Today I am speaking at the (co)lab summit in Atlanta. This 2 day event has an interesting lens and mission, “where today’s executives and tomorrow’s leaders from our business, education and civic communities connect, communicate and collaborate on issues vital to a thriving Atlanta region.” The portion of the day that I was asked to prepare a talk for was on New Models of Education. Over the past year I’ve been struggling to explain to people what I am up to and today you will see a new title on my portion of the program and that is Lead Teacher at Inquiry Schools. Inquiry Schools is a brand new non-profit that will be the umbrella organization around the work of Chris Lehmann and the Science Leadership Academy team. My role will be that of the teacher… basically, doing whatever needs to be done to help schools thrive.
Currently I am working on two projects that are affiliated with Inquiry Schools, the recently opened SLA@Beeber and (hopefully) the opening of a middle school, next year. In that work it has challenged us to boil down the essence of what makes SLA a thriving educational community…. considering what is essential and what is interesting, but not essential. In doing so, we once again evaluated the ‘bones’ of what the model is and what are the systems and structures that support that environment.
Today, I will be sharing that message with the crowd in Atlanta. And I am going to challenge myself to write a series of blog posts about many of these elements (@theJLV has been encouraging me to write more, and I might just listen). I think the work of creating new learning environments is tough and transitioning traditional environments even tougher. I do believe, however, that we have learned some important lessons on the way to shifting an educational program into the modern era that attends to the potential of inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop learning spaces. I will be sharing some of those today in Altanta and hope to elaborate on those here throughout the next few weeks.