Monday, October 28, 2013

Student Edcon: Next Steps

Student Edcon 2013 was an amazing opportunity for students to get their voice in the room! Our students did an incredible job working through the design thinking process to come up with creative and innovative ideas that bring significant change to their educational landscape. We chose three ideas that we will move forward on here in the Los Altos School District. Below are the Haiku Deck presentations created by each group along with a description of how we will work to prototype and test their ideas.

Elective Shopping: Students felt that at the end of sixth grade, they were asked to choose electives without having a clear picture of the class. Currently, they are given a short written description and choose from a list. Our prototype: a student elective fair. Sixth graders will attend an elective fair during their preview visit in the spring. There, current students of the elective classes will create a table where they will show artifacts from the class and be available for students to ask questions. Run by students for students.

Project Me: Students wanted more choice in their schedules and classwork. Our prototype: a small group of students, 4-5, will work with a teacher to design their own coursework for one semester. They will choose which classes to attend based on the class syllabus and propose ideas for how they will show their mastery of content.

Democratic Classroom: Students wanted their voices heard regarding school policies. They want to be part of the decision process and be represented in discussions of policies that effect them. Our prototype: a group of students, similar to a student council, will create a space for students to voice their issues. They will then collect data and further investigate challenges or creative ideas brought into focus by the student body. They will create solutions and proposals that they will then be invited to present at staff meetings.

Our students did an excellent job identifying issues that were important to them and then brainstorming creative solutions. We are excited to work with them as we test their ideas and build on their solutions. Stay tuned.

Watch a recap of the experience.

Contributed by Kami Thordarson, Innovative Strategies Coach

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