bird’s eye view – medium

note: if any links come up: oops for wetpaint, change wetpaint to wikifoundry in the url.

bird’s eye view of a quiet revolution – [actual doc]

via disruption

spring 2009
opportunity #1:
7 hours a day, 5 days a week, brilliant teachers and potentially innovative students gather in a building. The teachers present excellent lessons. On average, student engagement is slim.
belief: most perceived problems in school: haven’t found students (or teachers) passion.
video of the situation

observation (findings):
Mentally – and physically – very hard to stay in a building 7 hours – in classes 6 – engaged. Teachers forget that when students are in their room – they have been or are going to 5 more hours of class. Students don’t realize the time and energy teachers have put into each lesson, and that they too are working off a prescription of what someone else has determined is needed to be known/learned.

commonly professed data:
Engagement/motivation comes from many things but two in particular: passion and progress (and in many cases – unlearning school.)

possible cure:
Students choose projects and determine their own pacing, self-direct their learning.

fall 2009
how it played out:
120 Pre-AP Alg students given the choice to take an open sourced version. 30 respond, (why only 30? many said they missed the mtg and/or they weren’t interested because they thought the entire course was going to be online, some too scared of risking their test-taking abilities.)
student engagement through picking their own groups (not confined by geography), their own research/means to learn math, their own project to see it in action.
After one very pumped up quarter 1, and one very messy qtr 2, we gained invaluable lessons for future tweaking.
1. In order for this to work, their needs to be passion, progress, and self-motivation
2. Out of 30 kids, I can guarantee school math is not their passion. They may be good at it, but it’s not their passion.

open sourced pre al2 course 2009-2010

editable syllabus

grid to do boxed math

explanation of grid
video of this pilot class



spring 2010
opportunity #2:
We’re on a mission to redefine school.. so that it is more like real life.
One of our goals is to have a process/tool in place to displace standardized tests by may 2011.
It would help the validation of this tool/process if more joined in our project
fall 2010.

tsd innovation lab – ground 1 fall 2010 for district
1. kids create own course, petition for approval of their design previous semester
2. students trained to be tech interns to teachers – teacher tech pd no longer exists
3. students trained to be media interns to librarians – library becomes hug
4. educate community so that money is spent different and filtering is lifted
real space:
move to tech bldg – model true disruption, inexpensive means so others can access, multiple tools (as opposed to
one size fits all) closer to real with seat time..meat different places, different times, to suit class/students

your school design it ground 0 fall 2010 for district
kids pick method per course
by year 4, at least 1/2 of teachers have no class sessions or different versions of a class session, library becomes hub – where most hang out – t research,share,create

video of your school and your pd design it

your professional development design it ground 0 fall 2010
teachers pick pd method per content
by year 4, face to face with whole group is rare, every employed teacher is a part of their own passion selected pln, contracts are reviewed yearly?

combo of innovation lab resources, your school, your pd, etc… termed:
redefine school
redefine school: video (click tumblr) and documents (titles are doc links)
redefine school: bird’s eye view – be you – prezi
redefine school: voicethread
redefine school: bird’s eye view linked diagrams
philosophy: doc
new standards – for access to learning
video of new standards
beta tool to rework how we do school and displace standardized tests (goal may 2011)
how to join in: doc      why to join in – a little rant
suggested book reads
huge collection on voicethread

still tweaking all below…
spring 2011
opportunity #3:
Even when a learner creates their own curriculum, for 9 months, it compromises the way our brains work. It stifles the freedom to follow/facilitate your curiosity, and you end up needing extrinsic motivation to get the job done.
If we let a learner declare a space of permission with nothing to prove at the beginning of the school year (ie: ind study) and then at the end of the year, they can declare what they learned and if they would like credit/credentialing or not. This way, the learner has the freedom of daily perpetual beta, and deep practice occurs via intrinsic motivation.

There is never nothing going on. Most people just need time to detox from public education’s prescribed curriculum.

commonly professed data:
That there is some basic/foundational knowledge. True if we view it as a pyramid, or linear, but learning/living is non-linear, a mesh network, so there is no foundation.

possible cure:
Spaces of permission with nothing to prove, living in a culture of trust.

fall 2011
how it played out:
We got an incredible space, very freeing, very much like a model unschooling home. Eclectic, curiosities strewed the next day.
We found that we may be onto something with the spaces of permission, with nothing to prove, only focusing on talking to self, via process of learning to learn, detox.
However, we found we didn’t have enough players. Once you talk to yourself enough, strip yourself down, you find your essence craves connection and co-creation.
We found learners waking up wanting to put the 10000 hours in, but craving/needing others to do it with. Life that matters is indeed a multi-player game.

spring 2012
opportunity #4:
The city is the perfect place for the walls of a school to expand to. The cross-generational expertise, the live apprenticeships, the enlivening/massaging of the city that takes place when we’re out and about in it. A people agenda. So – how do we go about setting an entire city free?

belief: Yes, we live in the land of the free, but most people don’t believe they can think for themselves. We think most people at this point, because we’ve gotten so good at following rules, need permission or help being set free.

There are many brave people, many innovations, et al, going on in the world, currently it’s just not equitable, not available to all.

commonly professed data:
Success is going to school, to get into college, to get a degree, to get a good job, to get money. However, many people today, with degrees, don’t have jobs, yet, have a huge debt from college, and people like Yong Zhao are sharing a different story about our success craze.

possible cure:
A new economy based on what it means to be human and alive, rather than our current
assumptions of success. Working on permissions for adults (ie: sabbaticals) and for youth (ie: diploma/audit) to play/experiment for a year, without being punished in the end. Perhaps an app to ground the chaos when many people are set free, working like a per passion.
We’re thinking if a city can model this change, others will believe it’s possible.
We’re seeking to change the laws of public ed.

fall 2012
how is playing out:
we’re anxious to see, …you?
the app we are creating/prototyping

other versions of the story:

redefine school (collection of multiple versions on tumblr, bottom-most post as earliest version)
four years. and now. (google doc as journal)
be you book (slideshare of five elements)
a quiet revolution unfolds (5 vision videos)
be you site (wordpress site of detox – process of learning to learn)
awakening indispensable people – aka – drafting bold dreams (mother deck of multi slideshare set)
my brain – what we see as future trailings from app
interviews via dave – on rhizomatic learning
my detox?

cliff notes:

Our findings (each yr):
1)2009-2010: Pilot self-directed math.
Not enough in love with school math to self-direct. Also – while virtual is unleashing this, local is
2) 2010-2011: Lab kids submit their own curriculum for year.
Even writing own curriculum compromises true curiosity.
3) 2011-2012: be you house kids sign up as independent study,
declare learnings at end of year.
Getting there, but not enough players.
4) 2012-2013: Collaboratory frees up others in community.
Chaos to abound – how to ground that.

Our findings (overall):
1) Ed/school could be about finding & facilitating the genius in each person.
2) Self-reflection/assessment appears to get at #1.
3) Publicly prescribed curriculum & standardized tests appear to keep most from 1 & 2