Here are my notes for the talk given my Jim Tracy and Nancy Boyle of Cushing Academy, in Massachusetts:
Leading Edge of 21st Century Education: Jim Tracy & Nancy Boyle
1. Establish partnerships between public & private schools
2. Institutional partnerships – students beta-testing ereaders; Skype with experts
3. Cushing Academy Institute for 21st Century Leadership
Everything the school does is devoted to this. “Leadership” is the theme of the year.
4. Athletic leadership program: athletes partner with business executives
5. 10 Degrees of Ubiquity – Tracy’s book about the digital divide between generations
6. Faculty & Administration Engagement
(a) “Food for Thought” faculty lunches – brainstorming sessions
(b) “Skunkworks” – administration meetings. 2 rules: no small ideas, and no editing of notes.
(c) Faculty book – flew out to different schools to research and write about the most exciting classroom practices in the country right now. It will be published as an open-source ebook.
1. Tools & Devices: conversations got stuck in tool details, so the topic turned to philosophy. Developed a “Skills Wheel”.
2. What is the core curriculum, connect to it changes in shared outcomes and vision.
1. Unified message and unified commitment of school & faculty
2. Give teachers time to plan and the resources they need
3. Provide opportunities for teacher interaction/cooperation/collaboration (catered lunches)
4. Project-based learning
5. Work-based learning experiences
6. Two big departments: Humanities & STEM – blended classrooms
7. Assessment & Evaluation is changing
8. Ongoing professional development
9. Academic support: personal learning plans for students
10. Digital graduation portfolios
11. Flexbooks and ebooks used
12. Wide variance in use of technology
Drive the curriculum provide learning opportunities
Create safe, challenging environments
Step aside, involve others
Some examples of new courses (all student-driven):
Leadership Through the Humanities
Ethics, Leadership, & Society
Visions of Humanness
21st Century Art – Going Green
Leadership in Social Media
Ethics & Responsibility in Science
More connections between disciplines
Design thinking and problem solving
Self-reliance, critical evaluation
Self-regulation (copyright issues): Teachers have a conversation about how not to use a phone, iPad, etc. while in class.
“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”