Our Kids
Glen Herbert - Editor

Glen Herbert
Editor/Writer, Our Kids Media

February, 2020

“What’s it like?” says astronaut Buzz Aldrin, is the “most obvious, inevitable question” he’s been asked in the 50 years since Apollo 11. He also grumbles that it’s the hardest to answer. “What did it feel like? What were your thoughts and feelings as you walked on the moon?” He seems to resent those questions, as he notes in his book Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, saying that he wasn’t up there to feel feelings and think thoughts, but to fly the ship.

Still, that’s what people want to know. In my experience, the same is true of private schooling. Parents and students want to know what it’s like. Not in a general way (“What’s it like to go to private school?”) but in a specific one (“What’s it like to go to Brentwood College?”) As with Buzz Aldrin talking about his experience on the moon, it’s also those kinds of questions that schools are less inclined or able to answer well. Some things are just more authoritatively and convincingly expressed by others.

Ultimately, that’s what the feature reviews were designed to do: to give a sense of the personalities, the character, the sights and smells that animate the life of a school. They’re not reviews in the sense of good and bad, but in the sense of detailed profiles, giving a broad outline and, as much as possible, then filling it in. Readers appreciate them—they’re on the site, in the family-facing mailings, and more recently as excerpted within the annual guide—because they offer an important perspective that schools can’t convincingly give about themselves. To the same end, we’ve been developing a series of capsule video reviews, which will grant some legs to the project, enhancing uptake and delivery through social media feeds.

The series of feature reviews grows monthly, with 25 currently in print. Meadowridge School is the latest, with Columbia International College and Crestwood Preparatory College publishing soon. If you’d like sample copies, let me know by responding to this email and we’ll be sure to get them to you.

In other news

Emotion and Cognition in the Age of AI
New research from Microsoft Education and The Economist

As artificial intelligence transforms the labor market, the importance of human skills like creativity, interpersonal understanding, and empathy become more valuable. Educators play a key role in developing skills which contribute to well-being. This international research explores how education professionals are prioritizing and approaching student well-being.

  • Our Kids' expert advice was featured in The Globe and Mail supplement on private and independent education. If you missed the hardcopy, you can find a digital version here.

  • The Annual Report is now available. The report outlines our vision for the Our Kids platform, and our strategy for increasing the strength and value of your membership in 2020.

  • A big thank you to everyone who participated in the School Member Survey. FitBit winners are …. [drum roll please!] … Jane Phillips of Bond Academy, and Tessa Riley of Briercrest Christian Academy.

  • The Our Take reviews continue to be a popular and well-regarded aspect of the platform. There are in excess of 350 now live to the site, with more being added weekly. You can find yours on your profile page, with the mini-profiles, as well as on the school review hub.

Copyright © 2020 Our Kids Media, All rights reserved