I am starting a summer writing project with Kevin Kerr that looks to not only define, but support a school as they look to become the NeXt School. This is a follow up to the work done last summer and during the 2012/13 school year on Project NeXt. Basically this is the TCDSB’s movement around and articulation of 21st Century Learning. I am incredibly excited about this project and will blog about it regularly as we work through ideas and create an online resource for people to use to help move their community along.
We are basically looking to follow the model of ECO School Certification that sees schools apply for the distinction of bronze, silver, or gold ECO SCHOOL. The organization that runs this program provides a criteria for schools to consider and then the communities have to create an online portfolio of their efforts which is scored by the organization and a certification follows.
We want to model this in some way so that schools have something tangible that they can work towards. We found this most telling when rolling out Project NeXt and particularly the NeXt Lesson to teachers as they liked the tangible element of it. I think educators are an interesting professional bunch because they really are not all that academic in the strictest sense of the word. Teachers and school admin like having something to do. They are people of action and so they are comfortable engaging in a philosophical discussion as long as it leads to something tangible that they can do. Project NeXt took hold I believe, because it gave a face and substance to the idea of 21C Learning. This is what we need to replicate for the NeXt School.
I will be blogging about the different elements of the project as we go and this will dominate my blog for the summer but I may sprinkle in some stuff about my new job as principal.
Just as a starting point, we are going to set up the project in a similar fashion to the 5 year plan for the 21C and AICT team at the TCDSB. There will be sections and tasks for all these stakeholders to fulfill in the certification process.
- Teachers / Staff
- Parents / Community
Next post will be after Kevin and I have our next meeting and so I will have more details to share and will start to go through the content of what we will offer.