I also work with homeschoolers. I agree that they would have a neat opportunity and some open ended time to work on it. And, I love your idea of a pitch event at the LEAP conference.
Would you invite your high school students to participate? Would it be part of a required class? Just from your roster or from your whole school (other colleague’s rosters)?
At my school, we also have classes students can take, so I am thinking of offering the challenge though a class. But, it might be fun to invite some of my other students who homeschool only to participate. That’s why I am curious how you will invite your students to participate.
I appreciate your plan to do this challenge with your homeschoolers. The challenge has such potential to expand the critical thinking abilities of your students, but I imagine it will also encourage a higher sense of community building in your group. I share MaryBeth’s wondering about whether you will reach out to other schools. As we have begun having conversations about hybrid learning in the fall at my school, I absolutely see the value in collaborating with faculty outside of my district in order to provide the best learning opportunities for all students.
I’m still figuring it out…
I would definitely invite the high school students to participate. We co-design our classes (within the ability to do that following state standards and things). If they wanted to do this as a part of the classes, we would do that.
I’m also thinking about offering the challenge for homeschoolers who don’t take classes but would want to do it.
Where are you located? It would be interesting to collaborate.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk about possibilities.
I agree that both the critical thinking and sense of community are wonderful by-products of the challenge. One of our goals on the Learning Journeys Forum (our educational business) is to create community. Creating it across groups – especially in this crazy time when everyone is crisis-schooling is a great idea). Email me: email@example.com if you are interested in possibly working together to figure something out!
This is really great, Jill. A few thoughts/comments on your blueprint:
- Do you have a sense of how many students might participate?
- With respect to Google Accounts, at least students over 13 can create free Gmail accounts (which are Google Accounts), though that does not necessarily help with the device issue.
- I think your timeline needs a little more fleshing out, just to help with your thinking on this type of event. If you’re going to start in October, when would you culuminate the event? What would that look like? Are you going to schedule “sessions” for other educators along the way, perhaps one session for each of the three DT phases (Understand, Ideate, and Prototype) and the Pitch phase?
- I see you’re planning to start with you and your kids, which is awesome! Even if you could only get a few more students, the educational experience really opens up if you can create the “competition” aspect of challenge.
- If you don’t have money for prizes, you could definitely consider other non-financial awards/recognition. Things like certificates for winners, posting the winners to you YouTube channel, etc. The Jacobs Instittue and Pactful are also willing to help get the word out and celebrate the students’ solutions too.
- Parents are great allies for this type of work! While we don’t currently have a list of mentors lined up, we have tried to make connections for student teams looking for experts in the past and are willing to help how we can. (As we continue to build out the Pactful community, this will happen more organically we hope.)
Overall, a lot of great work here! Looking forward to seeing more.