I’m a Judge for the 2017 Reimagine Education Awards!

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The Reimagine Education community has given me a new vitality to this difficult job of public school teaching – this award competition and conference with my fellow #reimaginers has expanded my mind to the endless possibilities and potential that education holds for me, my students, and the rest of the world.  We are truly in the midst of a global knowledge revolution – and education has never been more exciting!

I am beginning a new teaching assignment in September at Birch Cliff Public School  (BCPS) – and I know the students there will be great, but they have a hard act to follow after my previous students at Robert Service Sr PS (these kids were outstanding), where The Bootstrapping Checklist was Shortlisted in 2016. The students at BCPS will have an opportunity to participate in the Bootstrapping Checklist this coming academic year, and I am excited about that.

I will announce some new program partnerships and some established ones for the BCPS community in September, when the school year starts – for now, I am excited to share my achievement as Judge for the 2017 Reimagine Education Awards, and to encourage students in the (especially) K-12 space to apply for the Student-Led Innovation Award – an excellent opportunity to encourage our youngest and brightest to participate in this important and inspiring yearly event.

Thanks much and enjoy the rest of the summer!!

Rich B


Rich Baxter is an educator and advocate for social innovation, the arts, and entrepreneurial education in our public schools. He is honoured to be a Judge for the 2017 QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards.

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#TheBootstrappingChecklist #ReimagineEdu #socialinnovation #entrepreneur #artseducation #edtech #local2global #edchat #edtechchat #opensource #openinnovation #BCPS #sustainability

Why Teach Entrepreneurship in Public Schools?

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Entrepreneurial skills such as resilience, focus, commitment, people management, self-reflection, and a positive attitude are not intuitive skills. They take practice and dedication and it becomes a momentous event for a young student to begin to understand that just because they don’t have many of these skills, it doesn’t mean that they will never be able to develop them. This revelation for many kids lifts a weight for those that begin to grasp that skills are developed through dedication and practice, and that because these can be learned and taught, they become very much accessible to all students.

We are generally predisposed as humans to shy away from conflict, and so teaching kids to embrace change and challenge as opportunities is critical at an early age if they are to grow into adults who will be able to excel in our uncertain future workforce. So entrepreneurial and change management skills are important skills to teach in our classrooms.

One of the things I notice through the Bootstrapping Checklist is how students learn to relate to each other in a more professional way – they start to look at school as an opportunity to practice skills to help them relate to each other in a professional manner in order to try to realize their project visions.

Students learn to separate their behaviour from their personal identities, meaning if they behave badly out of frustration or anxiety during a tough team meeting, it doesn’t mean that ‘that’s who they are’. It means they behaved badly in a stressful situation and entrepreneurial education of this type teaches kids to recognize and respond to challenge, rather than simply and continually reacting to stress.

Thus students begin to objectively see how their language and the way they and their peers speak to each other can positively or negatively impact the group’s success. They also learn that problem solving is hard, that getting frustrated is normal, and that there are specific skills and strategies that can be applied to mitigate the difficulties of complex problem solving.

I claim that the Bootstrapping Checklist can produce ‘cohorts of students who are more than HigherEd ready’ – and what this really means is that students learn to understand what agility looks like in a constantly changing and unpredictable global and local employment market. A fundamental quality of the Bootstrapping Checklist is what I call guided iterative inquiry – it is very much process oriented design thinking, heavily influenced with the Japanese concept of Kaizen, or continuous improvement.

Teachers are fortunate in Ontario because we have a lot of freedom to plan curriculum delivery in our classrooms, and Ontario is a global education leader in inquiry and project- based learning, but we need to go further and normalize ‘cultures of innovation’ in our schools – and so teachers must take up the mantels of ‘teacherpreneurs’ and model this mindset for the students daily.

I go as far to suggesting that schools, especially middle and high schools, should be turned into ‘innovation hubs’, where the classroom is project incubator and the school/district is accelerator – cloud computing and iterative design thinking can practically support student projects over years – with the potential of student projects actually deploying in communities.

This is a paradigm shift of the purpose of our education system – to produce students who are not only skilled at change management, but who critically have not lost their desire to be imaginative, empathetic and creative people who are excited at the opportunities that constant change and uncertainty produce. We need to teach our kids never to lose their brilliance, and schools need to support this creative drive from the beginning to middle school, to high school, and beyond.

 


Rich Baxter is an educator and advocate for social innovation, the arts, and entrepreneurial education in our public schools. He is honoured to be a Judge for the 2017 QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards.

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#opensource #openinnovation #TheBootstrappingChecklist #ReimagineEdu #socialinnovation #entrepreneur #artseducation #edtech #local2global #edchat #edtechchat

10 Notables Changing the Future of Learning and Teaching

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Education is merging with neuroscience, quantum computing, and AI, redefining what it means to be human and thus what it means to learn and to teach. Where does that put education as a human endeavor and what other factors do we need to consider in order to take full advantage of the present knowledge revolution?

  • The game changers that support 21st Century Technology and Learning are cloud computing, more connectivity, cheaper devices that enable social networks, and AI enabled extreme personalization. Online learning communities immersed in organized cycles of inquiry are an important aspect of the future of education – we need to promote the facilitation of these communities in our young learners.
  • Excellent teachers, along with AI, will support all of these technological interventions and more, but will we learn when to ‘turn the AI off’, or risk merging with the Neuralink – it will be there if you want it.  
  • Measuring success will be more shared, less quantitative, and supported by valued competencieswe give too many linear assignments – we need to balance these with cyclical inquiry holding unknown outcomes at the outset in order to allow students to practice the competencies that mitigate the stress of ambiguity of complex problem solving.
  • The arts are critical – art is the highest form of human expression.  Education is a human endeavor, and as such it must respect our nature as creative beings – cutting funding to arts and humanities makes no sense. Coding is important, but frankly, a lot of it will be automated by the time my students reach working age (BTW – there is no STEM, only STEAM – one has only to look at Hypercars as examples).
  • The process frees the mind – classrooms must do more extended cyclical inquiries to 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks, and eventually to 5 months. Evaluation and assessment can be deeper within a longer cycle, and the competencies practiced become just as/more important as the summative marks achieved at the end of the process.
  • Inquiry = deep questions to promote access + facilitated responses + critique and comment to encourage commitment to a mastery mindset. Deep Learning doesn’t happen without deep questions, and ‘siloed’ mini-lessons only serve to further fracture our students – students need longer, deeper, and more cross-curricular/interdisciplinary projects for context and relevance – service learning is a great way to solve local and global community problems, we should focus more on this.
  • Personalized Learning means a fundamental shift in responsibility on the part of students and their families who require more guidance and encouragement to curate knowledge, competencies and empathy in pursuit of future dreams, plans and realities in terms of education, employment and happiness – in a very uncertain but hopeful future.
  • Storytelling and blogging remain crucial for relevance and for sharing of student voice. Family curation of career goals will become more important, as will be the curation of social media legacies of individuals – that’s why blogging is such a relevant and authentic activity to teach in schools – it is their voice through curated narrative that gives relevance to these activities – they are forging their digital legacies.
  • Students need guidance to curate their own competencies to help them develop their own growth mindset. Teach kids what their strengths and needs are and how to communicate those to other people, how to collaborate with others, and how to manage projects and assignments, and have a future vision of happiness.
  • Engaging in collaboration and not knowing the outcome at the outset and being able to manage that ambiguity is important to teach our kids. Being able to feel comfortable with complexity and public speaking, pushing through the stresses of innovation – and realizing that none of these habits are necessarily intuitive — they take practice to master.   

Authentic personalized learning requires that 21st century schools are filled with students and families who are provided the opportunity to take on more responsibility for their learning, in response to the exponential increase in resources provided by the Internet. Excellent teaching and AI will guide this upward innovation movement, but ‘a shared leadership’ will facilitate more and more partnerships within communities and between them.

What would you add to this list?

Special thanks to Robyn D. Shulman for her support:

http://www.ednewsdaily.com/10-notables-changing-the-future-of-learning-and-teaching/


Rich Baxter is an educator and advocate for social innovation, the arts, and entrepreneurial education in our public schools. He is honoured to be a Judge for the 2017 QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards.

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#opensource #openinnovation #TheBootstrappingChecklist #ReimagineEdu #socialinnovation #entrepreneur #artseducation #edtech #local2global #edchat #edtechchat #iterate2innovate #education #innovation


 

21st Century Project-Based Learning

img_4853-2I created the Bootstrapping Checklist as an entrepreneurial program for teens in the form of cyclical guided inquiry and because it is deeply simple and low-cost, it is immensely scalable.

Fundamentally, the Bootstrapping Checklist relies more on a cyclical philosophy of engaging with our world – this I borrowed from First Nations holistic ideals of sustainability, and also from Eastern philosophy (Buddhism primarily, and the Japanese concept of Kaizen, or continuous improvement).

There is also change management theory and social engineering mixed with business concepts, in the form of fully interdisciplinary project-based learning – which the kids love because they are practicing real business culture in a sustainable ‘service learning’ and socially innovative context – school is now ‘real’ for them.

The Bootstrapping Checklist is a shift away from too many ‘linear’ assignments for students, to a more holistic cyclical method of inquiry – and the Bootstrapping cycle lasts 5 months – we do it every Friday for 5 months (roughly 1 stage in the cycle/month). For the kids, they feel a sense of support knowing that they will have the time to work through a very deep inquiry, and still be able to work through the myriad of other assignments they encounter throughout the school year.

The program was put together with the hard work and commitment of myself and my students, and with support from global mentors with whom I constantly look to for guidance and support.  This means that the Bootstrapping Checklist (and guided cyclical inquiry, however the form it takes), is immensely scalable, as long as a community has access to WiFi, cloud-based computing, mobile devices/computers, and adventurous teachers.

The program will become a registered charity once a suitable investor is found, and will develop into an Artificial Intelligence enabled module that will very quickly allow remote communities to ‘self-learn’ project management to solve local challenges and engage with the global community – but the teacher/coach/mentor/elder must always be present to facilitate any community learning, this is always critical.


Rich Baxter is an educator and advocate for social innovation, the arts, and entrepreneurial education in our public schools. The Bootstrapping Checklist was presented on December 5, 2016 in Philadelphia at the Reimagine Education Awards and exists in the Creative Commons as an open innovation project.


*Special thanks to Kristan Uccello, Dr. Paul Kim CTO of GSE at Stanford, and Salar Chagpar and Marc Lijour at Prepr.org and of course the Reimagine Education community.

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http://www.reimagine-education.com/the-bootstrapping-checklist-project-based-learning-for-the-21st-century/

#opensource #openinnovation #TheBootstrappingChecklist #ReimagineEdu #socialinnovation #entrepreneur #artseducation #edtech #local2global #edchat #edtechchat #iterate2innovate #education #innovation

Wharton QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2016 and the Bootstrapping Checklist

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Dinner Gala at the National Constitution Centre, Philadelphia, Dec. 6, 2016

The following was posted on the Information and Communications Technology Council website as a guest blog:

http://www.ictc-ctic.ca/wharton-qs-stars-reimagine-education-awards-2016-and-the-bootstrapping-checklist/

I had the honour to present The Bootstrapping Checklist at the Reimagine Education Awards in Philadelphia on December 5, 2016. I am a Teacher for the TDSB and this program for my Grade 8 students, the result of over 10 years of research and experimentation in the classroom, was Shortlisted to the Teaching Delivery Category.

The power of guided iterative design such as The Bootstrapping Checklist is that it provides the seamless integration between pedagogy and technology needed to accelerate technology adoption by students and facilitate sustained entrepreneurial and socially innovative student projects. It is inherently mobile, social, and cloud based, and it demands that students use validated data to make design decisions.

I have been innovating education for over 20 years, and in that time have learned that a school board (i.e. district) has many jobs to fulfill, and helping teachers innovate at the classroom level is one of them.  Part of my job is to interpret global trends and deliver these as a service that satisfies my students, their families and me – this is real accountability, and three-part lessons or standardized tests just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

I know that guided iterative design (or guided iterative inquiry) is likely the most important pedagogy teachers should be doing to successfully blend ICT and good teaching in our classrooms.  I understand why it might be hard for teachers to grasp that very soon we won’t be ‘marking’ anymore, and that machine learning and extreme personalization (the automated solution to what teachers like to call ‘differentiated learning’) will accomplish these tasks with the speed and accuracy impossibly achieved by any teacher.

Closing the gap between the ‘system top’  and the ground, where the Teacher is social entrepreneur, and leadership is shared among innovative Teachers, Principals, District Supervisors and the rest of the EdTech Innovation Ecosystem, as described by UPenn’s Bobbi Kurshan here –  http://bit.ly/2gOO816 –  is one critical challenge to overcome if we are to balance automation with our humanness in education, both locally and globally.

Teachers should now practice Project Management skills more to facilitate schools as innovation hubs (the classroom as incubator – the school board as accelerator), where guided iteration like The Bootstrapping Checklist will help students to glean the data needed for capital and resource acquisition specific to their community needs, using a truly constructivist learning model. The data can be used to build public and private community partnerships, and turn public schools into hybrid remote/physical community innovation hubs.

By properly combining pedagogy like The Bootstrapping Checklist and ICT, we can accelerate technology adoption and collaboration by middle and high school students to produce cohorts of students that are more than HigherEd ready, and we can start now to try to alleviate a projected year 2030, 25 million global teacher shortage by attracting the best and the brightest to the teaching profession.

We live within a dualism inherent to our physical universe, and the EdTech universe works the same way – we will never fully automate, and perhaps for global regions that are desperately in need of educational interventions, bringing in automation to initiate a support level of literacy and numeracy is an amazing idea, and I hope it does happen.

But these interventions are not the end goals, and will lay the foundation necessary to incite and produce teachers who can integrate the arts, entrepreneurialism, and social innovation to facilitate the human interactions needed to balance and sustain any system that we create.

The EdTech Innovation Ecosystem is rich and vast and will require participation from many varied players – but one thing I have learned is that any future reality is possible – we can build systems where technology fully automates education to the service of an oppressive few  – of this I have no doubt.

Much more suitable is the coexistence of extreme automation and human participation – this is the brave new world that excites me and my students. Good Ed/Tech Innovation occurs at the intersection of sound pedagogy and technology, and are thus critically complimentary.


Rich Baxter is an educator and advocate for social innovation, the arts, and entrepreneurial education in our public schools. The Bootstrapping Checklist was presented on December 5, 2016 in Philadelphia at the Reimagine Education Awards and exists in the Creative Commons as an open innovation project.


Special thanks to Kristan Uccello, Dr. Paul Kim CTO of GSE at Stanford, CTO at TDSB Peter Singh, and Salar Chagpar and Marc Lijour at Prepr.org

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#opensource #openinnovation #TheBootstrappingChecklist #ReimagineEdu #socialinnovation #entrepreneur #artseducation #edtech #local2global #edchat #edtechchat #iterate2innovate

Wharton QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2016

About Reimagine Education

Reimagine Education is an annual, Philadelphia-based event, that is co-hosted by Wharton, The SEI Center, and QS (Quacquerelli Symonds). The event is convened on the premise that ‘educational theories, practices, and policies have always operated in a state of flux, and have always been subject to critique and development’. The event organizers seek to provide a platform ‘whereby academics, educational entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, and policy-makers can unite to ensure that the world’s tertiary education system is preparing its students for the economy, society, and challenges of the future’.

http://www.reimagine-education.com/conference/



I had the honour to present The Bootstrapping Checklist at the Reimagine Education Awards in Philadelphia on December 5, 2016. The Checklist was Shortlisted in the Teaching Delivery Category, and is the result of over 10 years of research and experimentation in the classroom, and I have a host of people to thank for their support and patience, especially my wife and my family and friends, and Kristan Uccello, Salar Chagpar of Prepr.org, CTO of Stanford University Dr. Paul Kim, TDSB CTO Peter Singh, Marc Lijour, Cindy van Wonderen, and many others, and most especially the kids at Robert Service Sr PS.

It is no secret that public education has slowly and systematically been eroded in the United States for at least the past 30 years, and both the public and private sector will be vying for a slice of the ever-growing global ‘EdTech Pie’ – automate education to solve the 25 million 2030 global teacher shortage, or also invest in public education globally to ensure that technology facilitates our human connection by training and supporting teachers to be innovative and entrepreneurial.

As an advocate for social and open innovation, and the arts and entrepreneurial education in our classrooms, I do believe that the public and private sectors have critically everything to offer each other if we are to solve the many problems facing our global community now and into the future.

I want to thank the The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, QS Top Universities, and the organizers of the 2016 Reimagine Education Awards for inviting a Canadian public school teacher to represent the new innovative spirit taking place in our local and global teaching profession, and I look forward to further engaging the global educational ecosystem as we move into a new world where automation will coexist and complement a healthy and vibrant physically and remotely connected global learning community.

And thanks Jack Hammond – it is indeed ‘an uncommon revolution”.


Here you can watch the 2 minute video prepared for the Wharton QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2016 in Philadelphia.

*video credit Erin Pallett, TDSB

More details about the program are available here: https://richbaxter.ca/thebootstrappingchecklist/


The Bootstrapping Checklist was presented on December 5, 2016 in Philadelphia at the Reimagine Education Awards and exists in the Creative Commons as an open innovation project.

Special thanks to Kristan Uccello, Dr. Paul Kim CTO of GSE at Stanford, CTO at TDSB Peter Singh, and Salar Chagpar and Marc Lijour at Prepr.org

reimagine-education-teaching-delivery-award

#opensource #openinnovation #TheBootstrappingChecklist #ReimagineEdu #socialinnovation #entrepreneur #artseducation #edtech #local2global #edchat #edtechchat #iterate2innovate

The Bootstrapping Checklist Shortlisted to the 2016 Wharton Reimagine Education Awards

 

reimagine-education-teaching-delivery-awardWe are proud to know that our work is engaging the most innovative educators in the world, and momentum to see our program scale has increased since we have been Shortlisted for the Reimagine Education Teaching Delivery Award 2016. My students know that their work is being considered internationally, and they are empowered to continue working hard to address issues that affect our community – this is our greatest success.

The power of guided iterative design such as The Bootstrapping Checklist is that it provides the seamless integration between pedagogy and technology needed to accelerate technology adoption by students and facilitate sustained entrepreneurial and socially innovative student projects. It is inherently mobile, social, and cloud based, and it demands that students use validated data to make design decisions.

Graduates keep visiting to receive updates about projects that they used to work on.

One project in particular, Broadcast Out Loud (BOL), is in its third year. BOL is a media service for the school community that will engage students on their mobile devices to keep them connected to school events. Over the past three years, about 30 students have worked on or are currently working on BOL – with the ultimate goal of actual deployment to classmates and the community.

The Bootstrapping Checklist is excellent training for students who need to practice the entrepreneurial ‘soft skills’ and 21st century competencies, as they learn to construct and to connect with each other in an impassioned and respectful way, fully anticipating the problems that lie ahead, and yet with an attitude toward committing to the process for the benefit of themselves, their families, and their communities.

Check out the program here: https://richbaxter.ca/thebootstrappingchecklist/


“We believe that the The Bootstrapping Checklist allows us to expand our knowledge and skills in mathematics (analytics, data management, graphing, etc.) and literary skills, while also creating a larger sense of independence, and giving us a taste of real world problems and entrepreneurial business. It is vastly different from what we have been doing for most of our school lives so far, however we see it as a positive difference and a new and interesting learning experience that improves academics while still being interesting.”  Grade 8 students, October 2016

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Check out the competition here:   http://www.reimagine-education.com/

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#TheBootstrappingChecklist #entrepreneur #socialinnovation #Reimaginers #ReimagineEdu #education #edtech #edchat #edtechchat #local2global

Iterative Design and ICT in Public Schools

This post explores the intersection between ‘Ed and Tech’ and the conjunction of good pedagogy and ICT best practices in our classrooms.

 


I took a trip out to San Francisco this past summer to try to get a feel for how the tech sector is influencing education globally and in Ontario where I live.  As a grade 8 teacher in a tough school in the east end of Toronto, I feel I need to have a vision of the future, or at least the next five years, for my students and for the community that I serve – a vision that might articulate a path to a future where my students can thrive in our global economy.

In a full week I visited Google and Stanford, had ribs and a Big Daddy IPA at a grassroots community meeting at Bayview’s historic Sam Jordan’s Bar, visited the Golden Gate Bridge, spent an afternoon at City Lights Bookstore (a bastion of American social justice and labor movement literature), and rode the T Third Street metro line, ending a week-long trip in the truly inspirational city that is San Francisco.  

Silicon Valley and City Lights Bookstore, private enterprise and public spirit – how could it be that these two worlds co-exist in such close proximity?  As an educator facing imminent disruptions to my industry, I’m thus grateful and hopeful that because of my trip, I think I do see a conjunction of the two worlds, and thus have begun to think harder about my future profession by fully embracing all that tech has to offer – including AI, AR, VR, gamification, simulation, deep learning, machine learning, and adaptive learning.

So what does it mean to fully embrace tech as a public school teacher, and what do I bring to the table?  I’m convinced that more teachers need to become sophisticated PMs, and many good teachers already are. Public schools need to become innovation hubs by accessing and leveraging increasingly cheaper cloud-based computing and mobile technology.

Have we really begun to consider the role of public schools and school boards as potential student project incubators and accelerators?

Facilitated by iterative design thinking fueling on/offline, micro/macro learning communities, the classroom as ‘incubator’ begins with teachers teaching kids about growth mindset and commitment – especially about commitment.  School boards can then be encouraged to act as ‘accelerators’ to sustain socially innovative student projects over longer periods of time and with the aid of cloud based computing.

Iterative design in classrooms involves a structured approach married with longer design cycles, say 3-5 months in the case of middle school students, and shorter, more frequent iterative cycles for older students, sustained using cloud computing and mobile devices – this is where pedagogy and ICT merge to offer true potential disruption.

Iterative design holds the dichotomous nature of being on one hand beautifully simple, and on the other deeply complex, depending on the level of commitment of the participants. It is inclusive, and it coaches, and it serves as a reference point when projects get confusing and teams get frustrated  – the cycle guides and once completed, students can commit together to another cycle, or respectfully move on to other projects with reputations enhanced.


On my trip I remember asking my mentor at Google if he or any of his colleagues had predicted the ‘Pokemon Go’ phenomenon of this past July  – and he said that they hadn’t. This inspires me to believe that no matter how much we think we have everything under control, there is still such a level of unpredictability in our explorations that it opens up spaces for individuals and communities to participate on many levels. This actually brings hope to young people who are often overwhelmed by the amount and sophistication of today’s technology.

In other words, the more my students use technology in a purposeful way, the more spaces open up for unpredictable uses of technology by them.  This is good news both for the technology sector and for public education, and for me it resolves a perceived dichotomy between both.

Kids are not loyal to brands of tech, and thus given the freedom to innovate using a structured approach, will jump from tech tool to tech tool depending on need and want. This opens up the unpredictability of tech usage in the classroom that at once might put tech companies on edge, because kids just aren’t that loyal to tech brands, but it also opens up all kinds of possibilities for both sectors because we just can’t anticipate how kids will use technology (the way my students use social media to organize study groups is a perfect example of this).

The more we encourage our students in public schools to use technology in the service of their communities via iterative design thinking and project based service learning, the more opportunities open up for both sectors, thereby bridging the two worlds that appear to be at odds, but in fact might well have more in common than we suspect. So, the more students use tech, the more possibilities open up for both sectors. Win-win.

To achieve this resolution of ‘Ed and Tech’, public school teachers need to bring their project management skills to their communities and leverage tech as much as possible to advance socially innovative student projects and thus add value to their community’s resources in terms of real and social capital gained.  The tech sector needs to continue to push advances in AI, VR, AR, simulation, adaptive and machine learning in education – and together we can inspire our students to participate in our increasingly collaborative global sharing economy by opening more and more possibilities, thereby empowering our students to be real agents of positive change.

After all, it’s not the tech sector’s job to bring in issues of social justice to public education, they are private enterprise with their own proper goals. It is up to teachers to present their case and step up by facilitating tech’s use in classroom. To this very end, iterative design thinking, manifested as The Bootstrapping Checklist for example (the program I created and run with my grade 8s), properly blends pedagogy and ICT and for now, resolves this EdTech dichotomy in my small classroom to very satisfying results.

The power of iterative design thinking such as The Bootstrapping Checklist is its rich and deep simplicity – on the surface, it is a distillation in the form of an infographic that serves as a reference point for discussion around the implementation of complex student projects – but the beauty lies in its structure, and the structure allows for the group to foray into unknown territory with security, exploring complex problems and living through ambiguity with the safety and comfort that the design cycle provides.  

This is excellent training for youngsters who will need these skills as they enter the global marketplace – but these skills also serve them now, as they learn to construct and to connect with each other in a very impassioned and respectful way, fully anticipating the problems that lie ahead, and yet with an attitude toward committing to the process for the benefit of themselves, their families, and their communities.

This is what iterative design thinking teaches us, and because it is so powerful and yet so simple, it is incumbent on our teachers and administrators to facilitate iterative design thinking in our classrooms right now.


The Bootstrapping Checklist has been accepted into the 2016 Reimagine Education Awards competition in the Teaching Delivery category – shortlisted projects will be announced October 28, 2016.

http://www.reimagine-education.com/

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#Reimaginers #ReimagineEdu #Education #EdChat #EdTechChat #Innovation #Entrepreneur #ProjectManagement #theBootstrappingChecklist #Opensource #CloudComputing #Design #Prototyping

#RSSPS Arts Jam w TD Toronto Jazz Festival Groove & Graffiti

This week on May 26 we are thrilled to host the TD Toronto Jazz Fest’s Groove & Graffiti at Robert Service Sr PS with Toronto artists Mediah and Elicser and with mentoring from students at Central Tech and a dozen of our own Grade 8 students.

As a leadership opportunity for our students, this promises to be a great day of art and music and mentoring and we are grateful to our friends and sponsors for making this happen – particularly Mr. Evond (Mediah) Blake for his tireless support, and Ms Kathleen Moll, art teacher extraordinaire.

#TOJAZZ2016 #TorontoJazzFest #TDMusic #RSSPS #Groove&Graffiti #Graffiti #urbanart #arteducation #education #leadership #TDSB #Toronto #416 #littlegig #bigimpact

 

The Bootstrapping Checklist Infographic

 

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My involvement as an assistant Project Manager for ‘Broadcasting Out Loud’, has been a great learning experience for me and has taught me many skills that I would use in the future. In the future if I ever decide to take the entrepreneurial route, I will always have this experience to improve on.                                                                                                                                  

Grade 8 student


On any given Friday if you visit my small classroom for Grade 8 kids in Toronto, you will hear conversations between students, teachers, mentors, and visitors, about project management, coding, UX, web design, marketing, data collection and analysis and more. Our five collaborative ventures, two of which have more than twelve group members, use Google Apps for Education to collaborate online in and out of school, and Edmodo as a central social networking space to validate each other’s projects by taking surveys and sharing results.

One project has fourteen active members and is continuing into its second year from last year.  In other words, the project was ‘dormant’ as a folder of work last June when the students graduated to high school, and was ‘picked up’ by a new group of students last September – what is exciting is the possibility that the project will actually be deployed next year.  Or maybe it won’t – it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that by using The Bootstrapping Checklist (or ANY focused and guided iterative inquiry cycle), my students are learning what positive attitude and commitment really mean, not to mention all the other 21st CTL skills that will ensure their successful engagement in our future global economy.

As an infographic, the Bootstrapping Checklist serves as a reference for conversations between teachers, students, and mentors about student-led entrepreneurial and social innovation projects that occur in and outside of school. Thus, it facilitates online collaboration for students in my public middle school classroom, allowing student projects to carry on, grow, and develop, year over year.

The Bootstrapping Checklist provides a real and authentic reason to learn skills like coding and computer science at a younger age, and an incentive to keep at it. Student projects initiated in my public middle school classroom now have the potential to develop further than ever before – and the Checklist serves as the foundation to keep projects going.

The Bootstrapping Checklist as entrepreneurial education gives real authenticity to student projects and collaborations that break down age and ability barriers present for so long in our customary public education models. When students know their ventures have the potential to grow, engagement and achievement go way up.

Getting students at a young age to look at challenges in their communities as potential opportunities goes a long way to changing their attitudes toward seeing the benefits of lifelong learning and a mastery mindset.

This type of learning actually encourages innovation – and thus authentic STEAM design thinking and production – by having students produce practical and authentic solutions to their own real world problems – they are also preparing for their futures.

Because students can now use their ‘voice’ – validated by data – to advocate for resources to move projects forward, the potential for adding value to a school or board via acquired mentoring and community partnerships now becomes an important part of any school improvement plan – the school simply needs to make space, time, and money to support these projects year to year.

Its beauty of the Infographic lies in its simplicity, and although far from simplistic, The Bootstrapping Checklist provides the integration between pedagogy and technology to facilitate online collaboration for intermediate students allowing student project to carry on, year over year.

Are your teachers engaging students in iterative inquiry cycles where data collection by the students is embedded in the process?  All it takes is an attitude toward mastery learning and commitment – essential attributes of any 21st Century learner.


#entrepreneur #education #innovation #opensource #year2year #local2global #equity #edtech #edtechchat #edchat

More about the Bootstrapping Checklist:

https://richbaxter.ca/thebootstrappingchecklist/