From my International Desk, which this afternoon is my window seat at home:
I know, the time difference makes it really hard…but our kids are learning 24/7 anyway, so why not do this? Here are some girls at a school in Kandahar, Afghanistan, learning English via Skype to the U.S. It is not an exaggeration that many girls like this are risking their lives to come to school each day. What richer experience than for American kids to just talk with them? Every American school should be BEGGING for this chance to be a real time partner with history, heroes, and new friends. Talk about changing lives on both ends. Thanks, Jamie Novogrod of NBC News for sharing.
And I just did a quick review of the website of Hobsonville Point Schools in Auckland, N.Z. It was like gazing into a parallel universe after working today on implementing the goals and guiding principles of Design 39 Campus here in Southern California. Hobsonville has both elementary and secondary schools structured “To create a stimulating, inclusive learning environment which empowers learners to contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world. Each student will have their own individual learning plan that identifies their specific interests, goals, strengths and areas for improvement.”
I found them because one of their leaders, Steve Mouldey, quoted a passage from my book, The Falconer, and some of his colleagues picked up on it. I poked around their blogs, and on Steve’s he outlines articulations of time and space usage, and adaptive and differentiated learning that would lead the way at most of the K-12 PD conferences I have attended either in person or virtually the past year. I won’t try to tell their story; check them out. I am seriously hoping they want me to come visit them! Follow Steve and his colleagues on Twitter: Claire Amos, Diane Cavallo, Lea Vallenoweth.
So, another great brushfire of innovation like so many I have seen and we all know of. Now, how do we turn the brushfires into a conflagration? What is the moonshot? How do we take this to scale? That is what keeps me up at night and thinking and poking around all day.