Schedules

Fantastic idea about how to help high school students get ready for college — and I think it would help them STAY in high school!

Nick Stoneman writes about his school that schedules seniors in a way that gives them more autonomy over their day. In Nick’s words, this so-called “fifth grade schedule” is a problem: “Complacency is a risk when students have their time managed for them, as are both absenteeism and a lack of engagement.”

Even the brightest, most successful high school students have trouble when faced with the unstructured schedule of college.  This approach with a phased-in schedule would be a great way to give kids a safer place to experience this schedule, as well as keep kids engaged. Seniors are DONE with school by their last year, and giving them more responsibility and freedom could be a great way to keep them engaged.

Would some of them abuse the privilege? Of course. Guess what: they already find ways to sneak out of class and even if they are in class, they aren’t always present.

Will this happen? In most schools, no way, at least not for most kids. You’ll hear about transportation issues. You’ll hear that kids need to be in school. The transportation issue is real, although there must be ways to work around it.

Figure it out.

TIES Report #1

Just off two days at Minnesota’s version of ISTE – the TIES 2011 Conference. I’m exhausted. There are million things running through my head. TIES definitely isn’t ISTE, which is some ways is a relief. It was a much more manageable size: 3000 as opposed to 15,000 people. I also appreciated being able to see people I knew and make connections with people that I can connect with in person later.

A few highlights:

  • Keynote speaker today was Gabe Zichermann who was a pinch hitter for an ailing Jane McGonigal. He is an awesome speaker. The quote of the conference: “Do our kids have ADD or is the world just too slow?” It’s worth watching his keynote when it’s up, or catching his TED talk.
  • Last session of the conference for me was with Doug Johnson, the technology director at Mankato Public Schools. Turns out I had met him on a trolley at ISTE. Small world. He’s a great speaker, and had thought -provoking things to say. I think this was my favorite session. Check out his blog.
  • I caught a session by the Superintendant and Tech Director for the Little Falls schools. I had the good fortune to be able to visit them last spring, and I was looking forward to hearing what had happened since then. It sounds like they’ve had a successful rollout of a 1:1 iPad program. What impresses me most about them is their philosophy and how they did the 1:1. It truly was about engaging students and providing them with the skills they needed. It’s worth hearing them speak about their project, or at least checking out their e-book.

 

More to come after I get some sleep!