Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Stanford U + FabLearn + d. School = How High Is Up?

As I flew across the United States from Philadelphia to San Fransisco, on a five hour flight, I couldn’t help to explore the thoughts of so many topics in my head. Yet, there was one thought that wouldn’t leave my mind: “I’m on plane with Kevin Jarrett, heading to Stanford University for the FabLearn conference, with some of the most brilliant minds in the world.” I wanted to scream, “Wow, can you believe that I’m heading there on a scholarship!” but I had second thoughts about standing up and yelling on an airplane.


Several years back if you had told me that I would be on this trip, I would have laughed at you. Yet, today, I am beyond proud of what our staff and students are doing at our school.

Within 48 hours, I had the opportunity to meet and network with so many passionate educators from across the globe.  The keynotes, workshops, educator panels, student panels, and food breaks were not for "comfortable" educators.  It was a tsunami of information for educators who were looking for ways to move their schools to new heights.  Robotics, 3D printing, more makerspace ideas, laser cutters, cross curriculum lessons, and so much more.

The opportunity to sit and mingle with some of the brightest minds in the world, was something that I will never forget.  With the assistance of Kevin Jarrett, I was able to make connections that I never thought were possible. How often can you eat with Kevin Jarrett @kjarrett, Mary Cantwell @scitechyedu , Sylvia Martinez @smartinez , Tracy Rudzitis @wagongrrl , Dr. Jessica K. Parker, and Josh Weisgrau @jweisgrau. And to think, I was with David Culberhouse @DCulberhouse and LaVonna Roth @LaVonnaRoth the weekend before was AWESOME!

Thank you FabLearn for allowing us to partake.  I promise, if we are invited back out next year, we will certainly be more than willing to present the AMAZING student Maker/Designer/Innovative happenings at our school.

d. School

I made it to the d. School! The moment you walked through the front doors, that were wide open,  you could feel the energy, innovation to learn, share, aspire, and be free with your thoughts. When people ask me what I think future schools will look like, I often mention openness, just like the d. School.

For me, it was surreal, as the entire summer, our projects, research, and visions were based off of the d. School.  When people ask, what would you like your middle school to look like, I always say, Google, Ron Clark Academy, and the d. School. Oh BTW, we now teach design thinking to our students in 5th-8th grade with a focus on empathy and human centered!

Threshold moment
Love Maker!
Where Idea Street Comes From

No Traditional School Desk Here

Students Design The Learning Space!

Idea Street, EdCamp Period, Digital Shop, Black Mesa are all products of what imagination, innovative mindsets, hard work, teamwork, and desire to create the best possible learning environment.  

Thanks d. School for inspiring us to strive higher each day, and to teach our students, and teachers the enormous power of design thinking. 

Our Own Manifesto That Drives Us!

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