official lab write-up {yr 1}

The Lab

The TSD InnovationLab (yr 1 – 2010-11) is about space. Space that exists in physical, virtual, emotional, and mental realms. The Lab seeks to be perpetual, fluid, malleable, and ubiquitously free, like the web, in order to facilitate deep tinkering within personally structured/created cultures. The Lab is a prototype for what happens when we trust in the very nature of learning/being and a human’s instinct to be curious. The Lab facilitates imagination and play.


Imagination is about seeing possibilities,
(noticing the unlikely),
and generating the questions,
(dreaming boldly),
that frame the learning process.
Play is about the engagement, (connections with people and info),
and the experimentation,
(doing what matters),
that drives the learning process.
This is a new culture of learning.

In the Lab, learners structure their own interactions within their interests/passions/communities. A model we’re calling detox, helps to initiate, capture, share, and validate experimentation of both cognitive and particularly tacit knowledge, for an authentic blended learning. Throughout the 20th century, the knowledge flow was pretty stable. The pool of unchanging resources is shrinking exponentially. Adapting to change and focusing on efficiency is no longer the best route. Embracing change by fusing the infinite resources/options with deep personal motivation will lead to unexpected, unplanned, and innovative use of space.

The Lab thinking has *many attributions. For a good visual, incredible sources that share a similar vision are: Stanford’s k-12 Laboratory; Prototype produced by Be Playful, via Christian Long’s ongoing brilliance along with David Bill; Brightworks, per Gever Tulley and Brian Welch, who’s arc appears to resemble our detox; the Harvard Innovation Lab project; Mary Ann Reilly’s highschool per academic services; the Independent Project; The Brooklyn Free School, Sheryl’s dream school, and especially Dennis Littky’s  Met School, a blueprint, and Joi Ito’s vision of the MIT Media Lab.

Interested learners (students/teachers), accepted per student-led interview, enroll in the Lab through their homebase school. The student/facilitator/parent will determine what kind, if any, of transcription is desired per each enrolled section by the end of that section. Think google 20% time to whatever degree the learner desires. (note: Google change in hiring methods.)

We are experimenting with activity systems mappings through video logging/documentation and wikipedia additions/edits with Jim Folkestad. We believe professional networks/portfolios in lieu of diplomas serve as complementary, supplementary, and in some instances replace all together what universities and businesses are looking for. Today options abound and choice is the ultimate empowerment. Too many career/success based decisions are being made with too little information of those options. Time spent proving that we know information can now limit potential. Embracing change, what we don’t know, fosters learning at an exponential rate. The learner becomes a part of the evolving story, recreating and unleashing possibilities.

(above image added yr 2 – storyboard)

video explaining how to facilitate curiosity via the be you web.

district vision: CONNECTedcity as floorplanvideo version
*many attributions – original proposal

The why: nothing is for everyone
The what: awaken indispensable people
The how: to a person – be you, to a people – help clear spaces to be.