Skeletons in Our Collective Closet

An article in the New Yorker, The Skeletons at the Lake (December 14, 2020), draws together several exciting historical currents, linking them through recent discoveries in archeological genetics. PIE, if you are not familiar, is the study of Proto-Indo-European languages, a discovery by an 18th century Anlgo-Welsh colonial administrator and pioneering philologist in Bengal, William […]

Lessons from Math Class

For insight into the art of teaching as well as the use of technology in education, I’ve been diving into the dynamic microworld of the study of the use of curricular resources in mathematics (Fan, Trouche, Qi, Rezat & Visnovska, 2018). Theses researchers use video footage from classrooms to study in forensic detail what actually […]


Jeremy Scrivens writes about the importance of being authentic on social media. I get what he means, but the language is flawed. From what I understand authenticity is tailor-made for our modern context, an affectation epitomized by a Coke commercial or a ripped pair of jeans. Similar to early modernist painters’ preoccupation with primitivism, authenticity […]

In This Place…

In 1998, when I was a student at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, I had the privilege of being the curatorial intern at the NSCAD gallery during the first survey exhibit of Black artists in Nova Scotia. After the opening at NSCAD, I traveled the province with curator David Woods, hanging the […]

The Universe in a Pixel of Sand

I was already thinking about self-organizing systems and emergence when I discovered the amazing Reddit Place collaborative art experiment that recently played out on the internet starting on April 1st. Contributors were invited to place one pixel on a 1000 x 1000 pixel blank canvas, and permitted to add additional pixels only after waiting for several […]

Discovering Algebra

It has been the plaintive cry of generations of high school students – What do I even need algebra for anyway? Or trigonometry? And it’s a legitimate question: Before educators talk about how best to teach or learn algebra, we should talk about if and why we need it in the first place. Because this […]

Activity Theory

I’ve just finished a first semester of a Masters in Educational Technology from UBC. One of the great pleasures of my first classes was exploring the theoretical frameworks that support ideas I’ve been thinking about for years as I have been exploring the world of education as a filmmaker and an entrepreneur. The research approach […]

All the World’s Futures

All the World’s Futures I’ve been dreaming of going to Venice to see the 56th Biennale. I was in Venice in 2005 and the artwork on display at the 51st Biennale was aloof and otherworldly — interesting, but in the way of a trip to the moon. This year, by all accounts, the vibe is […]

Art In My Back Yard

Art In My Back Yard Two monstrous sculptures have been on my mind lately. The first is the giant pair of sunglasses installed in Cape Town by South African artist Michael Elion; the other an eight-story-tall, as yet unrealized, Mother Canada figure envisioned for a rocky outcrop near my family home in northern Cape Breton, […]

The Broken Compass

Th Broken Compass I have lived in four different countries in the last eight years, and because I’m a parent, that means I have spent a fair bit of time learning about and navigating through a variety of schools, each with their own take on the meaning and practice of quality education. I always try […]