Monday, February 6, 2012

The Next Step

Was parsing through listserv discussions on State Tech Plans... and saw a post on Twitter from Tony Baldasaro (who I had the privilege to meet at Educon)...

Which led me to this post...

Which led me to this slideshow...

We're on to something in the rLab. Students taking on their own immersive, explorative projects and linking their work into...

  • design
  • research
  • public speaking
  • communication
  • collaboration
  • technology skills: video, audio, web, design, communication...
  • developing a PLN

All under the emphasis of 'create.'

Day to day, students take on a wide variety of subject here. In one class alone...

  • Aviation mechanics
  • Anesthesiology 
  • Domestic Feline Behavior
  • Java Programming
  • Social Media
  • Tennis racquet construction and restringing
  • Robotics
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Welding
  • Small business
  • Network Security
  • Heads up displays in goggles and helmets
  • iPod construction
  • 3D design: Sculptris, Unity3D, UDK, CryEngine

It's a vibrant and chaotic mix daily. And I've felt for many years now it's just the beginning of what's possible.

We setup a framework in the Lab to help students explore and leverage all our tools and resources we can find into motion. Again, the emphasis is on creation, communication, and collaboration.

Even in the description of what students do here... things blend together. Spiral curriculum, ADDIE, constructivism, blended learning, project-based education, cognitive load theory... whatever you'd like to call it. It's a bit of it all... and more.

Where we're struggling... these projects could easily more immersive, internship style. Especially for juniors and seniors. Students crave more time here. Projects could also easily be combined with other subjects... cross curricular style. Develop our presentations with deeper ties to historical backgrounds, writing skills, art design, mathematics...

I could easily see this developing into teams of students, with teams of mentors, working on immersive projects... in a facility built around creative capacity and not compartmentalized classes.

It'd involve rethinking traditional departments and class structures... more like an appointment structure rather than a 'master schedule.' Reworking school lunch... now there's a great project to tackle. Team work. Diverse hours. Heavy collaboration. And fun. A community learning center.

Exploring and making knowledge. Connecting it. Into motion and passion.

How long will it take to get there?

Good question.

It takes flexibility.

Tech plans in the main... I'd like to read one that devised a structure as bold as what I described above.

It takes a sense of adventure. There are a lot of folks to learn from who are already doing work on these fronts. From... and with.

Got a lot of this bouncing in my head.

Ready to try ; )

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