Communities and Schools

Rodd Lucier, or @thecleversheep is on the crazy train again with awesome ideas! He’s created a game on twitter for all edugeeks or “tweeps”. It is called the #31daygame. He sends out two videos about education (youtube, TED Talks, etc.) each day. We vote on them by using a hashtag and tweeting out which one we like best. Today, we chose between these two videos:

http://moourl.com/31daygame07 and http://moourl.com/31daygame08

The first video is a common craft like video about “The Networked Student”. It is great. It offers great insight into why and how we can help support our students in networked learning. Great as an introduction to the idea.

The second video had me on the edge of my seat for 24 minutes. I can’t believe that I’ve never seen it before. It is Dave Eggers’ wish: Once Upon a School. This TED Talk spoke to me and hit on everything I stand for or value.

I took a random pilot project teachers education program. It was called Enterprise Education and focused on community connection and networking. We stayed in school for two months longer than the normal 8 month B.Ed. program and got a community placement and entrepreneurship courses added in. We were expected to use technology, but not any predetermined types. Just whatever could help us connect and network. This was in 2001, so there were different tools available then.

The values of these “tutoring centres” created by Dave Eggers and like minds really reaches me. He “wishes” for community business and organizations to reach out to schools. I do believe this is a two-way street as well.

I am reminded of two new and exciting partnerships in my community that were bred from the despair of declining enrollment that are proving to grow into amazingly powerful partnerships. One is a secondary school that has rooms rented out by a local music organization. This music organization works with students at lunch time, before and after school and then works with teachers to bring music into their classes and curriculum. They also work with all local schools on a regular basis. This program has engaged students who we struggled to keep attending on a regular basis before this partnership. Creativity and community really do pay off.

The second example is a new partnership starting at another local high school this month. The town Health Unit is renting space in the school for their offices. When I think about the possibilities for partnership and collaboration here, I am very excited.

So, thank you Rodd for the #31daygame. I am re-energized and refocused after watching today’s clip.

2 Replies to “Communities and Schools”

  1. I first saw the Dave Eggers’ Pirate School TED Talk last summer and was blown away by the simplicity of the idea. They identified a need and figured out what needed to be done to address that need. If we believe that teachers fix what we see, then I believe we need to see things differently. We need to be willing to change how we have done/do things in our schools and classrooms. The #31daygame is a wonderful method to get teachers to see the opportunities we can take to help our students.

  2. Thanks for the comment Chris!
    I agree completely. I love the idea that each community fine-tuned the concept to become what worked for them.
    We started a PD opportunity here for our schools and teachers this year that provided release time for teachers to build capacity around a technology that supported their specific school improvement plan and needs. No prescription. We supported and encouraged Families of Schools getting together to collaborate. You should see the amazing things that have come out of this! We supported creativity, innovation and self-directed or collaborative/networked learning. They took it and ran in amazing ways we could never have thought of.
    I love the idea of supporting those individual or specific needs of communities/schools. 🙂
    Rodd’s #31daygame really does rock!

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