Scheduling Experiment: All-Systems Go
In my ever-obsessive quest to destroy the potted educations that my students experience, I’m going to be running a scheduling experiment soon.
This experiment is going to be awesome.
Imagine a school within a school. Imagine a rural public high school where changing the culture of learning can happen without millions of dollars in technology or hundreds of extra faculty members.
Welcome to ThinkThankThunk Academy.
We’re going take two days and “excuse” 50 kids and 4 teachers from their classes for 2 days.
We’re going to run the following schedule:
8:00-9:00 – Collaboration: Students and teachers gather in a common area to throw around project ideas. Projects are created an updated on a massive digital whiteboard (currently being designed by ThThTh Industries, yes we’re looking for VC).
9:00-Noon – Morning Work Session: Teachers deliver prepared content targeted towards student projects. Content is recorded and archived so that even an unattended lecture or demo is available to the student body.
Noon-1:00 – Lunch: Humans should have a frakking hour to eat, and it should be good, local, organic, and the students should have a say in what is served. God forbid they even cook for themselves. Faculty gets beer (just kidding, sort of)
1:00-4:00 – Afternoon Work Session: Students form groups and projects targeting a common competencies list. Projects are mentored by one or more teachers. 15-minute conferences are schedule via Google Calendar. Competencies are not checked off by an educator until the student appropriately demonstrates proficiency (publicly, through assessments, whatever)
The rub is in the last part. Once a project begins, the student(s) and the mentor decide on parameters, content, and target competencies. It then becomes the student’s job to demonstrate this through whatever project they’ve decided to work on. It is the educator’s job to provide support and coaching.
We’re going to keep track of proficiencies using BlueHarvest. (Version 2.0 is coming out really soon! With a name change, and a very favorable pricing change; news forthcoming!)
I’m really excited about the part where I get to take a student interest and help guide it into something awesome. I already have a girl who can’t wait to start a hang glider project. She said she’s reluctant to learn the physics, but she’d rather not die.
Exactly, mademoiselle, exactly.
Oh, and our local behemoth TV/Newspaper/Media company will be making a documentary about the 2-day experiment.
Who’s pumped? This guy.