Recently I attended a workshop on rethinking education, the presenter was Nigel Barlow (http://www.nigelbarlow.com/)
His task for our table was to write a short article on what school would look like at a future time. The article was to be from a certain point of view and our table chose a students viewpoint. It was an interesting activity to go through and the discussion on how school would look was fascinating,
Nigel had previously removed the phrase YES, BUT from our vocabulary. With no restrictions school took a radical new shape in our eyes, technology became just a tool for students and teachers (Advisers) to work with and students had more control over their day.
So imagine you are a young middle school student about to go to school
I wake up early to get to school; I’m so excited I rush through breakfast and can’t wait to see my friends again to talk about our summers.
The crossing guard greets me by name and we chat briefly as we wait for the lights to change. She had a good summer too, with some camping trips and visiting family, and they got a new pet Aardvark named Steve.
Talking with my friends on the playground it’s great to catch up. One friend has a new neighbour that we all meet, and we explore the interactive playground together, with its reactive slides and multi-touch collaborative play stations.
We all cheer and my heart swells as we hear the jaunty melody that signals the start of Options period. A couple of my friends bolt for the school building right away, anxious to meet the new teacher, knowing that all of their learning materials would have been transferred to the class stations by the time they get there. I know they like to do their direct instruction sessions first thing in the morning, but I don’t feel like that today.
Other friends of mine choose to head for the field house to start their day with the collaborative obstacle course, or maybe they’ll hit the pool.
I like to end my day with the pool, so I pick up a drink and a snack from one of the food stations in the yard, and I walk with my new friend to one of the Advisors spaces. My new friend and I both still talking about our vacations to other countries when we sit down with the Advisor at a Sharing Station. We start pulling out our photos and journals, vlogs and other artefacts from our trips, and the Advisor guides us through some discussions as we make connections between the two vacations, and compare some of the cultural learnings that we’ve learned. It’s nice to see the our learnings from vacation increase the achievement bar on my yearly goals; hey, it’s the first day of school and I’m already on my way to the next badge!
It isn’t until we’re leaving the Advisor that I realize there’s a few years difference between my new friend and I, and I introduce him to another friend we run into who’s just now arriving.
We tell our new friend that the change in melody that we’re hearing indicates the Options period is ending, and we start to head to our project areas, but agree to meet up at the pool for the Options period at the end of the day.
It’s going to be a great year, I just know it.
Great thanks go to Paul Yipp, Sean Lamoureux, and Jarod Bell for the insight and conversation.