There are some things, that when presented to you in life, you want to run away from. In my experience, those things I want to run away from, are often a window into my future. My immediate reaction is to resist, but in the end, as I get more comfortable with the idea, I end up embracing it with passion. Over the past 3 years, I have been approached by different people, in different walks of life, to start a school. The first time conversation headed in this direction I was intrigued and, if I’m honest, totally terrified. What do I know about starting a school? I continued the conversation because I love talking education and learning and thought I might learn something in the process. Last year, my mindset about starting a school began to change. I can’t pinpoint exactly what caused that change, maybe it was being in a private school and realizing that even there, education isn’t what it should be. Sure there are more resources, money, involved parents, more freedom, but education is still being done the same way it has been for nearly a century. We have tools and resources at our disposal that would make customizing education a much easier task than it was even 20 years ago and yet the direction we are heading in is to standardize more and individualize less.
Somewhere in the span of a year, I decided to really take this on. Even if the end result wasn’t a school, I wanted to really intentionally re-imagine education. I wanted to re-imagine what a school is. I brought together a few teachers who share my passion for education and learning and a passion to improve education. Two of us decided to pursue what it would take to make our ideas a reality and start a school. We brought an entrepreneur into the mix who has no background in education but knows how to build a business. That may seem like a strange thing to do, but we both felt that an outside perspective is needed. Sometimes we are too close to education to get a clear view of the possibilities that exist because we can build up walls that are unnecessary. The three of us are coming to a place where we are ready to invite more voices into the mix. I would relish your input in the formation of this school. This is your opportunity to help shape education! I think the best way to ask for that input is through Google forms. I will be throwing out Google Forms with questions about education, learning, school design etc. over the next few months, I hope you will help out when you can.
First I should give you a 10,000 foot view of what we are looking to accomplish. I don’t want to give away too many details just yet because as I am asking for input, I want it to be separate from our ideas and biases. We are looking to create a replicable school model that could eventually take the place of public education. Right now it is our feeling that public education is beyond tweaking. Education needs a major overhaul and re-imagining. To try to do this within the current system is going to be slow at best. We want the school to be free for everyone (tuition-free) but private (not government-funded). I will post more later about our ideas for how to accomplish that. The focus of the school will be building up a community of learners. I will be adding more details and fleshing this out for those who are interested in later posts.
With this in mind, I would love your help with the first round of questions. If you can take a minute to help out it would be greatly appreciated. This first Google form focuses on the learning environment. Don’t feel like you have to answer each and every question, answer those that you have an opinion about or are passionate about.
You may be wondering what the title of this post is all about… about a month ago @cybraryman1 and I came up with the idea of Twitter Academy, the ideal school created and shaped by educators on Twitter. As I progress with this project, I will be using the hash tag #twitacad on Twitter to follow conversations and progress. Please feel free to add to that conversation by adding #twitacad to any of your tweets. @cybraryman1 has started a page on his awesome site for Twitter Academy.