I'm very fortunate to be able to work with forward thinking educators who truly seek new conditions for learning. And as important, these same educators possess a willingness to engage in a new change methodology that will enable them to go beyond their current mindset and push their thinking.
Engaged in ideation...
I had the opportunity to work with the educators from Northfield Middle School (NJ) for a full-day of visioning and design around a new opportunity focusing on creating a "digital shop." The goal of the day was to uncover the wants and needs associated with creating new conditions for "making" in the school.
I used a variety of workshopping techniques to help the participants uncover their perceptions, beliefs, biases, and understandings associated with the making process.
The outcome of the process of the process was a manifesto that would guide the educational experience. The experience of the day, as well as the foundation declared by the manifesto, has catalyzed a variety of unique projects at the school (Digital Shop, Learning Street, and EdCamp Period) which have been made possible by hard work, leadership, dedicated educators and a shift in the mindset about how a contemporary education works. At the time of this writing, almost 60 educational organizations have visited Northfield Middle School to see the great things that Principal Glenn Robbins and his faculty and staff are doing. This includes the impressive work that Kevin Jarrett has done leading the new Digital Shop, which has been nothing short of amazing. You can read the entire journey Kevin has undergone in leading this project at Edutopia. It's a fantastic read about dedicated professionals who have chosen to make things work for kids. Bravo!
Images courtesy of Kevin Jarrett, licensed via a Creative Commons Attribution Only license. See the entire image set here.