Saturday, February 20, 2016

Think Tank at NSE

We are about to unveil the "Think Tank" at NSE.  This is a place where faculty and staff can brainstorm on curriculum ideas, units of study, analyze student data, and come up with innovative ways to solve problems. The Think Tank at NSE will be driven by NSE's shared beliefs (2012).  The plan is to have as much up to date data, curriculum maps, calendars, curriculum resources, thinking space (i.e. white boards, SmartBoard, etc...) so that real thinking and problem solving can take place.  We believe that this space will get it's greatest use over the summer, but will continue into the 2016-2017 school year and beyond.

Grade levels, or groups of teachers can use the space to plan, design lessons, design projects, meet about student data, etc...  District personnel will be able to meet with teams to guide instruction and curriculum decisions.  The sky is the limit with this space.

This space is my old office by the way.  I cannot think of a better use for a space where I used to talk on the phone, check email, met with people, and hung my degree and a few pictures.  I have found out that I can do those things anywhere in the building as a Mobile Principal.

David Raths talks about designing a space that is driven by your vision and mission in his article, How to Launch a Campus Innovation Center. The space David describes and we are trying to create at NSE reminds me of the Deep Dive video created by IDEO.


Filmmaking as an End Product

Filmmaking (see article below) would be a great way to make content stick. I believe that students would be better engaged in whatever it is that they are learning or experiencing if the know they are going to create a film or movie. 

Making iMovies of events and experiences helps me be more engaged and reflective of what is going on at NSE. I think it is the final product that engages me. I enjoy watching it over and over again. I am always amazed at how easy it is and how "quality" the movie or trailer can look with very little effort. In addition, I can share it publicly and reflect on it later. Sometimes I reflect back on it years later much like the Stolen Childhood video shared below. 

We have the NSETV studio available for filmmaking. Mrs. Coates and the video members would be more than happy to assist with making films using the Tricaster and green screen wall to make quality films. We also have an auditorium that is great for class or grade level plays and skits. Several years ago a teacher had her class perform a play about child labor laws of the early 1900's called Stolen Childhood.


I am a big believer in the Design Qualities created by the Schlechty Center. If we can engaged the non-compliant child in a way that he or she is willing to persist and struggle in order to produce, we will more than likely have all of our students engaged.