Scott nod.

Annie says IT'S HAPPENING ALREADY, AND
IT'S HAPPENING EVERYWHERE,
AND IT'S HAPPENING IN
ALL DIFFERENT WAYS.
BUT WHAT WE DON'T HAVE, THEN,
IS SOMETHING NOT SQUELCHY,
BUT A LITTLE BIT OVERALL
GUIDELINE SO THAT WE DON'T END
UP WITH INEQUITY, BUT WE ALSO
DON'T END UP WITH NOT VERY
GOOD STUFF IN OUR CLASSROOMS.
BUT I THINK IT'S TOO EASY
TO GO DOOM AND GLOOM,
EVERYTHING'S TERRIBLE,
THERE'S NO INNOVATION.

Steve says THAT'S WHAT WE
DO IN JOURNALISM.

Several people laugh. Annie grins.

She says BUT IT'S NOT INTERESTING.
BECAUSE IT'S MORE INTERESTING
TO ACTUALLY GET AT THE
COMPLEXITY OF WHAT THE ISSUES
ARE, RATHER THAN THERE'S
A BAD GUY AND A GOOD GUY.
AND, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN ARGUE
WITH PROVINCIAL EDUCATION
POLICY, BUT I ACTUALLY
THINK THEY ARE TRYING.
THERE ARE NETWORKS FOR
TEACHERS TO SHARE.
WE JUST THINK THERE NEEDS TO
BE SOME KIND OF EVALUATION
PROCESS SO THAT YOU KNOW.
IT'S LIKE RESEARCH, RIGHT?
YOU LOOK FOR GOOD RESEARCH.

Steve says ACTION RESEARCH.

Annie turn to Michelle and says AND THE ACTION RESEARCH,
LIKE THE TLLP, WHATEVER THAT
STANDS FOR, MAYBE YOU
WERE PART OF THAT.

Michelle nods at Annie.

Annie says TEACHER LEADERSHIP
LEARNING...

Michelle says PROGRAM.

Annie says PROGRAM
THERE ARE TEACHERS DOING
EXTRAORDINARY THINGS ALL
ACROSS THE PROVINCE IN THEIR
CLASSROOMS AND SHARING THEM
WITH EACH OTHER.
SO I THINK WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS
TO GO, WE'VE GOT THIS GOING ON,
WHAT CAN WE DO
TO MAKE IT BETTER?
HOW DO WE MAKE SURE
THAT WE'RE RECOGNIZED?
WE'RE FAR PAST THE LAND OF
KIND OF, THAT TECHNOLOGY IS
A MACHINE, EVEN THOUGH, YES
THERE ARE STILL TEACHERS --
IF I WERE TEACHING, I'D
BE REALLY BAD AT IT.
I HAD TO GIVE SOMEBODY MY
PHONE TO SAY, I DON'T KNOW
HOW TO TURN THIS OFF.
IT'S NEW.
CAN YOU TURN
IT OFF FOR ME?

Several people chuckle.

Annie says SO I'M NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE.
BUT WE'RE PAST THAT ERA.
COMPUTER LABS.
YOU DON'T GO SOMEWHERE
ELSE TO USE THE TECHNOLOGY.
IT'S THERE.
AND KIDS, THEY'RE THE ONES --
I MEAN, THE GRADE FOURS
WE WERE DOING THIS PRESS
CONFERENCE WITH WERE DOING
INCREDIBLE THINGS,
THE GRADE FOURS.
LIKE MIND
BOGGLING STUFF.

Michelle nods vehemently.

Steve says WE HAVE A WHOLE GROUP OF
PEOPLE HERE WHO CAME TONIGHT,
AND I'M JUST LOOKING FOR SOME
INDICATION IF THERE'S A
MICROPHONE THAT WE WANT TO

He points around the classroom.

He says USE FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE
AUDIENCE HERE WHEN THEY ASK
QUESTIONS, OR MAKE COMMENTS,
TO MAKE SURE WE CAN CAPTURE
THEM FOR OUR BROADCAST.

A man walks up to the front of the classroom and leaves a microphone.

Steve says SO HERE COMES DAVID IRWIN WITH
THE MICROPHONE, JUST LIKE THAT.
ISN'T THAT WONDERFUL?
I KNOW THIS IS A CANADIAN
AUDIENCE, AND NO ONE WANTS TO
GO FIRST, BUT WHO'S GOING TO
BE BRAVE AND ASK THE FIRST --

Steve points at a person sitting at the back.

He says BEAUTIFUL!
LOVE IT.
SIR, IF YOU WOULD.
UP TO THE MICROPHONE, MAKE
YOUR COMMENT, ASK YOUR QUESTION,
DIRECT IT TO
WHOMEVER YOU LIKE.
SAY YOUR NAME AND WHERE
YOU'RE FROM, IF YOU WANT TO.

A man walks up to the microphone. He is in his late thirties, bald, and wears a green sweater. He wears a short stubble and a small earring.

The man says SURE.
MY NAME'S ANDREW.
I'M FROM TORONTO.
I'M A SOFTWARE ENTREPRENEUR
MYSELF AND CONSIDERING MY
NEXT VENTURE IN THE
EDUCATION SPACE.
THE QUESTION -- ACTUALLY,
YOU KNOW WHAT,
IT'S MORE A SUGGESTION.
I'M TAKING WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT
SPACE, AND I'M TAKING WHAT
YOU SAID ABOUT TEACHERS ALL
BEING INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED
TO DO GOOD BY THEIR KIDS, AND
I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK THAT
A REALLY INTERESTING MODEL,
MAYBE ONE AREA WHERE THE
GOVERNMENT COULD HELP IS AT A
POLICY LEVEL, THINKING ABOUT
THINGS LIKE 20 PERCENT TIME
WHICH CREATES THAT SPACE IN
THE CLASSROOM, AND THEN
PUT A DOLLAR AMOUNT IN EACH
TEACHER'S POCKET TO USE
TOWARDS A LITTLE BIT OF
SOFTWARE, AND LET THAT DOLLAR
AMOUNT GROW DEPENDING ON THE
RESULTS FROM THAT
20 PERCENT TIME.

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN,
ANDREW, 20 PERCENT TIME?

Andrew says IT MEANS, SHRINK THE
CURRICULUM BY 20 PERCENT
AND USE THAT 20 PERCENT
DIFFERENTLY IN EVERY SINGLE
CLASSROOM, WITH EVERY SINGLE
TEACHER, LET TEACHERS SHARE
THEIR RESULTS AMONGST EACH
OTHER IN TERMS OF
WHAT THEY'RE DOING
WITH THAT TIME.
GIVE THEM A LITTLE BIT OF
BUDGET TO GO SPEND ON SOFTWARE
APPLICATIONS THAT ARE
OUT THERE ON THE MARKET.
YOU DON'T NEED TO VET
EVERYTHING THROUGH THE
GOVERNMENT JUST TO ROLL
IT OUT IN ONE CLASSROOM.

Steve nods.

Andrew says I MEAN, JOHN GALL'S
SYSTEMANTICS IS BASICALLY
COMPLEX SYSTEMS ARE JUST SIMPLE
SYSTEMS EVOLVED, RIGHT?
SO JUST GO AT A REALLY
SIMPLE LEVEL AND SEE WHO
COMES UP WITH WHAT?

Steve says LET ME PLAY THE BAD GUY AGAIN
FOR A SECOND HERE, OKAY?

He turns to Jon

He says JON.
20 PERCENT, OKAY.
SOUNDS LIKE A NEAT IDEA.

Michelle and Jon laugh nervously.

Steve asks YOU WANT TO TEACH
LESS HISTORY?
YOU WANT TO TEACH
LESS MATH?
WHAT TO TEACH
LESS ENGLISH?
WANT TO TEACH LESS
SOCIAL STUDIES?
WHOSE SUBJECT IS GOING TO
BE TAUGHT 20 PERCENT LESS
SO WE CAN CREATE THIS OPEN
SPACE MICHELLE TALKED ABOUT?

Jon looks nervous.

Steve says ESPECIALLY WHEN PARENTS WANT
SCHOOLS TO START TEACHING
THEIR KIDS MORE.

Jon says THAT'S A PRETTY
HEAVY QUESTION.

Steve says THERE YOU GO.
THAT'S WHERE IT GETS TO
AT THE END OF THE DAY.
WHOSE OX ARE YOU
GOING TO GORE?

Jon looks at Steve and says WHEN I LOOK AT IT, YOU WANT
TO MAKE SPACE FOR THOSE
SKILLS-BASED CURRICULUMS.
I MEAN, IT'S -- I KNOW WHAT
CERTAIN ANSWERS COULD BE.
I THINK IT'S DIFFICULT TO CHOP
OUT PARTS OF THE CURRICULUM
AND MAKE SPACE, YOU KNOW,
TALKING ABOUT 20 PERCENT.
I THINK WE NEED TO GET AWAY
FROM SOME OF THE VERY HEAVY
CONTENT-LADEN PIECES.

Steve says LIKE WHAT?

Jon says AND LEAN MORE
TOWARDS THE SKILLS.
YOU KNOW WHAT,
IT'S A HARD CALL.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE IF
SOMETHING IN HISTORY
ISN'T WORTH STUDYING?
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE IF
SOMETHING IN GEOGRAPHY
ISN'T WORTH STUDYING?
I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY,
YEAH, I THINK IF WE CONTINUE
TO GO BACK TO THOSE
SKILLS-FOCUS, AND LESS --
I THINK LITERACY HAS TO BE
PARAMOUNT THROUGH EVERYTHING.
SO THAT HAS TO BE
OUR FOCUS AREA.

Steve asks NUMERACY?

Jon says NUMERACY, FOR SURE.
LITERACY, NUMERACY, I THINK,
TOGETHER ARE CONNECTED
BECAUSE THOSE ARE SKILLS.
BUT I THINK WHEN IT COMES DOWN
TO HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY,
IF SOMEBODY HAS THE SKILLS TO BE
ABLE TO READ, WRITE, ACQUIRE
THE INFORMATION, I THINK IF
YOU COULD DROP THEM IN ANY
SUBJECT AREA, AND THEY COULD
PULL THAT INFORMATION.

Steve turns to Michelle.

He says MICHELLE, YOUR TEACHING
DAY ENDS AT WHAT TIME?

Michelle says 3:30.

Steve says 3:30.
SO WHY DON'T WE KEEP THE
KIDS FOR ANOTHER 2.5 HOURS?
THERE'S YOUR 20
PERCENT RIGHT THERE.

Michelle says OKAY.
SO IN YOUR MIND OF THE
CLASSROOM, AND OUR COLLECTIVE
IMAGE OF THE CLASSROOM, I
WISH THAT EVERY MOMENT OF
MY DAY WAS LIKE SUPER
EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT.
BUT THE REALITY IS THERE'S
SOME LEAKAGE IN THE CLASSROOM.
THERE'S SOME TIME THAT WE'RE
NOT USING REALLY EFFECTIVELY.
AND AS WE'RE TRYING TO USE
MORE INNOVATIVE TEACHING
PRACTICES,
She turns to Jon, and says LIKE YOU SAID,
MOVING AWAY FROM SAGE ON
STAGE, SITTING DOWN, SMALL
GROUP INSTRUCTION, THERE'S A
BIG QUESTION ABOUT WHAT ARE
THE OTHER CHILDREN DOING?
AND LET'S NOT HAVE THE
OTHER CHILDREN BE ENGAGING
IN KNOWLEDGE AND RECALL AND
PRACTISING, LET'S HAVE THEM
ENGAGING IN INQUIRY,
THAT'S SCAFFOLDED,
WHERE WE'RE CHECKING IN.
I THINK THAT IT'S NOT ABOUT
MAKING THE SCHOOL DAY LONGER,
OR HAVING TO DITCH HISTORY OR
WHATEVER, IT'S ABOUT HOW CAN
WE BE INNOVATIVE ABOUT WHAT
THE SCHOOL DAY LOOKS LIKE
AND OUR PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICES.
I CAN ONLY TEACH SO MUCH
STANDING IN FRONT OF A GROUP
SAYING, LIKE, OH, AND IN
THIS LESSON, WE DO THIS.
LET'S TRY AND THINK ABOUT HOW
THE PEDAGOGY AND THE SHAPE
COULD BE DIFFERENT.
LET'S MAYBE GO WITH WHAT
STUDENTS ARE INTERESTED IN.
MAYBE NOT ALL STUDENTS ARE 100
PERCENT INTERESTED IN EVERY
ASPECT OF THE CURRICULUM.
SO I JUST THINK THAT WE NEED
TO LEARN TO LET SOME STUFF GO.

Annie interrupts Michelle and says ALSO, YOU CAN PUT
THINGS TOGETHER, RIGHT?
ONE OF THE THINGS WE KNOW –

She gestures quotation marks.

She says ALWAYS MY FAVOURITE THING,
ALL THE THINGS WE KNOW --
IS THAT YOU CAN LEARN
A WHOLE BUNCH OF THINGS
AT THE SAME TIME.
SO THAT IDEA, NOW WE'RE DOING
GEOGRAPHY, NOW WE'RE DOING
ART, NOW WE'RE DOING THIS,
WELL, YOU CAN ACTUALLY COMBINE
THE LEARNING, TOO, IN A WAY
SO IT'S NOT AS, YOU KNOW --
AND I THINK IT'S AN
INTERESTING IDEA.
THERE'S COMPANIES THAT YOU HAVE
10 PERCENT OF YOUR OWN TIME
TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH,
WHICH IS CALLED 'INNOVATION' I THINK.
BUT I THINK IT'S THAT THERE
ARE DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING
THINGS THAT AREN'T QUITE SO
CUT AND DRIED, BUT GET US AWAY
FROM THAT IDEA OF YOU'VE GOT
16 OUTCOMES YOU'VE GOT TO
GET TO, AND YOU'VE GOT
TO GET TO THEM TODAY.

Jon says EXACTLY.

Steve turns to Joe.

He says JOE?

Joe says I THINK THE LANGUAGE YOU
USED IS VERY TELLING.
THE IDEA OF MORE
OR LESS CONTEXT.

Steve asks THE LANGUAGE
I USED?

Joe says YEAH.

Steve says OKAY.

Joe says I MEAN BECAUSE IT STILL
GOES BACK TO THIS IDEA THAT
EDUCATION IS STUFF THAT
WE PUT IN A KID'S HEAD
AND IT JUST SITS
THERE, THE CONTENT.
BUT KIND OF PARADOXICALLY, THE
THINNER THE CURRICULUM, IN
TERMS OF CONTENT, OFTEN THE
DEEPER THE LEARNING IS.
I'M LOATHE TO BRING UP FINLAND
BECAUSE THESE CONVERSATIONS
ALWAYS END IN FINLAND
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE FINNISH
CURRICULUM IS VERY THIN IN
TERMS OF CONTENT, AND ITS
STRENGTH IS ITS OPEN-ENDED AND
BROAD DEEP LEARNING QUESTIONS.

Steve says AND THEY'RE NUMBER ONE IN
THE WORLD IN EVERYTHING IN
EDUCATION, RIGHT?

Scott says SORT OF.

Steve says YEAH, THEY ARE.

Scott says SO THE IDEA INSTEAD IS
NOT MORE OR LESS CONTENT,
BUT DEEPER OR
SHALLOWER LEARNING.
AND THE PARADOX IS
THAT WITH LESS CONTENT
YOU CAN OFTEN GET
DEEPER LEARNING.
AND IF YOU WANT TO PUT A VALUE
ON THAT, I MEAN, IT'S CLEAR
THE METRICS, A PLACE LIKE
GOOGLE, WITH THE 20 PERCENT
TIME, EVERY FRIDAY, EMPLOYEES
WORK ON WHATEVER THEY WANT.
THE BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT
IN TERMS OF THINGS LIKE GMAIL
AND GOOGLE MAPS HAVE COME
OUT OF THAT 20 PERCENT TIME.
THAT'S WHEN PEOPLE'S INTRINSIC
MOTIVATION COMES OUT,
AND THEY REALLY DIG THEIR TEETH
INTO WHAT THEY WANT TO STUDY.
AND THAT'S MISSING.

Annie points at Joe and says PART OF THE INNOVATION IN THAT
HAS TO DO WITH THERE'S SOMEBODY
WHO'S OBSESSED WITH THIS,
SHELDON LEVY, I THINK, HAS TO
DO WITH FAILING, RISK, TRYING
THINGS, REALIZING IT DOESN'T
WORK, TRYING SOMETHING
ELSE INSTEAD.
AND THAT GOES TO THAT KIND
OF DEEP LEARNING, TOO.
SO IT'S NOT JUST, YOU LEARNED
THESE FACTS, NOW YOU'RE GOOD
TO GO, IT'S ACTUALLY,
WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS?
WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I SEE A
PROBLEM, HOW CAN I, IN AN
INNOVATIVE WAY, COME
UP WITH SOLUTIONS?

Steve nods.

Annie says AND THOSE SOLUTIONS AREN'T
NECESSARILY TECHNOLOGICAL,
BUT THEY'RE ME REALLY
USING MY BRAIN.

Steve says SCOTT.

Scott says AND THE OTHER REALLY NEAT
THING IS THAT THOSE SOLUTIONS
CAN ALSO USE TECHNOLOGY TO
EFFECTIVELY GAIN MORE SPACE.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IF I CAME TO
YOU AND SAID, WHAT'S THE BEST
WAY THAT I CAN IMPROVE THE WAY
YOU GET THROUGH YOUR EMAIL
IN A DAY.
YOU ONLY HAVE
EIGHT HOURS A DAY.
WELL, ACTUALLY, THE SOLUTION
TO THAT IS NOW, LUCKY YOU,
YOU'VE GOT YOUR EMAIL
24 HOURS A DAY RIGHT HERE.

He takes out his smartphone. Steve nods.

Scott says SO, SUDDENLY, WE ACTUALLY HAVE
MORE TIME TO DO THAT THING.
SO, YOU KNOW, YOU WERE
TALKING ABOUT INNOVATION IN
EDUCATION, ONE OF THE REALLY
EXCITING THINGS WE CAN DO IS
WE CAN MAKE SPACE SO THAT KIDS
DO LEARN IN INNOVATIVE WAYS
FROM EACH OTHER.
SO IT'S NOT JUST THE
SAGE ON THE STAGE, RIGHT?

Michelle nods.

Scott says THEY LEARN A LOT
FROM EACH OTHER.
AND THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE
FACE-TO-FACE IN THE CLASSROOM.
WE CAN GET THAT
ADDITIONAL LEARNING TIME
WHEN THEY'RE AT HOME.
SO EVERY TIME A GRADE SEVEN
KID ASKS ANOTHER GRADE SEVEN KID
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE
THE AREA OF A CIRCLE?
THOSE TWO KIDS HAVE
JUST LEARNED SOMETHING,
AND THEY WERE NOT
IN THE CLASSROOM.

Steve says JON, YOU WANTED TO ADD?

Jon says YEAH, I THINK PART OF IT IS,
WHEN YOU ASKED ME THE QUESTION
BEFORE, WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO DRAW
THAT 20 PERCENT FROM, A LOT
OF TIMES -- BECAUSE I TEACH
INTERMEDIATE, SO WE
STILL HAVE ROTARY.
SO THAT MEANS YOU'RE CHOPPING
TIME AWAY FROM SOMEBODY ELSE.
SO I THINK PART OF IT IS
THE SYSTEM HAS TO CHANGE,
AND EVEN WHEN YOU
LOOK AT HIGH SCHOOL,
WE'VE GOT THESE SEPARATIONS
IN DISCIPLINES.

He turns to Annie, who nods.

Jon says SO HOW CAN WE START, AND I
THINK YOU WERE ALLUDING TO THAT,
IS HOW CAN WE START TO
CREATE MORE CROSS CURRICULAR
NATURE OF THE WAY WE APPROACH
EDUCATION, AND TO HAVE THOSE
PARTNERSHIPS HAPPENING, AND
NOT HAVE, IN MANY RESPECTS,
SILOED DISCIPLINES.

Annie laughs.

Jon says SORRY, YOU'RE LAUGHING.

Annie says I'M ONLY LAUGHING BECAUSE I AM
SO OLD THAT I WENT TO SCHOOL
IN THE '60s.
AND IN THE '60s, I HAD A CLASS
THAT WAS CALLED INTEGRATED.

She gestures quotation marks.

She says AND IT WAS JUST
INTEGRATED EVERYTHING.
AND IT WAS THREE
HOURS A DAY.
AND IT WAS EVERYTHING.
IT WAS IN GRADE 11.

Steve says WHAT SCHOOL?

Annie says POINT GREY IN VANCOUVER.
INTEGRATED.

Several people laugh.

Annie says AND THAT'S WHAT
IT WAS CALLED.
AND THE THING IS, IT WAS AN
INNOVATION, AND IT'S THE SAME
INNOVATION THAT WE'RE
LOOKING FOR NOW.
AND WE
DID REALLY LEARN
THINGS BECAUSE EVERYTHING WAS
CROSS DISCIPLINARY.
WE REALLY HAD TO THINK.
WE PLAYED THE DRUMS A LOT
AND DID OTHER THINGS.
BUT IT WAS CALLED
INTEGRATED FOR A REASON.
BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTOOD THAT
THAT INTEGRATION WAS WHERE
THE REALLY WONDERFUL
LEARNING HAPPENED.

She holds Jon’s hand.

She says I WASN'T LAUGHING
AT YOU, I PROMISE.

Steve points at the audience.

He asks WHO'S GOING TO GO?
YES, PLEASE.

He gestures at the microphone, and then points at somebody.

He says THEN YOU CAN GO THIRD, SIR.
LET'S GO HERE.

A man approaches the microphone. He’s in his late thirties, completely bald, and wears a red polo shirt and a brown argyle cardigan.

He says HI.
MY NAME IS PARTHI.
I'M A THIRD GRADE TEACHER
IN THE EAST END OF TORONTO.
I HAVE A QUESTION, BUT A QUICK
COMMENT, EVERYONE'S GOT
THEIR TAKE ON THE FINNISH
EXAMPLE, AND TO SPEAK TO YOUR
POINT ABOUT TEACHER QUALITY.
FINLAND'S APPROACH TO TEACHER
SELECTION IS VERY INTENSE.
IT'S EQUIVALENT TO A
MEDICAL SCHOOL ACCEPTANCE,
WHERE THERE'S A
RIGOROUS INTERVIEW.
AND IT'S TREATED LIKE, I
BELIEVE IT'S A THREE OR
FOUR YEAR TEACHER
TRAINING PROCESS.
MY QUESTION IS, THERE'S
AN INTERESTING EDUCATION
INNOVATION EXAMPLE THAT'S
HAPPENED IN CHICAGO.
IT'S A SCHOOL CALLED
SARAH E. GOODE,
AND MOST OF YOU IF
YOU'VE SEEN THE
COVER PIECE ABOUT
A MONTH AGO.
IT'S A SCHOOL THAT OBAMA
ACTUALLY VISITED THIS YEAR.
AND IT'S A SIX-YEAR SCHOOL
THAT INCORPORATES A VERY
INTENSIVE MATH/SCIENCE
COMPONENT TO A SCHOOL IN AN
AREA THAT, YOU KNOW,
IS VERY UNDERFUNDED,
INCREDIBLE SOCIAL PROBLEMS,
HOMICIDE OF 500 PER YEAR.
AND WHAT THEY'VE SEEN IS THIS
PROGRAM, WHICH TEAMS UP WITH
IBM, GUARANTEES A JOB FOR
THESE GRADUATES FROM THE
SIX-YEAR HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM,
WHICH THEY GRADUATE WITH A
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AS WELL
AS AN ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE.
AND THE CAUSE FOR, I GUESS,
CELEBRATION, IS THAT IN THESE
COMMUNITIES WHERE, AS MUCH AS
I BELIEVE IN THESE IMPORTANT
IDEAS OF ENGAGEMENT,
CITIZENSHIP, AND SOCIAL
EMOTIONAL LEARNING, THAT
IT DOESN'T PAY THE BILLS.

Annie nods gravely.

Parthi says SO THERE'S A DESIRE FOR
GREATER FOCUS ON THESE 'HARD'
SKILLS BECAUSE THEY ENSURE
EMPLOYABILITY AND CAREER
SUCCESS FOLLOWING GRADUATION.

He steps away from the microphone. All the debaters laugh nervously.

Annie says HAVING JUST GONE TO THE
PROVINCE'S TALENT AND SKILLS
SYMPOSIUM FILLED WITH BUSINESS
PEOPLE,
ALL BUSINESS PEOPLE,
AND POST SECONDARY PEOPLE
SAYING SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL
SKILLS
ARE THE THING.
WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON THIS
IF WE WANT ENTREPRENEURS,
IF WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE
SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR COMPANIES.
AND THERE WERE PEOPLE THERE FROM
IBM, AND THEY WERE GOING JUST
TEACHING SKILL SKILLS, AND
THEN EVERYTHING CHANGES,
ISN'T ENOUGH.
AND WHAT THEY REALLY NEED
IS PEOPLE THAT CAN KEEP ON
LEARNING, KEEP ON INNOVATING.

She turns to Michelle, who nods.

Annie says SO WE JUST HAVE TO BE CAREFUL
ABOUT DIVIDING, YOU KNOW,
HARD SKILLS FROM SOFT SKILLS
BECAUSE THEY'RE ACTUALLY ALL --
THERE'S A REALLY IMPORTANT,
AND THEY ARE CONCRETE ARRAY
OF SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES
THAT KIDS NEED TO HAVE.
AND THEY'RE PROBABLY LEARNING
THOSE IN THAT SCHOOL, TOO.

Joe says I THINK IT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT.
I MEAN, I THINK -- THE
CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHIEF
EXECUTIVES HAS RELEASED
A REPORT, AND THEY'RE
OVERWHELMINGLY -- THERE'S AN
OVERWHELMING CONSENSUS THAT
THE THINGS CEOs NEED TO BUILD
THEIR BUSINESSES ARE WHAT WE
WOULD CALL THE 21st
CENTURY 'SOFT' SKILLS.
AND I HATE THAT TERM.

Annie says WE'RE GOING TO REBRAND IT.

Scott says PLEASE DO.

Joe says THOSE ARE THE SKILLS THAT WILL
ALLOW PEOPLE TO LEARN NEW
HARD SKILLS.
IF YOU JUST TRAIN EVERYBODY TO
WORK IN A PARTICULAR INDUSTRY
WITH A PARTICULAR SKILL SET OF
HARD SKILLS, THAT CAN BE VERY
INFLEXIBLE FOR A RAPIDLY
CHANGING ECONOMY.
SO WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS
TRAIN YOUNG PEOPLE TO TEACH
THEMSELVES AND TO RELEARN.
AND THOSE SKILLS OF
COOPERATION AND COLLABORATION
AND CREATIVITY AND INQUIRY,
AND DETERMINATION ARE THE
THINGS THAT WILL ALLOW THEM
TO TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR LIVES
AND LEARN NEW HARD
SKILLS IF THEY NEED TO.

Steve says GOTCHA.

He points at another man sitting in the audience.

He says SIR, YOU WANTED TO ASK THE
NEXT QUESTION, I THINK.

The man walks up to the microphone. He’s in his late sixties, with short white hair and a white goatee. He wears glasses and a grey shirt.

He says HI.
MY NAME'S TIM.
I'M A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER,
RECENTLY RETIRED.
I TAUGHT HISTORY
FOR ABOUT 35 YEARS.

Steve asks WHICH BOARD, TIM?

Tim says TORONTO BOARD.

Steve says OKAY.

Tim says NOW YOU'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT
GETTING TEACHERS TO INNOVATE.
ONE OF THE TIMES WHEN TEACHERS
LEARN NEW THINGS, BE IT
TECHNICAL OR NON-TECHNICAL,
IS ON PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT DAYS.
AND ABOUT THREE OR FOUR WEEKS
AGO, THE FRIDAY BEFORE MARCH
BREAK WAS A PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT DAY IN THE TORONTO
BOARD, AND I THINK MOST OF
THE BOARDS ACROSS ONTARIO.
YET, ON THAT PARTICULAR
DAY, THE TEACHERS WERE NOT
PROFESSIONALLY DEVELOPING
THEMSELVES, THEY WERE AT HOME,
OR ELSEWHERE, AND
THEY WERE UNPAID.
AND THAT WAS PART
OF THE CONTRACT.

Steve says BILL 115?

Tim says BILL 115, YEAH.
SO I'M RAISING THE HOARY
SUBJECT OF POLITICS HERE.
I DON'T THINK YOU CAN SEPARATE
WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
IN TERMS OF INNOVATION AND
IMPROVING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
WITHOUT TALKING
ABOUT THE POLITICS.
SO, TO ME, THERE'S A BIT OF A
DISCONNECT IF THE GOVERNMENT
AND THE PUBLIC ARE EXPECTING
TEACHERS TO INNOVATE, YET THE
MESSAGE THEY'RE SENDING IS
THAT THE FIRST PRIORITY IS
TO DEAL WITH THE EDUCATION
BUDGET BECAUSE BILL 115 WAS
ALL ABOUT SHAVING $1.5 BILLION
OFF THE EDUCATION BUDGET

Steve nods.

Tim says LARGELY ON THE BACKS OF
TEACHERS' CONTRACTS.
SO HOW DO YOU
SQUARE THAT CIRCLE?
HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THE
MESSAGE OF YOU WANT TEACHERS
TO INNOVATE, BUT AT THE
SAME TIME YOU'RE SAYING,
YOU'RE NOT REALLY WORTH IT.

Steve turns to Michelle and Jon, and says LET ME ASK THE TWO TEACHERS
HERE VERY DIRECTLY.
MICHELLE, HAVE YOU FORGIVEN
THE ONTARIO LIBERAL GOVERNMENT
YET FOR BILL 115?

Michelle says ABSOLUTELY.
I'M CLEARLY AN OPTIMIST.

Jon grins nervously. He turns to Annie, who laughs.

Michelle says I TAKE WHAT'S PRESENTED
TO ME, AND I MAKE IT WORK.
AND WE NEED TO BE SCRAPPY,
AND WE NEED TO GET IT DONE,
AND WE NEED TO PLAY NICELY.
SO THAT'S THE SITUATION.
AND SINCE 2008, EDUCATION
IS NOT THE ONLY SECTOR
THAT'S HAD A BIT
OF A TOUGH TIME.
SO WE ALL HAVE TO TAKE A PIECE
OF THAT PIE AND SWALLOW IT,
AND IT'S A JAGGED PILL,
IT'S NOT NICE, AND MOVE ON.
SO LET'S MOVE ON.
AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
DOESN'T HAPPEN ON A DAY.
YOU KNOW NOT LIKE, OH, TODAY
IS FRIDAY, AND TODAY WE WILL
SIT AROUND AND WE WILL DEVELOP
OURSELVES PROFESSIONALLY.
THAT'LL BE GREAT.
NO, IT'S SOMETHING WE
HAVE TO BE DILIGENT ABOUT.
IT HAPPENS ONGOING.
AND IT HAPPENS WHEN, IN MY
OPINION, TEACHERS HAVE AN
OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO
OTHER TEACHERS AND PEOPLE
IN OTHER INDUSTRIES.
BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHERE GOOD
IDEAS AND NEW IDEAS COME FROM,
WHEN KIND OF WE
BUMP INTO THINGS.
SO WE MAKE TIME, AND YOU USE
SOCIAL MEDIA TO HELP YOU
CONNECT WITH OTHER TEACHERS.

She turns to Annie.

She says AND ANNIE MENTIONED THE
TEACHER LEARNING AND
LEADERSHIP PROGRAM.
I'VE ALSO BEEN INVOLVED
IN OTHER GRANTS THAT PAIR
INDUSTRY, HIGHER EDUCATION,
CLASSROOM TEACHERS.
WE'RE DOING RESEARCH,
GROUND LEVEL,
WHAT WORKS IN THE CLASSROOM.
AND THOSE GRANTS ALLOW FOR
PURCHASING OF TECHNOLOGY,
ALLOW FOR RELEASE TIME FOR
THAT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
AND ALLOWS FOR ME TO SHARE.

Annie says AND IT'S FUNDED BY THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.

Michelle says AND IT'S FUNDED.

Steve says OKAY, LET ME ASK
JOHN THE SAME THING.
HAVE YOU FORGIVEN THE
LIBERALS YET FOR BILL 115?

Jon says WE HAD THIS CONVERSATION
BEFORE THIS STARTED, AND I
THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY,
I KNOW THAT IT'S EASY TO BE
POLITICAL THROUGH THIS WHOLE
THING, BUT I THINK AT THE END
OF THE DAY, YOU HAVE A
DESIRE TO MEET THOSE KIDS
IN YOUR CLASSROOM.
YOU HAVE A DESIRE TO SORT OF
PUSH THEIR LEARNING FORWARD.
AND I THINK THAT WE CAN GET
HUNG UP ON THE POLITICS OF IT.
WHEN I GO TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY,
AND I'M WORKING WITH THOSE
KIDS, THEY'RE ACTUALLY DRIVING
MY INNOVATION FORWARD BECAUSE
OF WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

Steve says OKAY, YOU TWO
ARE UNUSUAL.
WELL, I SHOULD ASK.
ARE YOU TWO
UNUSUALLY FORGIVING?
WHEN YOU HAVE THESE
CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR
COLLEAGUES, DO THEY FEEL
THE SAME WAY AS YOU DO?

Jon points at himself, and says IN MY SCHOOL, AND I MIGHT
HAVE A UNIQUE SCHOOL,
BUT FOR THE MOST PART,
PEOPLE VALUE THEIR JOB.

Steve asks HAVE THEY MOVED ON?

Jon says THEY'VE MOVED ON.
TO BE HONEST.

Steve says 'COS I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU,
EVERY TIME I TWEET SOMETHING
ABOUT EDUCATION, I GET...
30 TWEETS FROM ANGRY
TEACHERS, 50 TWEETS FROM
ANGRY TEACHERS, WHO SAY,
RAH, RAH, RAH, RAH, RAH, 115.

Michelle says PART OF THAT IS THAT WE
PUT MITTENS ON CHILDREN.
AND I THINK WE'D ALL LIKE THE
PUBLIC TO BE LIKE WE ACTUALLY
REALIZE YOUR WORK IS HARD.
AND I THINK WE'D FEEL A LOT
BETTER ACTUALLY, AFTER THAT.

Steve nods, and turns to Annie.

Annie says I THINK THAT'S A
GOOD POINT, TOO.
AND I THINK IF WE'RE GOING
TO BLAME ANYBODY, WE HAVE TO
ACTUALLY -- THIS IS GOING
TO SOUND STUPID, TOO --
BUT, ANYWAY, WE HAVE TO BLAME
OURSELVES BECAUSE WE HAVE
DECIDED COLLECTIVELY
THAT TAXES ARE EVIL,
THAT WE DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR
OUR PUBLIC GOODS OF WHICH
A HUGE ONE IS EDUCATION.
SO WE'VE DECIDED WE WANT TO
DO EVERYTHING AS CHEAPLY
AS POSSIBLE.
AND IF WE CAN'T UNDERSTAND
THAT INVESTING IN CHILDREN,
YOU KNOW, IF IT WERE THE STOCK
MARKET, EVERYBODY WOULD BE
DOING IT BECAUSE IT'S THE
BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
YOU CAN GET IS THAT INVESTMENT.
IT DOESN'T WORK VERY WELL
BECAUSE IT DOESN'T COME
IN FOUR YEARS.
FIONA NELSON HAD THE GREATEST
LINE GOING 'THE PROBLEM IS
CHILDREN TAKE AN UNCONSCIONABLY
LONG TIME TO GROW UP'.

[laughing]

SO THEN YOU DON'T GET
THAT INSTANT RETURN
THAT YOU WANT POLITICALLY.
BUT WE, AS A SOCIETY, ARE
REALLY DOING OURSELVES A
DISSERVICE BECAUSE WE
DON'T WANT TO SPEND MONEY
ON THINGS ANYMORE.
SO WE CUT IN ORDER TO, YOU
KNOW, AND WE'VE DECIDED
TAXES ARE EVIL.

Steve says IF YOUR PREMIERE IS TO BE
BELIEVED, THERE WILL BE TAX
INCREASES IN THIS NEXT BUDGET
TO PAY FOR THINGS YOU LIKE.

Annie says GOOD.

Steve says WE SHALL SEE.

He points at a man sitting in the audience.

He says YES, PLEASE?

The man approaches the microphone. He’s short, in his late thirties, with short wavy graying hair. He wears black rim glasses and a black shirt.

He says MY NAME IS JASON KUNIN.
I'M A TEACHER WITH THE TORONTO
DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD.
I GUESS BEFORE I BEGIN MY
COMMENT, I WANT TO POINT OUT
FOR DISCUSSION ON INNOVATION,
WE HAVE A STRIKING LACK
OF DIVERSITY ON THE PANEL.
I'LL JUST POINT THAT OUT.
AND WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT INNOVATION --

Steve says JASON, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE
LIKED TO SEE TONIGHT?

Jason PERHAPS, AT LEAST SOME RACIAL
DIVERSITY THAT REFLECTS
THE DIVERSITY OF THE
STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS.
THAT WOULD BE A GOOD
PLACE TO START, I THINK.

Steve nods.

Jason says
AND I THINK IF WE'RE GOING TO
BE TALKING ABOUT INNOVATION,
EQUITY IS A VERY GOOD PLACE
TO BE BEGINNING TO TALK.
NOW, I THINK WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT INNOVATION, WE HAVE TO
BE ASKING THE QUESTION ABOUT
WHAT ARE WE INNOVATING TOWARD?
SO FAR, I'VE BEEN HERE FOR
ABOUT AN HOUR, AND I FEEL A
LOT OF THE DISCUSSION HAS BEEN
TAKING PLACE WITHIN A CERTAIN
PARAMETER, OR TAKING FOR
GRANTED ASSUMPTION THAT WHAT
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT INNOVATING
TOWARDS IS ACCOMMODATING
STUDENTS TOWARD A
PARTICULAR MARKET MODEL.
I'VE HEARD ONE MEMBER OF THE
PANEL TALK ABOUT KIDS AND
SERVICE DELIVERY, AS IF WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT BOOKS ON AMAZON.
AND INNOVATION IN THE SCHOOLS
IS FRAMED IN TERMS OF HOW
MANY JOBS IT'S CREATING
IN THE TECH SECTOR.
AND MAYBE WE NEED TO BE
TALKING ABOUT, RATHER THAN
TALKING ABOUT HOW WE SERVE
STUDENTS, BUT HOW WE EDUCATE
STUDENTS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE
MARKET SYSTEM, WE NEED TO BE
TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS
OF INNOVATIVE PEDAGOGY.
HOW WE TALK ABOUT TEACHING
THEM TO ORGANIZE TO MAKE THE
MARKET SYSTEM SERVE THEM.
WHICH IS WHAT WE'RE
NOT TALKING ABOUT.
IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT
INNOVATION IN SCHOOLS,
I THINK WE NEED TO MOVE OUTSIDE
THE NEO-LIBERAL MODEL THAT
EDUCATION HAS BEEN WORKING
UNDER FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS.
YOU KNOW WHAT INNOVATIVE
IN MY SCHOOL WOULD BE?
ENOUGH CARETAKERS TO KEEP THE
BATHROOMS OPEN ALL DAY LONG.
IT WOULD BE ENOUGH
INFRASTRUCTURE REPAIRS
TO KEEP THE ROOF
FROM LEAKING.

Several people in the audience nod approvingly.

Jason says THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING WHEN
WE TALK ABOUT INNOVATION.
IF WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT HOW
WE'RE GOING TO PREPARE KIDS
FOR LIFE WHEN THEY GRADUATE,
MAYBE WE NEED TO START TALKING
ABOUT FREE UNIVERSITY TUITION
BECAUSE MOST OF MY STUDENTS
ARE TERRIFIED AND EXTREMELY
STRESSED BY THE AMOUNT OF DEBT
THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO
INCUR, BY THE LACK OF JOBS.

Steve interrupts Jason, and says CAN I ASK YOU A VERY
DIRECT QUESTION?
WOULD YOU BE PREPARED TO
SEE YOUR TAXES GO UP
IN ORDER TO PAY
FOR THOSE THINGS?
BECAUSE THOSE THINGS
DO COST MORE MONEY.

Jason says YES, I WOULD.

Steve says YOU WOULD BE?

Jason says YES, I WOULD.
WE HAVE TO ALSO BE TALKING
ABOUT BROADER SOCIAL POLICIES
WITH REGARDS TO WHAT WE'RE
GOING TO FUND AS A SOCIETY.
AND THAT'S NOT JUST
INDIVIDUAL TAXES.
THAT'S NOT JUST PERSONAL TAXES,
I'M TALKING CORPORATE TAXES.
AND IT MEANS REALLY LOOKING
AT THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
THAT OUR KIDS ARE GROWING UP
IN, THAT IS SEEING A WORLD
OF DIMINISHING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM.
AND WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO
TEACH THEM -- IF WE'RE GOING
TO TALK ABOUT INNOVATING --
WE NEED PEOPLE TO TEACH THEM
TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THAT MARKET
BOX, THE SERVICE DELIVERY BOX,
AS IF OUR KIDS AND THEIR
PARENTS ARE CUSTOMERS,
AND WE'RE SERVICE PROVIDERS.

Steve says OKAY.
I GIVE YOU CREDIT FOR THIS.
MOST PEOPLE, WHEN YOU SAY THEY
WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO SPEND
MORE MONEY ON THINGS, THEY
SAY, BUT DON'T RAISE MY TAXES.
AT LEAST YOU HAVE HAD
THE CONSISTENCY TO SAY
RAISE MY TAXES.

Annie nods.

Jason says WE NEED TO START ORGANIZING
TO CHANGE THAT CONVERSATION.
AND IT'S OUR STUDENTS.
DON'T LOOK AT MY
GENERATION TO DO IT.
MY GENERATION IS A WRITE-OFF.

Steve says KEEP WATCHING
WE'LL HAVE A PROGRAM ON THIS
VERY TOPIC IN THE NEXT
COUPLE OF WEEKS.

Jason says EXCELLENT.

Annie says WE'RE GOING TO START A GROUP
CALLED PEOPLE FOR TAXES.

[laughter]

Steve says JASON WILL BE
YOUR FIRST MEMBER.

He points at another person in the audience.

He says YES, PLEASE.

A man approaches the microphone. He’s tall, in his early thirties, with wavy black hair and a black goatee. He wears a checkered green and black shirt.

He says HI THERE.
MY NAME IS ZAIN GHADIALLY.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR NAME, SORRY?

Zain says ZAIN GHADIALLY.
I ALSO WANT TO EXTEND
SOME OF WHAT JASON SAID.
THIS IS TIED TO, ESSENTIALLY,
I THINK WE HAVE A REAL RISK
OF FETISHIZING CONCEPTS,
SUCH AS TECHNOLOGY,
WHEN WE EXAMINE INSTRUMENTS.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE
WORD TECHNOLOGY,
FROM 'LOGOS' AND 'TECHNE'.
IT'S AN APPROACH TO FELLOW
HUMAN BEINGS, HOW WE RELATE
TO EACH OTHER, TO
NATURE AND SO FORTH.
THAT'S REALLY WHAT
TECHNOLOGY IS ABOUT.
SO HUMANS ARE TECHNOLOGICAL
BY THEIR VERY NATURE.
SO WHEN WE SAY YOU ARE GOING
TO USE SOMETHING AND IMPLEMENT
IT, AS IF THAT'S A FANTASY, I
THINK THAT'S A PROBLEM THERE.
I THINK THE REAL ISSUE IS WHEN
WE TALK ABOUT MOTIVATION.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THESE
ASPECTS, WE'VE GOT TO
LOOK AT THE STRUCTURE, THE
FUNDAMENTAL PRACTICES.
WHAT ABOUT TEACHER AUTONOMY?
YOU TALKED ABOUT FINLAND.
THERE'S ENORMOUS
AMOUNTS OF AUTONOMY.
I THINK A NUMBER OF TIMES
STUDENTS MAY BE RISK AVERSE IS
BECAUSE OF GRADES THEMSELVES.
SO WE HAVE A MARKET MODEL
IN PLACE WHICH WE JUST USE
AS A MANTRA.
OH, YOU'RE THIS, IT WORKS
HERE, SO ON AND SO FORTH,
BUT WE DON'T LOOK AT
THE SPECIFICS OF IT.
HOW DOES IT WORK
WITH MOTIVATION?
MANY STUDIES HAVE SHOWN
ACTUALLY IT HINDERS A
MOTIVATION OF A CERTAIN TYPE,
CRITICAL THINKING, LEARNING
AND SO ON, IF YOU JUST HAVE
GRADES ASSIGNED TO IT BECAUSE
YOU KNOW THIS IS WHAT
YOU'VE GOT TO GET,
AND YOU ANSWER TO THAT.
SO THAT'S NOT HOW TO
STRUCTURE, THAT'S NOT REALLY
IN THE HANDS OF TEACHERS.
OFTEN TIMES THESE DECISIONS
ARE MADE SOMEWHERE ELSE.
SO WE DON'T HAVE MUCH SAY IN
THAT DECISION MAKING ITSELF,
WHICH IS VERY CENTRAL.

Steve says WHAT COULD YOU
DO ABOUT THAT?

Zain says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, YOU COULD
HAVE ALL SORTS OF VARIOUS
TEACHER GROUPS.
I ASPIRE, OF COURSE,
TOWARDS WORKERS' DEMOCRACY.
OF COURSE THAT'S A VERY
POLITICAL CONCEPT, BUT AGAIN
IT'S A LEGITIMATE ISSUE
BECAUSE I THINK, FOR ME,
SCHOOLS IS NOT JUST ABOUT
ME; IT'S ABOUT STUDENTS.
IT'S ACTUALLY A PLACE, A
RELATION BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS.

Steve says BUT THAT'S WHAT THE UNION
LEADERS, I THINK, SEE THEIR
JOB AS BEING, TO REPRESENT
TEACHERS TO THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT ON MORE THAN
JUST CONTRACT ISSUES,
ON EDUCATION
ISSUES, AS WELL.

Zain says THAT'S TRUE.
BUT ON A DAILY BASIS, IT'S
ESSENTIALLY THE RANK AND FILE
WHO DO THE THINGS, RIGHT?
SO THAT HAS TO BE PART OF THAT
WHOLE PROCESS IN TERMS OF HOW
WE DESIGN, HOW WE HAVE
THESE DISCUSSIONS.
OFTENTIMES, WE OFTEN FEEL
IT'S A TOP-DOWN PROCESS.
THAT WE MAY WANT TO GO IN
THESE DIRECTIONS, BUT WE CAN'T.
AND I THINK, OFTENTIMES,
YOU HAVE INNOVATION THROUGH
VARIOUS DISCUSSIONS.
SIMPLY BY SAYING, COMPETITION
WILL LEAD TO SO AND SO,
I THINK IT'S FAIRLY SIMPLISTIC,
RIGHT, AND WE'VE SEEN THAT.
SO I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE...

Steve says OKAY, ZAIN, THANKS
FOR THE COMMENT.
I WANT TO SAVE TIME FOR SOME
INFORMAL CONVERSATION, AS WELL.
SO LET'S DO ONE
MORE QUESTION.

He points at a man sitting in the audience.

He says GENTLEMAN RIGHT HERE,
TO THE MICROPHONE.
AND THEN -

He nods. The man approaches the microphone. He’s tall, in his early thirties, with wavy black hair and a boxed beard with mutton chops. He wears a gray suit, lilac shirt and matching striped tie.

The man says THANK YOU.
MY NAME IS HAMOON.
I RUN AN INITIATIVE RIGHT HERE
AT MARS DISCOVERY DISTRICT
CALLED STUDIO Y, WHICH IS
ACTUALLY FOCUSSED ON BRINGING
YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ACROSS
ONTARIO TOGETHER AND
EXPERIMENTING WITH THESE THINGS
AROUND FUTURE OF LEARNING
AND EDUCATION.
A QUICK COMMENT, AND THEN AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE THAT
I'D LOVE THE
PANEL'S HELP WITH.

Steve says SURE.

Hamoon says THE COMMENT IS, I'M NOT SURE
WHY WE WERE HAVING A PANEL

He points at Michelle.

He says RATHER THAN RUNNING YOUR
CAMPAIGN TO BECOME
MINISTER OF EDUCATION.

[laughing]

SO THAT'S THE COMMENT.
AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY, THIS
MORNING I WAS IN MONTREAL
PRESENTING TO AN EXPERT PANEL
ON SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE
OF CANADA.
RELEVANT TO THIS CONVERSATION.
COVERED ALMOST ALL OF THE THEMES
YOU'VE BEEN SPEAKING ABOUT.
POINTED TO REPORTS FROM THE
COUNCIL OF CHIEF EXECUTIVES,
FROM CONFERENCE
BOARD, ALL OVER.
LOVED IT.
THEIR RESPONSE WAS WE CAN'T
INCLUDE THIS IN OUR REPORT.
WE'RE ONLY GOING TO FOCUS ON
STEM SKILLS BECAUSE THERE'S
NOT ACADEMICALLY VALIDATED
RESEARCH TO SUPPORT ALL OF
THIS METASKILLS.

Annie gasps.

Hamoon says ALL OF THIS STUFF WE'VE
BEEN TALKING ABOUT.
I HAVE A SUBMISSION DUE
TO THEM AS A FOLLOW-UP
IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
I'D LOVE SOME REFERENCES
TOWARDS ACADEMICALLY
VALIDATED, REAR-VIEW MIRROR
TYPE RESEARCH TALKS ABOUT.

Steve says GOOD STUFF.
THANK YOU, HAMOON.

He gets up, walks up to the microphone, and takes it.

He says MEREDITH, WHY DON'T YOU COME
ON UP AND WRAP THIS THING UP
HERE BECAUSE YOU SO
SKILLFULLY PRODUCED IT.

Annie says BECAUSE YOU LOVE
MAKING SPEECHES.

Meredith walks up to Steve and takes the microphone.

[applause]

She faces the audience.

She says SO I'VE BEEN ASKED TO REMIND
EVERYBODY THAT TVO IS NOT
FULLY FUNDED BY THE
GOVERNMENT, SO YOU ALL HAVE
A PAMPHLET ON YOUR CHAIR, SO
IF YOU'D LIKE TO BECOME A
MEMBER, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
AND WE WANTED TO THANKS
MARS FOR THE LOVELY VENUE.

She grins and claps her hands.

[applause]

She says AND OUR PANELISTS,
AND THAT'S IT.
ANY SUGGESTIONS, OR COMMENTS
OR IDEAS OF OTHER MEET-UPS YOU'D
LIKE THE SEE, OR HOW YOU FELT
ABOUT THIS ONE, YOU CAN LEAVE
A COMMENT AT THE BACK.

She gestures vaguely towards the back of the classroom.

She says SO ENJOY.

Steve says GREAT.
THANKS, MEREDITH.

[applause]

A caption appears on the screen. It reads “Special thanks to our community partner, MaRS. Marsdd.com”
Steve greets each one of the panelists.
Another caption appears on the screen. It reads “Connect with The Agenda.” Next to the Twitter logo, the address @TheAgenda. Below, the YouTube logo appears next to the address youtube.com/theagenda and below that, the Facebook logo appears next to the address facebook.com/theagenda
An assistant helps the panelists take off their wearable micrphones.
Logos appear on the screen: Unifor Local 72M, Canadian Media Guild.
The TVO logo appears. Copyright, the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, 2014.

Watch: Government's Role in Education Innovation