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Category : iDiploma

07 Sep 2017

Why School? – Skyler Tiffin’s MoVe Talk Released

Caught in learning spaces where the only feedback that anyone seems to value are scores given by adults, too many of today’s students sit passively waiting for the judgment of others, stripped of the self-reflective and evaluative skills that literally define the most successful people” (Bill Ferriter, Tempered Radical). I used to get frustrated when my students asked is this for a grade? Exasperated, I would give them a lecture on why grades should not be the driving force for effort, […]

21 Feb 2017

Insights from Shadow a Student Challenge

By Katie Cain (originally posted on personal blog) On Thursday, February 8, I had the pleasure of participating in the Shadow a Student Challenge. “The Shadow a Student Challenge is a fun, illuminating, and supportive journey where school leaders come together to empathize with their students and take new kinds of action at their school. Educators and researchers have long known that shadowing can lead to powerful observations and insights to drive change. The Shadow a Student Challenge provides methods […]

27 Jan 2017

The Slow Hunch: One iDiploma Member’s Story

WRITTEN BY MEGHAN CURETON Meet Brady. He joined the iDiploma program last year as a freshman. He had aspirations to innovate something and start a business. Hailing creators like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, he put together some impressive videos outlining his definition of innovation and even an idea for innovating the backpack. He said all the right things during his interview and easily convinced the iDiploma application committee that he would be an asset to the team. We were […]

28 Nov 2016

The Movement: Transforming Education

BY ANYA SMITH (ADAPTED FROM PERSONAL BLOG PINYABANANAS) A few weeks ago, 42 students and some smaller number of adults, were gathered from 15 different schools across 13 different states for a conference called SparkHouse hosted by Education Reimagined held in Washington D.C. I want to take a few minutes to reflect on the experience: TAKE AWAYS: Relationships are key in a learner-centered environment: between students, teachers, families, and the community; every student needs to have the feeling of being known, […]

29 Sep 2016

How WE Work – Strengths-based Leadership

I frequent the “How I Work” tag on lifehacker. Some find the habit odd. Why would I care about how people choose to set up their app screen or what productivity tool they use? The means by which we choose to stay productive is important to me because I believe we are getting a glimpse into how people step into the complexity of working with teams and collaborating as the workplace becomes flatter and more disaggregated. If I were asked, […]

24 Sep 2016

New School Model that Will Transform Education: Student as Designer & Community Partner as Client

By Meghan Cureton Using design briefs as a primary means of project curation is still new to iDiploma. Last year we launched our first, full-scale design brief (you can read about it here), and this year, we have quadrupled the number of design briefs just for the fall. It’s exciting. It’s overwhelming. And it is so incredibly empowering to our students. The fact that they had clear, measurable success with their first brief has them fired up to do more […]

28 Aug 2016

Backwards Design

By Meghan Cureton (Originally posted on my personal blog,  I Wonder…) The primary way we organize the learning that happens in Innovation Diploma is by using problems or design briefs as the framework. I am not talking about a typical “project” – I am talking about a real, client-delivered design brief that is high stakes because it’s truly a problem that needs solving. To open the year, we decided to deliver our own design brief that has slightly lower stakes than one […]

18 Aug 2016

Building Culture not Compliance | I wonder…

Yesterday was our first day back as an iDiploma team, and we welcomed our newest Gates cohort of ten incredibly curious learners. As a former classroom teacher, I always struggled with the first day of school and the unstated expectation to go over the syllabus, the grading policy and assign the first homework. What message does that send if that’s how we enter the new school year? To me, it sends the message that as the teacher I have the power: […]

05 May 2016

Spotlight: Two Innovators who Helped Build iDiploma

Today, at Mount Vernon’s Honors Assembly, I got to honor two of the founding members of iDiploma. Below are the words I shared at the ceremony, which don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the kind of work both our graduates and the members of the program are doing as change agents. I couldn’t be more proud of our two soon-to-be graduates: I have the pleasure of honoring two of our very first graduates from our Innovation Diploma program. […]

25 Apr 2016

The Cliff of Every Project

T.J. Edwards and I (Trey) just completed a module for Innovation Diploma called Transformational Design and Leadership. This module served on-boarding iD students with an introduction to how to leverage their strengths through collaborative project work. It also introduced our students to the Hive, our maker-community on the Glenn Campus, giving students an opportunity to touch nearly every tool and machine we own. Over the past five weeks students were given 3+1 projects in a five-day maker-roulette (A.K.A. each of the three groups of […]