In planning for this weekend’s EduCon storytelling workshop “I was promised flying schools,” I looked back to last year’s MozFest for inspiration. In working with the supremely insightful Christina Cantrill and Paul Oh (who is standing in for Kirsten Olson) of the National Writing Project, I tried to account for – in our session – the same sense of joyful urgency that we felt in MozFest’s make it, ship it culture.
So we’re going to take off right from the start with a design thinking sprint meant to help us name our hopes and fears for public education. Once we’ve named them, we’re going to remix our hopes into fears and our fears into hopes (but not without humor).
Drawing on those hopes, fears, and reversals, we’ll compose and share quick pitches for storytelling the bright and dark futures of public education across all sorts of media. At this point, folks will be able to follow-through on their own ideas or to join in a new affinity group centered on a compelling pitch. We facilitators will be around to help everyone as best we can.
We are super excited by all the unknown possibilities for story-telling that participants will bring to the table, but, for example, some ideas we’ve tossed around include:
- Hiding time capsules from the future around SLA for folks to find and consider with geo-cache clues posted online.
- Building blogs or larger websites incorporating multi-media artifacts from schools of the future.
- Designing alternate and augmented reality games through which players track their progress in creating the future imagined in the game.
- Drafting a journal or lesson plan that captures the best or worst of public education in the future.
- Composing fiction or non-fiction (including personal essays) about schooling in the future.
We are up for everything attendees bring to create.
After we hear the pitches and join our new affinity groups, we’ll use the rest of the session (about an hour’s worth of time) to begin building what we see in our heads. Some of us may finish a piece or part of a piece and run enough post-production on it to post a draft on the flying schools site. Others might still be planning after an hour and leave EduCon intent on finishing and posting their projects later. It’s all good.
The real point of the workshop and the purpose of the community is to identify what we hope for our children so long as they are stuck in schools and then to take positive action to realize those hopes in direct, civil, and humanely restorative response to our fears.
If you would like some dedicated time for imagining what you want to build in public schools, then please join us for Session 4 on Sunday morning. Bring anything you cannot create without (your laptop, your notebook, your Legos), and we’ll be there ready to help, listen, imagine, and enact alongside you.