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Tag : school change

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, […]

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 […]

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: […]

03 Apr 2016

That’s a Wrap: Design Brief #1

Today was pretty incredible, as it marks the end of iDiploma’s first full-scale design brief. As a bit of background, we launched “Consultivations” last year (named by the students, who liked the thought of combining the word “consult” with “innovation”). In the consultivation model, we hosted community members and business leaders, and asked them to share a problem or opportunity with the iDiploma team. Using design thinking as a framework, the students engaged in a rapid 90 minute session that […]

25 Jan 2016

Designing for a Community of Makers

As the HIVE is coming to completion, the work to (re)define the space begins in earnest. In a previous post, I noted some distinctions between a makerspace and a maker community. You might consider the science lab, art studio, kitchen, or library at your school a makerspace. You might also note that makerspaces vary to a large degree in the tools, spaces, materials, people, and curricular focus. By taking the space totally out of the equation our design challenge became: […]

13 Nov 2015

Designing a Humanities Program

The following post is written by Emily Breite, Head of Learning and Innovation at the Upper School, who is spearheading the design of a new Humanities program at Mount Vernon. MVIFI helped catapult this work through the Collider event, and we continue to serve on the design team that is building the program. We are thrilled to be able to share the incredible work from Emily and her design team. “Imagine: You have just stepped out of a time machine. The […]

01 Nov 2015

Leading change demands living the change…and building agency

In a recent article on EML, Will Richardson shared that he asks the districts he works with, “Is this a school that learns?” He went on to write these provocative questions: What does a learning school look like? What’s the culture of a school that learns? How does it happen? Will sparked in me some significant reflection. He also spurred me to write this blog post and share how Mount Vernon is, indeed, a school that learns. Here’s just one […]

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