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Art, Science, & The Brain

From October 31 to November 1, 2011 a national delegation of 300 innovators in public education will take part in a groundbreaking “knowledge eXchange” – Art, Science and the Brain: New Models of Learning for the 21st Century. Interactive sessions will “explore inquiry-based learning and its effect on our brains.” The emerging field of project-based education, which synthesizes art and science, is multi-faceted. This is reflected in the range of interrelated themes and sessions including: New…

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Limitless Imagination

Half a century ago, Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Today, imagination is fueling the global knowledge economy. Asking ‘What if?’ and ‘Why Not?’ has launched multi billion dollar enterprises with life altering ideas and products. Apple is a good example.  Thomas Friedman, editorialist and author, observes: “If whatever can be done will be done…the biggest competition is between you and your imagination”. General Electric’s tag line is “imagination at work”. Its website…

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Project Skills for Students

Kim Liegel is a pioneer in the emerging field of Project Based Learning for K-12. In 2004, she presented her groundbreaking presentation: “Project-Based Learning and the Future of Project Management” at the North America PMI Global Congress. As a result, Ms. Liegel helped bring together thought leaders from the PBL movement, educators using PBL, and the PMI Educational Foundation to create a network of mentors and educators prepared to support the growing demand for PBL. Her book ‘Make…

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Cave Children’s Art School

Cambridge archeologists revealed evidence of children’s learning and art making 13000 years ago. Their wall markings, called finger flutings, are found throughout the famous complex called the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths in Rouffingnac, France.  Children between 3 and 7 years old created many of the thousands of finger flutings. Four individual children have been identified through their distinctive markings based on scientific measures involving size of fingers, etc.. Two artists were girls. Most prolific was…

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PBL & Design Thinking

The Table below compares Project Based Learning and Design Thinking vis-à-vis features, processes, and assessment. This is a distillation from several sources in both areas. There’s great overlap between the two methodologies. This is because both focus on collaborative projects addressing real world challenges. There are some differences. Design Thinking, while project based, makes significant use of imagination, visual expression, creativity, and prototyping. To be effective in either methodology, good social and emotional skills are…

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Parents Play Prelude

Massey-Vanier High School recently hosted a novel ‘Meet The Teacher’ evening. Grade 7 students taught their parents to play Prelude, a learning game used in class. Prelude helps foster self-knowledge, communication, collaboration, and appreciation for diversity. Seventeen families, with a total of fifty-one members, participated. Gail Klinck, the lead teacher and Prelude pioneer, reported that ‘without fail everyone said Prelude is a good resource’. One parent, a corporate executive, said Prelude is essential for preparing…

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School of One

School of One, based in NYC, offers an innovative, audacious new way for students to learn. Joel Rose, the school’s founder, states it “is based on one simple idea—that we are organizing an entire school around the needs of each individual student.” The school uses a holistic interdisciplinary approach that capitalizes on technology to support students based on their individual learning styles. The school uses what is called a ’student playlist’. This provides a global profile…

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Design for Change

K-12 Lab’s mission to promote Design Thinking has led to an extraordinary partnership with the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India.  ”Riverside’s model of putting ‘common sense into common practice’ is now endorsed by the premier institutes in India and … the Multiple Intelligences Institute at Harvard.” Through this partnership, the Riverside School created an initiative called Design For Change. DFC first started in India. It now reaches 300, 000 schools in 33 countries. DFC provides resources to help youth…

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K-12 Design Thinking

The K-12 Lab is part of the Institute of Design at Stanford University. It was established to address a core education issue and question. Most students start kindergarten with great creativity but graduate high school with so little. What can be done about it?  K-12 Lab’s mission is to introduce design thinking throughout the K-12 school experience. As one Grade 7 Student remarked during a recent school research project– ‘I really liked using my imagination. I haven’t used it…

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The Tab Play Project

Last November, Google Japan launched the Tab Play Project.  A group of students and teachers were invited to participate. This involved each participant creating one still for what would become a collective animation. 300 images were produced and scanned online.  By pressing Google’s Chrome hot key Ctrl+Tab, the series of images then appear as one seamless animation projected onto a large screen. This is a delightful example of creative collaboration using accessible technology. The participants’ sheer…

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