14th Conference Commonwealth Education Ministers
Student Technology Involvement

This is being developed as we produce the final concept for schools to get involved in the 14th Conference of Commonwealth Ministers of Education to be held in Halifax in late November.

The idea being developed is to co-ordinate the building of a major website based on the Commonwealth nations. Each Board will coordinate within the context of a GrassRoots Block project, their portion of the website. Each portion will feature a similar geographic area with about 6-10 nations in each area. 

A template structure will be developed that will allow teachers to easily work on the base outline for each nation such that common components will be achieved by all Block projects. This will then allow LRT to develop at the provincial level a front end to the site and links to all nations.

As this has just been proposed, a lot of the details are still in flux and will be firmed up shortly. This is a vehicle to allow you all to stay in the picture with the concept and proposal progression.

The first draft of the concept is here for your discussion.

Situation Overview

The Nov 26th to 29th conference will be held in Halifax, NS and it is the intent of the NS Dept of Education to showcase student involvement in technology here in Nova Scotia. The desire is to also include interaction between Nova Scotia students and those in the member nations of the Commonwealth with some live interaction on one of the conference days. The selected student target audience is senior high history students in member nations.


Tasking for involved participants are as follows:

1. Learning Resources & Technology, at the Nova Scotia Dept of Education, is tasked with coordinating both a website development of Commonwealth nations in selected NS schools as well as organizing an interactive web board exchange on a yet to be determined date during the conference.

2. CCEM Planning Committee is tasked to coordinate with the Commonwealth of Learning for a school from each member nation to act as the point of email contact for the NS students as well as to participate in the web board chat session, as deemed appropriate. Selected schools will also need to be able to connect by both email and internet browser.

3. CCEM Planning Committee is tasked with any student activities that flow from the request of the Secretary General to meet with students during the conference.

4. School Boards will be requested to provide a school, or group of school teachers who will be tasked with the creation of a website outlining the base information on each member nation.

5. GrassRoots Nova Scotia will coordinate the assignment of a Block project, in cooperation with the School Board GrassRoots coordinator to the selected group of teachers in each Board.

6. Lead teachers will coordinate the 7 other sub projects in their Board to produce, post and debug a website as assigned by Nov 15th, 2000 Each Board will be assigned a specific geographic delineation of nations. The lead teacher will also coordinate live web board sessions on the selected day of the conference to ensure students are actively involved.

7. Teachers in the group are tasked with ensuring completion of their portion of the web site by a designated time to permit the lead teacher to post, debug and host the site by the Nov 15th deadline. The teacher should also be prepared to support students involved in the live portion of the web board on the selected day of the conference.

Process for Implementation

Web site development

1. LRT will select by Board the list of nations for the websites based upon geographic distribution and a sharing of the requirement as evenly as possible to each GrassRoot Block project. LRT will produce by Sept 15th a template in html format for each national webpage development as well as the overall site front end. The template may be added to by project groups as interest, web design ability and time permits..

2. Board GrassRoots coordinator, or designated person, will locate by Sept 15th, and brief a group of 8 teachers locally to develop their web site and select student participants in the web board session. They will also ensure that a GrassRoots proposal has been sent using the http://grassroots.ednet.ns.ca by Sept 22nd and when received by the Board approved immediately so that work may progress without delay.

3. The lead teacher is to hold a coordination meeting of all local teachers involved by Sept 18th after receiving notification of selection by the Board and to complete the GrassRoots proposal by Sept 22nd. Work is to commence immediately in all sub groups with email contact made by students with the designated member school by Sept 30th at the latest.

4. Board coordinators will ensure that bi weekly checks are made with designated lead teachers to ensure support is timely and available to ensure the Nov 15th posting deadline.

5. All images used in the preparation of the web sites must be in keeping with copyright requirements and project participants are to ensure that this is followed accordingly. Source permissions are to be in written or electronic means and kept on file at each project site.

6. All sites are to be built in accordance with HTML version 4 standards and no additional code, that might preclude some viewers from browsing due to incompatible coding, is to be undertaken.

7. Board GrassRoots coordinators are to be contacted immediately if any situation arises that might delay the Nov 15th completion. LRT is to be advised by the Board of any such notification.

Web Board Development

1. LRT will cordinate production of a working web board for use by project staff by 30th Sept. to allow all selected groups to share information, concerns, and solution with the project manager at LRT as well as other participants. This will allow a threaded discussion to address problems and solutions in a timely manner.. This web board will be in addition to the Conference web board

2. LRT will created by Nov 15th for testing by Nova Scotia schools and member nation schools prior to the conference. This will require moderated discussion as well as logins for each member's school.

3. LRT will coordinate, setup and provide hardware, software and technical on site support during the selected conference day session for the web board session. LRT will provide a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of five (5) stations for delegate interaction on site. A projector view will also be provided for discussion viewing by delegates.

4. CCEM committee designated personnel will coordinate, in conjunction with the lead teachers, all student activities to allow student participation at the on site web board stations.

Spending Authority

1. Each Block project has $5500.00 allocated to it with a 30% upfront funding to address initial needs for startup. All 30% funds will be distributed for this GrassRoots project only immediately upon receipt and approval by the Board once LRT has been notified after Sept 22nd. All other GrassRoots procedures and practices are in place and are to followed. Details for all concerned are at http://grassroots.ednet.ns.ca By following the support link.

2. Accounting for funds is as outlined at the GrassRoots Nova Scotia website, essentially in accordance with established school criteria for local purchases.


1. Due to the nature of this project for successful and timely completion, lead teachers are to contact sub project teachers weekly to obtain updates and ensure open lines of communication.

2. Board co-ordinators are to discuss weekly with the lead teacher any issues that are reported to the lead teacher by other teachers and to resolve them locally, if possible.

3. Board Coordinators are to email weekly to the LRT project manager any suggestions, concerns or requests for assistance in keeping the project on target. The LRT coordinator will be available any time during regular workdays additionally.

4. Final reports in accordance with GrassRoots must also be done after the project completion in order to fulfill all GrassRoots funding requirements.

Board Allocation

If the existing GrassRoots system is used, then the table below shows the current situation as of Aug 20th, 2000.

Board GrassRoots Coordinator Contact Number
Annapolis Valley Dave Jones 538-4648
Cape Breton-Victoria Rick Simm 794-6232
Chignecto-Central BlairMacKinnon 897-8954
Conseil scolaire acadien Charles Alain 433-7042
Mobile: 471-9927
Halifax Regional John Stewart 489-4107

Nancy MacDonald - South Shore
Bill Curry - Tri County

Strait Phil Hall 625-7072