Next NB

I received an email the other day, inviting me to participate in “A Covenant With Our Children – Education in New Brunswick”. This is described as a public forum to discuss what we teach and how we can better nurture a culture of learning with both parents, students, teachers and communities in New Brunswick. It will be held on September 14, 2004 at 7 p.m.
Tweedie Hall, Mount Allison University.

In reading through the Next NB website, I remarked on a few things. First, the article (PDF) that mentions Sackville is somewhat dated, and has inaccuracies, such as missing the fact that the Vogue Cinema is actually a private business that supports the Sackville Film Society, not vice versa. Second, the discussion forum is not easy to use, does not have an RSS feed, trackbacks or permalinks; so it doesn’t integrate well with other blogs – and that is my primary concern. There are already a number of conversations about education in NB happening on the internet, let me list a few blogs:

UNB, the sponsor of the Next NB initiative states that, “It is time for New Brunswickers to talk to each other.” Guess what – we’re already talking to each other, and maybe you’re not listening.

I have not had comments or input from Next NB on any of my posts about education (one-room schools, laptops in schools, goals), nor do they link to any other conversations in the province.

This focus on the province alone is another problem that I see with the initiative. There are interesting conversations on PEI and in Nova Scotia. Living in Sackville, I am only 8 km from the NS border, but I am only allowed to think of myself as New Brunswicker – I think not.

Anyway, I know this sounds like a bit of a rant, but please correct me if I am wrong. Has any blogger received input from NextNB? What do you think of their approach? I intend to invite them into the many conversations that are ongoing in the region and the blogosphere. Maybe they just haven’t read The Cluetrain.

One more thing – why do they have to have meetings in early September when many parents of school age children are signing kids up for extra curricular activities? Bad timing.

Update: I submitted a comment to the NextNB discussion forum on education. Not sure if the HTML will work, but tried it anyway. On submitting my comment, I received this message:

Confirmation / Confirmation

Thank you for choosing SNB Online. / Merci d’avoir choisi SNB en ligne.
Below is a summary of your order to keep for your records. / Vous trouverez ci-dessous le sommaire de votre commande. Conservez-le dans vos dossiers.
Order # / Numéro de la commande: 355160
Date of Order / Date de la commande: 2004-09-13
Item # / Article no: UNB8003
Name / Nom: Post a Comment re. Next NB / Afficher un commentaire sur Avenir N-B

Thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion. / Nous vous remercions d’avoir pris le temps de nous faire part de votre opinion.

Click here to return to the Next NB Discussion Forum. / Cliquer ici pour retourner au groupe de discussion de Avenir N-B.

I didn’t know that submitting a comment constituted an order for services from SNB; and now my comment waits patiently in the government-funded line up. Now this is a great way to get the conversation flowing 😉

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