Where do ideas come from? Reading. Writing. Thinking. Those moments when I am not multitasking and have to focus on showering or driving. Conversations with amazing people. A need that has to be filled. Watching TV. Sometimes the ideas all merge and meld together and a truly beautiful one emerges.
For the past several months, I have gotten to live in a world of my ideas more than ever before and it has been incredible. I have spent many hours alone, moulding my ideas, memories and stories into my book. I have gotten to talk to fascinating people who are following their dreams, innovating and making the world a better place. My ideas have gotten bigger and better through conversations with them.
I have started a business that is dedicated to making learning experiences more magical. I empower learners to understand themselves, make discoveries and solve problems. I have been working with teachers, business owners, entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers. The group I love the most and miss the most is students.
I have a dream to open a grade 4-12 physical school that takes everything I’ve learned through research and experience and apply it, creating a whole new educational model - a prototype that others can learn from and follow.
For a long time, I’ve been saying that’s my “Ten Year Plan” to open a school. Suddenly, I wondered, “Why wait?” Nothing happens overnight, but the first iteration of an Experimental Prototype School of Tomorrow (EPSOT) is formed in my mind and in files all over my computer. Why not bring it to life with a small group of motivated learners who can experiment with me?
The First Iteration of EPSOT - The Passionate Learner Experiment
This is where you come in. My latest idea of how to make EPSOT come true right now might be my greatest one. This is an invitation for you and your child to join me on an exciting journey. On March 22nd, 2016 the families of the inaugural EPSOT class will meet and kick off a blended learning course answering the question: “As a digitally literate person, what can you make in one day?”
Over the next several weeks, students in the course will choose their own learning adventures and be expected to spend twenty-four hours working on their projects.
I will guide them through this experience, collaborating with them, curating information and learning with them through online media (such as email, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Twitter, individual blogs, texting and/or phone calls). We will also have at least one virtual visit as a group to check up on progress and one in person event in Ottawa, Canada to celebrate and share our learning.
What I am offering is an individualized online learning experience for your child (grade 6-12) where they learn about Digital Literacy. They will learn important lessons through online learning modules that will require them to spend a total of twenty-four hours online, working independently (reading, watching videos, writing), responding to others’ work, collaborating (live and asynchronously) and sharing their discoveries. They will use their newly acquired knowledge of Digital Literacy to complete a self-selected Passion Project answering a guiding question that they will self-select.
This course will be highly dynamic and collaborative. I will create a framework for it and, together, the participating students and I will shape it to fit their needs and interests.
My hope is that this experiment will teach us all a lot. I hope that we will find that we can effectively use online tools to learn more than we’d ever imagined. I plan to use our discoveries and deliver this program to many more learners.
I need for you, as a parent or guardian, to be willing to jump into this experiment with me and support your child's learning. I need the learners’ commitment to participate in fun, interactive learning modules.The course will be highly responsive to students' needs and can be completed at their own pace and will be shaped by their own ideas. They will explore and make discoveries about Digital Literacy. They will apply that to their self-selected project and create digital content to demonstrate their learning.
This course starts on March 22nd, 2016. If you know of a learner who would be perfect for this Passionate Learner Experiment, there are a few spaces in the inaugural cohort that are still available (as of March 15th, 2016).
You can contact me via this blog or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information (including cost) and an online registration package.