Day One in Fredericton — Work & Fun
Jeff Whipple, Me, and Gary Gallant.

All I can think to say is WOW! WOW! WOW!  I met and got to know a number of folks from the New Brunswick Department of Education this morning over breakfast.  I was struck immediately with a down home relaxed nature among the provincial leaders, especially considering that they are putting on a conference tomorrow.  In a few minutes I felt at home with friends. 

Afterward, we went to Nashwaaksis Middle School, one of the 1:1 exploratory initiatives of the province, and home base for technology mentor and edublogger,  Jeff Wipple and vice principal and Antarctic explorer, Gary Gallant.  I won’t go into details now.  To much to say, and I’m tired.  Sufice it to say that my jaw was on the ground for most of the morning visiting classrooms in the middle school and Leo Hayes High School.

After school visits (which I’ll talk about later), Jeff and I drove out to his uncle’s farm to learn about maple shacking.  I think that’s the term (please correct me Jeff).  It was just like my 4th grade social studies class.  You drive a special stake in the maple tree, hand a pale from it, with a tin tent over the pale.  Then you take the sap, boil it down, and you have syrup.  Ernie and his two certified maple syrup experts (don’t remember their names) shared the details. really impressed me was Ernie’s airport.  There are two terminals, though terminal 2 is actually the out house.  There are lights (solar), a radio, weather station, and pay phone equiped with an authentic bullet hole from an eager hunter.  He also has a hanger with one working air plane, a helecopter, one disassembled airplane, an ultralight, and scale model of a DC-9 passenger jet.

It was a great visit and a wonderful break from the job.  Thanks Jeff and Ernie, and thanks Ernie’s wife, Lauren, for the coffee and Poppy cakes.

7 thoughts on “Day One in Fredericton — Work & Fun”

  1. A visit to New Brunswick back in 2003 changed my teaching practice forever. The collaborative learning I saw was inspiring and the teachers were already handing over control to the learners to determine where learning went next – something I’m still having to convince teachers elsewhere in the world about.

    Enjoy your stay – j’espère que ton français sera utilisé au moins un tout petit peu!

  2. Hi David, my name is Roberto Gauvin ( and I’m the (lucky) principal of “Centre d’@pprentissage du Haut-Madawaska” ( a K-8 school in northern New-Brunswick. I will be in Fredericton next week to listen to your presentation.

    As for learning using weblogs, may I suggest Danis Michaud’s blog. Her students are using weblogs and Flickr (and many more…) to complete their science experiments. Sometimes the quality of these project can be impressive.

    Danis’ weblog :

    Here are 3 examples from student’s :

    Looking foward to meet you…

  3. Hello David,
    Great to hear from you at the Crowne Plaza in Fredericton today. I am a Technology mentor in one of the New Brunswick school districts and was quite interested in your reference to as I have recently self-published a couple of children’s books at Lulu (I am a 28 year veteran of NB elementary teaching) and have never come across anyone else who had ever heard of the place! The frustration for those of us at the elementary level is, not so much preparing our students for their adult life and the careers they will embark on, as it is preparing them for the way they will be learning in middle and high school. It is true that SHIFT HAPPENS and it happens too fast for us to keep up, but WOW what a thrill as we run alongside the technology, trying to keep up and realizing the excitement of learning about the world. Thanks for feeding us from your visions. Thanks for giving me a chance to pass along my two cents worth.
    Dave Mulford

  4. Hi David, Thanks again for your presentation this morning. I made a connection with Toffler as power was obtained in the past with force, then it was money and then, information. It seems to me now that power will be with collaboration between people.

    Sorry for the links that I left yesterday in my comment. Some part of the url were missing. The correct links are ;

    Thanks again !!!

  5. Far be it from me to correct you on anything….but I’m wondering if you meant to describe Maple Sapping as opposed to Maple Shacking.

    Here in Maine the process goes by a number of names: tapping, or most commonly “Sugaring.” In fact were are celebrating Maple Sugar Sunday here tomorrow and this is the first time in several years when we appear to be dead in the middle of the season. Given our “global climate change” the sugaring season has been getting earlier and earlier, but this year with a late freeze and three large snow storms, the last one on the first day of spring, the sap has only be “running” for a few weeks. Al Gore please take note!

    Glad you had a fine time in Fredericton NB with our wonderful “neighbors to the North.” You need to come back in the summer and enjoy some of the wonderful things to do in NB, and then come back to Maine again.

    Think Spring!

    PS: And please do post more flower pictures!

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