On Thursday, August 13 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present the fifteenth LIVE episode of the new LearningRevolution.com weekly interview series, REINVENTING SCHOOL. If you miss the LIVE show, we'll post the recorded version early next week.
This week, REINVENTING SCHOOL is all about student empowerment, agency, and a model of learning that grows from the needs of children and teenagers. While the education system promises this approach, many students, parents, and teachers see a need for change. In addition to several students who are so important to these conversations, we welcome Chris Lehmann, founding principal and CEO of Science Leadership Academy, Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow, an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization that focuses on improving learning opportunities for students through the effective use of STEM resources. Michelle D. Jones founded and now runs a college that she founded, Wayfinding Academy.
Chris Lehmann is the founding principal and CEO of the Science Leadership Academy and the Science Leadership Academy Schools network, a network of three progressive science and technology schools in Philadelphia, PA. The Science Leadership Academy is an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school that is considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement nationally and internationally. Science Leadership Academy is the Dell Computing Center of Excellence for Technology in Education. The school was recognized by Ladies Home Journal as one of the Ten Most Amazing Schools in the US, was recognized as a “Breaking Ranks” Model School by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and is recognized as the Dell Computing Center of Excellence in Education. SLA has been written about in many publications including Edutopia Magazine, EdWeek, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2013, Chris co-founded the non-profit Inquiry Schools with Diana Laufenberg to help more schools create more empowering, modern learning experiences for students. In partnership with Inquiry Schools, Chris opened Science Leadership Academy @ Beeber campus, the second campus in the SLA model, and in 2016, Chris co-founded Science Leadership Academy Middle School. Chris returned to his native Philadelphia after nine years as an English Teacher, Technology Coordinator, Girls Basketball Coach, and Ultimate Frisbee coach at the Beacon School in New York City, one of the leading urban public schools for technology integration.
Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization that focuses on improving learning opportunities for students through the effective use of STEM resources. Dr. Evans has been CEO of this organization since 1999 and during that tenure has created several innovative initiatives to impact education including the heralded Speak Up Research Project which annually collects and reports on the authentic views of 500,000 K-12 students, parents and educators on education issues each year. Dr. Evans serves as the lead strategist and chief researcher on the Speak Up Project as well as leading research efforts on the impact of mobile devices, digital content, and blended learning models in both K-12 and higher education. Over the past thirteen years, 5 million K-12 students, teachers, and parents have participated in the Speak Up Project representing over 35,000 schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and around the world.
Michelle D. Jones: "A couple of years ago I started my own college. I am in the midst of doing my life's work right now, which is exhilarating and terrifying. During my 15 years of teaching Leadership and Organizational Behavior courses in the traditional college system, I had a front-row seat for what is broken about that system. About 3 years ago, I gathered a group of like-minded badasses around a vision of what a revolution in higher education could look like. After years of helping amazing groups and non-profits organize for social impact (SuperThank, TEDxMtHood, World Domination Summit) I started my own legacy project — Wayfinding Academy was born."
Howard Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.
Before the virus, more than a billion children and teenagers relied upon school for learning. After the virus (or, after the current wave of our current virus), basic assumptions about school and education are no longer reliable. School buildings may become unsafe for large numbers of students. The tax base may no longer support our current approach to school. Without the interaction provided by a formal school structure, students may follow their own curiosity. Many students now possess the technology to learn on their own. And many do not.
Reinventing.school is a new weekly web television series that considers what happens next week, next month, next school year, and the next five years. Hosted by University of Pennsylvania Senior Scholar Howard Blumenthal, Reinventing.school features interviews with teachers, principals, school district leadership, state and Federal government officials, ed-tech innovators, students, leading education professors, authors, realists and futurists from the United States and all over the world.
Each episode features 2-4 distinguished guests in conversation about high priority topics including, for example, the teaching of public health, long-term home schooling, technology access and its alternatives, the role of parents, friendship and social interaction, learning outside the curriculum, the future of testing and evaluation, interruption as part of the academic calendar, job security for teachers and support staff, setting (and rethinking) curriculum priorities, special needs, student perspectives on the job of school, the importance of play, the psychology of group dynamics and social interaction, preparing for future rounds of a virus (or cyberattack or impact of climate change, etc.), college readiness, higher education transformed, the higher education promise in an economically challenged world, and more. Clearly, there is much to discuss; nearly all of it ranks high on the list of priorities for raising the world’s children.