Why A Statewide Experiment in Student Driven Learning?

What do we mean to launch such an experiment?

We mean, first, to start small. Then grow organically.

Start with the most interested students, and the most interested teachers, and the most interested community members, and allow them to evolve a process that appeals to others.

National contests are fine and all. But they often fail of their own national weight. Transformative initiatives always start where the builders can hear from every one of their early users.

Facebook started on one campus, with Zuckerburg observing every interaction. Apple started out of a garage with do-it-yourself computer builders, then eeked into the dungeons&dragons geek community.

I see well-meaning organizations ask students (for 10 minutes) what future, personalized learning would look like. Then run straight to Congress and the President to implement a ‘personalized learning’ plan.

That’s not how it works.

That approach is more akin to Digital Equipment saying, “Look, these selected companies have replaced their IBM 360 mainframes with our refrigerator-sized PDP-10's. See what personalized computing can do for you.” (Digital Equipment ceased to exist).

When Microsoft and Apple put computers into individual’s hands, they began a shift of power that’s still evolving three decades later.

Who’s ready to join me in giving teens this kind of power?