Wednesday, February 9, 2011
This week I listened to another EdTechTalk pod cast and this time it was about the first global, mobile high school, Think Global. The pod cast was Episode 143 recorded on November 3rd 2010. Interesting, I know. Alex, Marvin and Vinnie were speaking to the head of the school, Brad Ovenell-Carter. You could hear the passion in Brad’s voice as he described the idea of a school that learned in the world instead of about the world. Freshmen year they start in Stockholm where they have Swedish guest speakers and a host school, the second location is Sydney where they plan to study the ocean and last stop is Beijing. Currently, this school had fifteen 9th graders from 11 different countries that are scheduled to visit 3 different cities in 3 different countries in 3 terms before entering 10th grade to do it again in 3 different countries. By the time these student have graduate 12th grade they will have gone around the world 4 times. Brad tells the guys that this school has no bells, is technology heavy and operations are radical. He also goes on to tell them that the kids still are obligated to learn the same math and English as other school but have the ability to decide their own schedule. If the students need more time on a certain subject they change their schedule on the fly. Or if the kids ask to meet at 8pm on a Sunday night to do there math lesson, the schedule is easily updated. Teachers are still required to record their hours to keep the school certified and do so on a Google calendar. The necessary tools to be a student at this school are an iPad, iPhone and mac notebook. Students live in a hostel and have access to labs, amazing field trips, guest speakers and even a rented kitchen to learn local food preparation. Some challenges the school faces is bad internet connections, and globalizations. The kids all met on Facebook prior to there in person introduction and the entire student all like the same hit songs and movies and found it to be a reunion instead of a cultural event. I connected with the pod cast because a personal educational philosophy much like, Brads, “we want to teach the students to make sense of information but more importantly to make good judgments”.