Message from Naheed Bardai, Middle Division head
At these events, we usually have various updates from students and teachers, as well as short talks on interesting and relevant issues. I wanted to cordially invite all of our parents to join us for this event, which starts at 8:30 a.m., as a great opportunity to engage in student life on campus.
Two weeks ago, in an effort to enhance student participation at these events, we tried to experiment with technology by having a group of six to eight students provide live commentary on what’s being shared. What they write on their laptops is projected on to a screen, like a Twitter feed. On that occasion, as I spoke about goal setting and the United Nations’ Sustainable Goals, students were able to give their thoughts and opinions on what I was sharing. Their comments were then shared on a Haiku site called Middle Division Students along with some probing questions. All students are then able to comment on the probing questions, sharing their thoughts and perspectives. As all of you have access to Haiku, so I encourage you to check out the site and see the discussions taking place.
In the spirit of making assemblies a space where we can debate issues of importance, we have a very special elections assembly taking place on Friday from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Our history and geography department has invited the federal candidates for Toronto-St. Paul to present their platforms. We’re pleased to let you know that Noah Richler from the NDP, Carolyn Bennett from the Liberals and Kevin Farmer from the Green Party have confirmed their attendance. The Conservatives were invited but declined to attend. Students will moderate the conversation and ask questions of the candidates. This is a wonderful opportunity for our boys to be active citizens and participate in the democratic process.
If you can’t make it to this week’s assembly, we have a way for you to still be part of the conversation. Similar to what happened two weeks ago, 12 Form 7 boys will provide live commentary online as the candidates are speaking. They’re being assigned three distinct roles:
• Summarizer: restating the speakers’ main points
• Questioner: given what’s being presented, how does it affect us? What other things should be considered? I wonder if … I believe …
• Researcher: actively researching relevant websites and statistics to support or refute what’s being said
Students will record their thoughts on five different online streams, one for each speaker. If you access these links during the assembly, you’ll be able to see the students contribute to the discussion live. After 9:45 a.m., the links will provide a record of student commentary of Friday’s assembly.
I hope you have the opportunity to either attend the assembly or follow our online commentary. Don’t forget to vote on Monday, Oct. 19.