Build Your Own School?

28 02 2014

REALM charter school – X-space project

I am intrigued by this Kikstarter. Kids design their own learning space, then run a kikstarter to try and raise the $75k. One of my inspirations is Ron L Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence . One of the case studies he describes is the collaborative design of a new school building – a library? – which the school community including the young people, then build. (Ron is a qualified carpenter as well as a teacher).

Not sure how many new school buildings will end up paid for through crowdfunding, but I really love the agency aspects, as well the learning opportunities which are embedded in doing real world projects. Another positive aspect arises from the legacy – for the young people coming after those who achieved it (assuming they do), its a powerful statement of what’s possible; and for the group who achieved it, their ties to the place and attending values will likely be enduring.


Top of mind, tip of tongue

21 02 2014

I really enjoyed reading Jonah Berger’s Contagious – Why things catch on. An analysis of the mechanics of virality ..viralness?.. which he breaks down into the S.T.E.P.P.S. framework and illustrates with a range of examples from social change initiatives to corporate contexts.

One that is really exercising my mind is “Public” – can people see others benefiting from thies experience/idea/product. For me this ties directly to the PBL concepts of real world/public audience, and also to notions of porosity around learning environments, discussed by my hero, James Paul Gee in regard to Passionate Affinity Spaces and many others in the literacy research area.

Social Currency: Does talking about it make people look good?

Triggers: context: grow the habitat in which people are reminded of it – top of mind, tip of tongue

Emotion: Kindle the fire by engaging people’s feelings

Public: Make the private public: can people see others using the product? create behavioural residue

Practical Value: Useful information others will like to disseminate

Stories: Embed product in broader “shareworthy” narrative