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January 17, 2011

Takin’ it to them

by Chris Lindholm

Just thinking out loud in this post…  MN compulsory attendance statute requires students to be in school.  Statute also aligns with the archaic practice of seat time for academic credit – unless your a fancy dancy online provider of education.  Wrestling with these realities, I’m intrigued by the concept of a “learning grid” that I first ran across in the 2020 Forecast published by the Knowledge Works Foundation (under “platforms for resilience”).  The forecast calls for each learner to work with a “personal education advisor” who helps him/her access multiple venues for content and learning activities.  Learners learn to navigate a learning grid of resources, weaving together experiences, opportunities, and meaningful work that ultimately requires the demonstration of mastery of the articulated district standards. 

In this kind of reality, might physical classrooms in brick school buildings be part of the dead weight holding us back?  What if advisors worked with students in churches, shopping centers, day care centers, or community centers using technology that provides the content and connectivity. Could district employees meet students on their turf in a deliberate setting that is the result of deep community partnerships breaking down the barriers of language and cultural walls?  Could the district be a grid all over the community instead of a few mortar buildings that are intimidating to our newest members?

Check out the 2020 Forecast (I recommend printing this doc and taking a close look) and chime in on your thinking about learning grids, personal education advisors, getting to the students who need our help, and meaningful 21st century engagement!


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