The first question that I get asked when people find out that I’ve started a school: what makes Anastasis Academy different? And this is a tricky one to answer, because the truth is EVERYTHING makes us different. It’s hard to describe something that no one has seen before, so you begin to relate it with ideas and concepts that people are familiar with. The more I’ve talked about Anastasis, the more I’ve begun to really recognize what it is at the heart that makes us so different. It is our starting point and driving force: students-with-names.
That may seem like a strange comment to make, “students-with-names,” because, of course they have names! But in education, we make a lot of decisions without these specific students-with-names in mind. We make decisions for students as if they are a homogeneous group, or worse, a number.
As if they don’t have special interests/passions/gifts.
|Originally posted on Dreams of Education on October 6, 2015|
In 2009, I left teaching. I didn’t do it because I was fed up with the system, or because I didn’t like my job. Quite the opposite. I really loved being a computer teacher. I loved the freedom of writing my own curriculum every day, and getting to know my students. I had a great time helping other teachers learn how to use technology, and coming up with ideas for how they could integrate it into their classrooms. In 2009, I left teaching for health reasons. I have auto immune disorders (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Raynaud’s Syndrome) and in 2009, my rheumatologist recommended that I take a year off to see if my body would stop attacking itself. Get away from the germs the wreak havoc on the system.
So, that is what I did. I took a year off, fully anticipating that this little experiment would not work and that I would be back in the classroom by 2010.
In 2008 (I know, I’m doing this in the wrong order!), I was teaching my stude...
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. If it doesn’t exist or it can be done better, that is what you do. This mind-set can be a bit of a curse…once I get an idea in my head, it is like a broken record that plays over and over until I do something about it. My dad is prime example of this, he started Koostik with a styrofoam cup and an iPhone. Once the idea was there, it stayed until he saw it realized…in this case that means a growing company and product in Restoration Hardware and Red Envelope. He is awesome.
For me this process started as I dug through curriculum and worked to supplement it with technology tools. The idea was to “fill” the gaps with technology tools that would make the curriculum work better for students. As I went through publisher after publisher, I started realizing that the problem wasn’t a lack of technology (if you have read this blog for any amount of time...
|Posted originally on Dreams of Education on September 20, 2012|
Last year I had a “hunch” about learning…specifically about curriculum. That hunch turned into a full-fledged idea and a mission to do better for kids. Everywhere. Along the line I met some truly incredible people who taught me things I didn’t know how to do before. Like wire framing (thanks @ianchia), and pitching ideas (thanks @houseofgenius), and how to go about picking up programmers (thanks @toma_bedolla). Now I’m ready to share the culmination of all this work with you.
This isn’t just a post to tell you about what I’m doing, it is a call to action for everyone (yes, even you). It is a request for you to join me in this mission in whatever form that may take.
I have a vision: to make personalized learning a reality for EVERY child.
I know, it is big. It is also doable.
For those who are new to following me, here was my original “hunch” written here, Dreams of Education:...
“We have organized schools not by how kids learn, they have been organized by an easy way to teach.” -Daggett
In September I mentioned a “hunch” I was having about education and learning. Since September I have fleshed out that hunch into a business model, prototype, and wireframe and am currently working with a team of programmers to make it a reality. Last night I presented this idea at the House of Genius and got some great feedback. It made me want to know what my PLN geniuses thought about the idea! I would love your input on this project as I move forward, are there things that aren’t clear in my explanation of what I am doing? Ideas for how to improve it? Recommendations? Below is a little background as to the “why” I am pursuing this project along with a brief description of my solution.
Education is currently operating from a factory model where students are treated like widgets. We push t...
This video caused one of those hunches I was talking about in my post When Hunches Collide. I saw this video last Thursday and immediately typed out a blog post but didn’t publish it because it somehow felt incomplete. I thought I would give myself a day to let my ideas percolate a little more, but each time I came back to it I was left with the same incomplete feeling. (I may very well need therapy to undo the lie that I learned in school: things that are incomplete are not worth turning in.) I have watched this video 7 or 8 times now and each time I watch it, I notice something different. I think I believe if I keep watching it, this incomplete thought will reveal itself… it doesn’t hurt that each time I watch the video I feel like I am witnessing genius unfold. Those RSA animate guys know how to create!
In the video, Robinson talks about divergent thinking, the ability to come up with mult...
|Originally Posted on Dreams of Education October 7, 2010|
In my Post “When Hunches Collide” I talked about Pandora, the free Internet radio station. I posed the question, what if learning happened more like Pandora, more customized, individualized? I started digging deeper into Pandora which is based on the Music Genome project. The Music Genome Project is an effort to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level”. It uses almost 400 attributes to describe songs and a complex mathematical algorithm to organize them. Each song is represented by a vector ( a list of attributes) containing approximately 400 “genes”. Each gene corresponds to a characteristic of the music.
This had me thinking, would it be possible to capture the essence of learning at the fundamental level? Is learning too complex? I want to ask for your input on this, if we were to come up with attributes to learning what would they be? I have created a Google form t...
Lately I have had the overwhelming feeling that education is on the brink of something big. Something that will so dramatically change the way that we think about school and learning that we may hardly recognize it as being such. I feel like I am on the brink of something big within my own thinking, but it is like I can’t quite grasp it. It is elusive like the word that is just on the tip of your tongue. More accurately it is that my mind is racing with so much that I want to explore, but I don’t have time to slow down and think deeply about it because I feel like the run away trail of thoughts is leading to something important. As I read through my Twitter stream and Google Reader I realize that I must not be the only one to feel this way. I can’t be the only one with sticky notes all over the house, and scribbles on the back of receipts, and notes on my iPhone, tweets to myself, voice recordings in various apps. Ye...