It’s late February as we go to press, and already a few brave shoots are showing in the more sheltered corners of my garden. What will thrive and spread? What will get killed off by the next blast of winter? What will survive, but never really take hold? I love this stage of early spring promise, which is all about possibility.
This issue of Education Canada considers signals of change: developments and trends, within and without our sector, that may not be a big force in education right now but have the potential to change how we teach and learn. The idea grew out of last year’s EdCan Network Regional Exchanges; read Stephen Hurley’s column for some background on those Exchanges and the articles that they inspired.
These signals of change are varied indeed. Chris Cluff proposes that micro-credentialing, now common in business settings, could open the door to a more personalized, flexible education system that allows students to earn credit for a wider variety of learning activities. Michael Fox discusses how one small rural community developed a vision for their own education; could this signal a shift to community-based education planning? And in the category of sci-fi turned real, Lora Appel shows how Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence is already being applied to personalized training for health professionals, and imagines how further development could transform our education possibilities.
There were so many more ideas that we invited some Regional Exchange participants to briefly discuss a signal of their choice. More of these signals will be featured in our online version.
You won’t find a lot of how-to recipes or best practice recommendations in our theme articles this issue. For most of these emerging signals, the how-to hasn’t been figured out yet. Instead, we invite you to imagine, to get inspired, to prepare the ground. That’s what the spring is for, after all.
P.S. With this issue we say goodbye to Yolande Nantel, who has been the outstanding editor of our French articles for seven years. It has been a great pleasure to work with Yolande, and I am very sorry to see her go. But our francophone readers are in great hands with Yolande’s replacement, Jean-Claude Bergeron. Jean-Claude brings a wealth of experience in both education and editing, and I look forward to working with him to make Education Canada an inspiring, relevant, and useful bilingual resource.
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Photo: Dave Donald
First published in Education Canada, March 2018