Canada is a vast country with an estimated 8 000 km of highway separating St. John’s, Newfoundland in the East from Whitehorse in the Northwest. Add to that the geographical, economic, political and cultural diversity that both grounds and confounds our sense of identity and you begin to realize why national conversations are important.
voicEd.ca is an attempt to create a place where some of that conversation can take place. Gathering around a commitment to quality education and schooling, voicEd.ca is being imagined as a multi-author virtual space where participants—parents, students, teachers, administrators, policy-makers, community-members—can express their deepest hopes and dreams for Canadian education, speak openly about issues and concerns and work to craft a common vision of our national learning systems as we move further into the 21st century.
Norms of Interaction
We know that conversations around something as important as education, especially publicly-funded education, are never simple and are almost always steeped in personal experiences that have resulted in the assumptions and attitudes that we hold . We may not be able to check any of these at the door, but we can be honest about them, help each other to recognize them and, if necessary, temporarily set them aside in order to move conversations forward.
voicEd.ca is not an attempt to get everyone to agree with each other on every issue related to education. But it is imagined to be a place where all perspectives can be given voice, valued and respected. This will mean that certain norms of interaction will need to be established. More on that in the days to come.
At its very core, voicEd.ca is a place of dialogue, not monologue. While options will be provided in the near future to draw in more voices from across the country through cross-posting and tag aggregation, it would be great if authors could get to know each other by contributing short pieces around some common themes.
Becoming a voicEd.ca Author
If you’re interested in registering in the voicEd.ca initiative as an author, especially in these early stages of development, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you set up with a username and password. That way you can go about creating a profile and get started on some writing.
I’m hoping that there are some early adopters in this regard, so that I can test the “multi-authorness” of the site.
Over the next week and a half, the initial site will continue to be developed. As authors come on board, their profiles will be posted and initial entries written. The official launch date, complete with initial content, is scheduled for March 15, 2012.
As the initiative progresses, please feel free to make suggestions around the design of the site. Artistic, technical and other support are always appreciated.
So here we are at the beginning of an exciting adventure. I hope that you take time to come back over the next couple of weeks to check in and see what is beginning as a very tiny seed come alive!
Welcome to voicEd.ca, a gathering place for Voices in Canadian Education. I hope that includes your voice!