Reinvigorating the Voice
voicEd.ca—Welcome and Welcome Back
As the final remnants of this long Canadian winter finally give way to the warmth of a Spring sun, there is a noticeable change in the movement of people in schools and other communities right across this country. Shoulders accustomed to heaving bags ice-melting salts, are now laden with bags of soil. Snow shovels are now making way for garden hoes. Sleds and toboggans are now being traded in for skateboards and scooters!
A perfect time to take a look at revitalizing and re-energizing this space for conversation about Canadian education—in all its wonderful complexity.
voicEd.ca was started just over two years ago with a vision to provide a gathering place for emerging voices thinking and writing about our schools, our school systems and the highest aspirations we have for the education of our citizens. At that time, I was becoming more aware of the echo chambers that seemed to be forming around issues and events on the Canadian scene and more than a little disheartened by some of the polarization that seemed to be taking place in certain corners of the web. A call for participation was greeted with excitement and anticipation and, in the beginning, the energy was high.
I have to admit that, for a variety of reasons, voicEd.ca has lain fallow for a good portion of this year. The initiative has lost a certain amount of steam and the time has come to make a decision as to its future.
A few weeks ago, two notices appeared in my mail stream. The first was an invoice to renew the voicEd.ca domain name. The second was a letter from the Milton Minor Baseball Association asking whether voicEd.ca was considering sponsoring another Little League baseball team this year.
Although voicEd.ca has no revenue stream, I said “YES” to both notices and, as a result, have decided to move forward with this initiative in some new ways.
So, here are some of the things that voicEd.ca will be offering contributors and visitors under its soon-to-be-redesigned interface—all at no cost!
An opportunity to raise your voice on a number of issues related to all levels of education and schooling in Canada
When you sign up as a contributor, you will have full access to post your own content whenever you wish. You may wish to post new blog material, cross-post from your own site or participate in one of the many collaborative conversations that will emerge in the very near future.
You may also wish to contribute a podcast, a video clip or even a graphic related to your ideas and insights.
And don’t feel that you have to be an educator to participate. In fact, the voices of parents, policy-level thinkers, students and members of the wider Canadian community are vital to the conversations here. No matter what your role, your perspective or your stance, we would like to have you join us.
For those who wish to make their views known without committing to direct contributions, a series of regular polls will allow you to raise your voice in a different way!
A chance to have your own content curated on voicEd.ca
If you feel that you don’t have time to commit to being a direct contributor, we would still love to include you in the voicEd.ca space through our Scoop.it content curation page. Signing up as a curated contributor will give you the right to have your tweets and blog contributions automatically added to a special spot on the voicEd.ca site. An excellent way for others to connect with your work in a centralized spot.
A special media gallery to provoke, inspire and generate thinking
There is so much education-related content generated daily and posted in a wide variety of places. Both visitors and contributors will have the ability to contribute to and access an emerging library of video and audio content that might just get you thinking in a different way. Perhaps you need a video clip for your next student council meeting, staff gathering or community event. voicEd.ca seeks to become an important portal for resources that might just fit the bill!
A place to post news about an upcoming event
Planning a conference, an EdCamp or something that might be of interest to others? Consider voicEd.ca as one more way for you to get the word out! In the next few weeks, a submission form to outline details that you wish published will be available.
So, if you’re looking to connect with others who are just as passionate about Canadian education as you are, consider becoming part of the voicEd.ca community. If you’re already a member, look for an email from me in the next couple of days outlining how you can continue to contribute to this important conversation.
I can be reached in a number of ways, including: