Sometimes you receive a notification saying that someone twitted after a while. Well, if we had Coetail notifications, you would have probably received one saying that I had “blogged after a while*. I am not looking for any excuse, nor I should need to feel guilty. It took me a bit of time indeed to re-connect with the Coetail community after a long break and an intense first month of school. I guess that I had less time than I thought to prepare the launch of my Coetail project. I was still in the Digital World, but simply in another region. The good news is that I found the way back to the Coetail community where I plan to spend more time now and interact with the newly installed neighbours. For the first 5 weeks of school, I had almost no time to work on my Coetail Course 5 project which was to open a creative lab at lunchtime. Of course, we could have started the lab and “build as we were flying” to quote our new Head of Education Technology, but I felt the need to revisit the project before we could open it to students. My side-kick had some great ideas and together we reshaped a bit the concept to make it more manageable at the beginning. The idea is to offer learners three possibilities to take action for the Sustainable Development Goals: a radio show, a green screen movie or a board game. Then, as soon as students are independent and can become themselves facilitators, we’ll open more possibilities. We are supporting them during the brainstorming phase by using a mixture of Project Zero’s thinking routines and Ewan Mc Intosh’s strategies. Nora Vermeulin and I have made visuals about some of the thinking routines both in English and French to be used in class. The “Better World Creative Lab” was launched two weeks ago and we now have four teams working on their project. It feels great to see their excitement and to observe how they generate ideas together and take ownership.
I also attended Will Richardson’s workshop two weeks ago about re-imagining schools. Basically, he said that if you do so, you are never done since you keep re-evaluating and upgrading your practices. He also said that it takes lots of small steps and the involvement of the whole learning community to start the process. Another important factor is to be aware as an educator of the gap which exists very often between our believes and what we actually do.
Giving students agency and rethinking how we use time and space are necessary to re-imagine schools. One of the participant used the skatepark metaphor where learners define their own rules, learn from their mistakes, watch carefully role models, take risks, are creative and develop their resilience. Perhaps our lab could become one of these little steps to re-imagine our school?