Basic Principles of 21st-Century Learning

Learning is self-directed.
Learning develops over time and is continuous.
Learning grows through collaboration.
Learning requires reflection.
Learning should be archived and shared with others.

Learning is fun.

General Goals:
  • Students have total ownership of the project.
  • Synthesis of 4 years of work (added to over time after pilot project is initiated)
  • Highlights creativity and innovation as 21st-century skills
  • Improve engagement of students throughout their high school years
  • Change the culture of the school to recapture a love of learning
  • Raise the bar -- teach students and teachers to expect more from their educational experience
  • Sharing of information and process through regular transparent postings and reflections online

The Senior Seminar will meet three times per week in the fall semester, while Technology Applications will meet 2 times per week, preferably MW to accommodate Jeremy's soccer schedule. (This will reverse in the spring.) As part of the Senior Seminar, Cathy Adams, College Counselor, will have classes one day per week, on average, with the seniors. She may spend two days per week with seniors in Sept.-November, and may not need to spend any days with seniors in April and May.)

Pilot Project Curriculum

Spring 2010
Junior Leadership Retreat
(May 7, 2010)
  • Introduce Senior Seminar
  • Strengthsfinders assessments -- what kind of leader are you? how do you motivate people to accomplish goals?
  • Begin to brainstorm project ideas (using identified "Strengths") -- what is the problem you would like to solve? who do you need to consult with to solve it?
  • Skills Survey (for Technology Applications II): Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Overview of the college process -- why this is an important component? what is your "brand"?
  • Choose mentor and invite panel of experts
  • How will the senior capstone project draw on leadership skills?
  • Have students NAME the project?

Summer 2010
Required Reading: Daniel Pink, Drive (pair with faculty to discuss student/teacher perspectives)
(Also read Gladwell's Outliers for AP English?) Students begin blogging their responses to the book over the summer; invite comments and participation from teachers
Students write proposal for opening of school:
What is their motivation?
What is their sense of purpose for the project?
How will they gain mastery? Set benchmarks?
How will they demonstrate mastery?
Who will be on their panel of advisors?

Fall 2010
Senior Seminar
Discuss Drive (ask Dan Pink to Skype with the class? respond to blogs?)
Develop Digital Portfolio
Defining the Scope of the Project
Creating a Learning Network
Set Goals and Benchmarks
Conduct Initial Research, Report on Findings
Finalize Panel of Experts; soliciting community and expert feedback
Ongoing Blog -- Reflections on process; self-evaluation
Quarterly self-assessments (use rubric)
Becoming curators of information

Technology Applications II
Entertainment vs. educational uses of the web
Effective blogging (and commenting)
Ethical issues (copyright, public vs. private, etc.)
Establishing a Digital Footprint (Google Profile project)
Creating a Digital Portfolio (Text, Visual, Video elements; establishing a "professional disposition", online resume, etc.)
Using research tools: enhanced googling, diigo, delicious, zotero, zoho
Using Networking Tools: Twitter, Skype
Effective video production; media literacy

Spring 2011:
Students working on independent projects.
  • Senior Project week (May 7-14): students working independently on presentations; student finalize projects and archiveable exhibitions of mastery.
  • Graduation Week: best presentations on display before awards/graduation ceremonies. Tie best in show to scholarship awards from the school.

Final Project:
Presented and published for dissemination to the broader community
Documented and saved in a Digital Gallery
Prize for best project at graduation; repeat of exhibition.

8th Grade
Beginning in the fall we will develop an 8th-grade version of the above. This will be coordinated through the Skills III class.


12th Grade
Students read Daniel Pink's Drive
Ideas for how to use web 2.0 tools with Drive's "Two Questions"
Classroom 2.0 Webinar: Interview with Daniel Pink