Teachers Teaching Teachers #261 - Monika Hardy and colleagues discuss Lab: a plan of disruption to redefine school - 8.24.11

Post-Show description: 

Monika Hardy and colleagues introduce Lab Connections

For this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Monika Hardy @monk51295 invited a few of her colleagues:

  • Thomas Steele-Maley @steelemaley
  • Roberto Greco @rogre
  • Mary Ann Rielly @MaryAnnRielly
  • Amanda Judd @venueX
  • Amy Lewark @fat4thought

to join Chris Sloan @csloan and me @paulallison to introduce why we need lab spaces to disrupt and redefine school (Lab Connections). The goal is to facilitate self-directed learning. Here’s how Monika and others introduce their work in an in-progress book they are writing:

Students in Loveland, CO crafted a four year plan of disruption to redefine school. We are just beginning year two. Year four has community/life as school, with the city as the floor plan. Who, what, when, where, how, and with whom you learn, per choice. The premise… nothing is for everyone. We’re redefining success per individual/community. We’re respectfully questioning everything, especially what public education deems as normal. Imagine if the 7 hours a day we currently call school would/could awaken indispensable people. It’s a quiet revolution.

There has been plenty of theory/research invested in what we are doing, and that will be ongoing. But mostly, we have had the privilege and delight to indulge in experimentation/failure/prototyping/etc. The following is our best attempt to capture the key elements learned from key failures. If you are so inclined, shuffle along with us. It’s a kick. You might just fall in love with it.

For more history of the lab, see this video set/documentation (reverse chronological order):redefineschool.tumblr.com

For current updates/info on the lab, see labconnections: http://labconnections.blogspot.com/p/about.html

This was a first, exploratory conversation, and one that we hope will inspire you to join as well. We'll be continuing our conversations with Monika Hardy and her colleagues in the coming weeks on Teachers Teaching Teachers. Join us every Wednesday at edtechtalk.com/live where you’ll hear and see a Livestream broadcast of our conversation, and be invited to chat and ask questions as well.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

8:59 PM Welcome to the 'teachersteachingteachers' room.
8:59 PM paulallison: We'll be live on Wednesday, 8.24.11 at
9:00 PM Eastern / 6:00 PM Pacific
8:59 PM monika and cristian: hey
8:59 PM Hillary715: are you the moderator?
9:00 PM Hillary715: Hi I'm new
9:00 PM paulallison: I'll try to moderate, yes.
9:01 PM paulallison: Hillary can you see us?
9:01 PM Chris Sloan: Hello
9:01 PM Hillary715: I am a student and my professor needs the moderator to please email me a confirmation that I came tonight... The confirmation should have the presenter's name and email address, the name of the webina
9:01 PM Hillary715: r
9:01 PM Hillary715: and a statement that I attended
9:01 PM Hillary715: and yes I can see you
9:01 PM paulallison: Out regular chat room person isn't here. Susan isn't here tonight.
9:02 PM paulallison: Chris Sloan perhaps you can have people introduce themselves.
9:02 PM Chris Sloan: Sure thing Paul.
9:02 PM Chris Sloan: So, whoever is here. Where are you and how are you involved i education?
9:04 PM bobspranle: hello all
9:04 PM Chris Sloan: I teach high school English and media in Salt Lake City, Utah
9:04 PM bobsprankle: hello all
9:04 PM Chris Sloan: How about you Hillary?
9:05 PM Hillary715: I am a multiple subject credentialed teacher clearing my credential through National University
9:05 PM Hillary715: I have my MA in The Art of Teaching
9:05 PM Chris Sloan: Where's National University?
9:05 PM Hillary715: An online University but I am located in California
9:06 PM Hillary715: how do I participate in video or audio chat?
9:07 PM Chris Sloan: Do you want to join the Google Hangout? I'll post the link
9:07 PM Hillary715: what's the Google hangout?
9:09 PM paulallison: https://talkgadget.google.com/hangouts/35e86c80b874fe5b4120f1483d97b4709...
9:10 PM Hillary715: it says that the capacity has been reached
9:10 PM Chris Sloan: Hang on, we'll make room for you. I can duck out if need be.
9:11 PM Chris Sloan: Does the topic align with your teaching/research interests?
9:11 PM Chris Sloan: @Hillary
9:12 PM Hillary715: I'm not exactly sure what the topic is at this point... I'm sorry, I'm having trouble following along
9:12 PM paulallison: We're just doing introductions.
9:12 PM Chris Sloan: Can you hear them?
9:12 PM Hillary715: yes, but I'm trying to follow chat and figure out how to get myself onvideo/audio as well
9:15 PM Chris Sloan: some background on Lab ... http://labconnections.blogspot.com
9:17 PM steelemaley: Hour School+http://www.hourschool.com/
9:17 PM Chris Sloan: Thanks for the link steelemaley
9:18 PM Chris Sloan: I'm just checking the Hour School out now....
9:22 PM Hillary715: so to be more clear, this is a group about how to help students learn outside of the standard state rules for teaching?
9:23 PM Chris Sloan: I think so. It's my understanding that these teachers are teaching students outside of traditional schools
9:23 PM Hillary715: and it seems as though with techniques outside of traditional ways
9:23 PM Hillary715: ?
9:24 PM Chris Sloan: sounds like it. Inquiry based, student centered...
9:25 PM Hillary715: So, Chris, are you the moderator for this weekly live chat and this group of "Lab" Teachers happens to be the topic for this week? Or are these teachers on this webinar every week?
9:25 PM alewark: I love hearing Cristian's story! Thank you, Cristian.
9:25 PM steelemaley: more than student centered, student directed, structured and run
9:26 PM Chris Sloan: Yes, Lab is the topic for this week, Hillary. If you check out TeachersTeachingTeachers.org you can get a sense for the range of topics
9:26 PM alewark: At the lab, we are hoping to involve the community, pairing students 1:1 with mentors who can help facilitate and support the students' self-directed learning, creating life-long learners.
9:26 PM Hillary715: oh ok... I get it now.. sorry so many questions
9:26 PM Chris Sloan: Good questions
9:27 PM Chris Sloan: I teach in a traditional school, so I'm trying to get up to speed too
9:27 PM Chris Sloan: I like the student-centered approach.
9:27 PM Chris Sloan: I run my classroom like that
9:27 PM Hillary715: whew.. thoguht it was just me.... lol... but I am very interested in this... I agree 100% so far
9:28 PM Hillary715: who is the moderator?
9:28 PM Chris Sloan: Paul moderates the show. I'm moderating the chat
9:28 PM Chris Sloan: You need someone to send an email?
9:28 PM Chris Sloan: as I recall
9:29 PM alewark: I'm Amy, the unschooling mom farthest to the left.
9:29 PM Hillary715: Sorry to have to ask this, but I need you to email me at [email protected] a confirmation that I attended... the teacher is very specific about what it has to include
9:29 PM Hillary715: but I can tell you more when this is over if that would be better
9:29 PM Chris Sloan: Hi Amy. There was a question earlier about how you deal with state standards, etc.
9:30 PM Chris Sloan: Do you have total freedom
9:30 PM alewark: It depends on the state of residence.
9:31 PM alewark: In the state of Colorado, we have to file a notice of intent to homeschool annually starting the year the child turns 6 years of age, with the school district.
9:31 PM Chris Sloan: @Hillary. Just sent the email
9:32 PM Chris Sloan: Okay, so this is more like homeschooling than charter schools?
9:32 PM alewark: Every odd grade, starting in the 3rd grade, we have to administer a nationally-standardized test (ITBS, CAT or others) and file the results with the school district. Or, we can have the child indepe
9:32 PM alewark: ndently evaluated by a person with a current teaching certificate. Or, we can register in an umbrella school.
9:36 PM Chris Sloan: Don't get me wrong. Not criticizing, just trying to understand how something like this might work in my community.
9:37 PM Chris Sloan: common denominator is educating without standardized assessments. Is that fair to say?
9:38 PM alewark: Of course. I think we are in a great location to get this going. We have a strong community of artists and engineers, many retired people.
9:39 PM Chris Sloan: So you'finding there are lots of mentors available for all the students who need them?
9:39 PM alewark: Yes, I believe that is the goal.
9:39 PM alewark: Yes.
9:40 PM alewark: I believe we won't have problems finding people, but this mentorship aspect is really just in its first year, so time will tell.
9:40 PM Chris Sloan: Great idea though.
9:41 PM Chris Sloan: More students need good mentors
9:42 PM steelemaley: @Chris common denominator is a drive for ubiquitous learning outside of the school structure: schedules and tests to curriculum
9:43 PM Chris Sloan: Agreed!
9:44 PM Hillary715: However, are you gearing the learning to a well rounded amount of subjects and topics or focusing more on the student's specific future almost like an apprenticeship?
9:46 PM alewark: Sorry, my laptop overheated and shut down. :(
9:46 PM Hillary715: are you gearing the learning to a well rounded amount of subjects and topics or focusing more on the student's specific future almost like an apprenticeship?
9:49 PM steelemaley: the question of well rounded is interesing, who decides this? All of care about this. Can "specific" futures really be a reality on the 21st century...
9:49 PM alewark: It is more like an apprenticeship. We are trying to get away from the focus on standards with this project. The kids get enough of that in school already.
9:49 PM Hillary715: so this lab is something that is done in addition to traditional schooling?
9:49 PM Chris Sloan: Lots of good things about the apprenticeship model
9:49 PM Hillary715: because I thought I heard that soem of the teachers on here home school?
9:50 PM alewark: The original kids who started the program are all enrolled in school. There are a few of us who are involved who are homeschoolers.
9:50 PM Hillary715: got it
9:52 PM Chris Sloan: I missed that part. The program was started by the kids?
9:52 PM alewark: Monika and the kids, yes. She has been their advocate.
9:53 PM Hillary715: i believe that alewark was referring to the original participants
9:53 PM Hillary715: oh guess i was wrong
9:54 PM Chris Sloan: okay, got it.
9:59 PM David Loitz: could you put a link of that online
10:01 PM David Loitz: We At the Cooperative Catalyst welcome any student voices to join us or to guest blog!
10:02 PM David Loitz: email us at [email protected]
10:03 PM Chris Sloan: Yes, this group sounds like they have a lot in common with the folks at Cooperative Catalyst
10:04 PM alewark: Do you have a website?
10:04 PM David Loitz: www.coopcatalyst.org
10:04 PM alewark: http://labconnections.blogspot.com
10:04 PM David Loitz: Monika and Thomas write for the Cooperative
10:11 PM Chris Sloan: Nice chatting with everyone tonight.