by Alfredo Papaseit and Melanie Sylvester (Presented at L2 Asia 2017)
Let’s face it – there is a general sense that the current education system is not up to the challenges of the future. And, it’s not clear how we get from “here” to “there.” Over fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy said: “We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” Today, this approach inspires organizations like Google’s X Lab to focus on radical solutions to huge challenges using breakthrough technologies.
This moonshot thinking approach steered the collaborative research and discussions of a group of educators at Saigon South International School who embarked on a process to redesign the Grade 4 curriculum and implement a vision for learning innovation.
This session aims to empower educators to create the future they want to see in schools.
Participants will learn about the planning process and the Agile Development approach that drove the curricular transformations in fourth grade at Saigon South International School. They will understand the challenges that we considered as solvable or difficult to overcome, and how we collaboratively strategized and designed an innovative curriculum. Participants will walk away with resources and ideas, inspired to transform curriculum in their own schools.
Using a design thinking approach, this session will provide an opportunity for participants to explore and redefine their units of study in ways that spark innovation, harness internal capacities, and boost community agency. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore how project management methodologies from the world of software startups may provide a good framework for launching your Moonshot in education. Participants will discuss and share their thinking and leave with fresh ideas and methodologies to take back to their schools.
- What is your favorite new innovative education tool, program, or practice?
- What problem does it solve and how?
X-Company’s Moonshot Video
X-Company’s Moonshot Model
Our Moonshot Model
- Horizon Report: identifies key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education. The horizon report is a key document that can help provide guidance across all the key stages of our innovation journeys.
- The work of Sylvia Martinez & Gary Stager on the maker movement.
- New London group: And their pedagogical approach to Multiliteracies, where many modes of comunication are encouraged to be used in different forms of expression.
- Make Magazine: Called the “bible” for makers, and its companion website, Makezine.com.
- Code.org a coalition of organizations such as Computer Science Teacher Association, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, etc.
- Buck Institute: An organization that creates, gathers, and shares high-quality PBL instructional practices.
Resources on Ideation
- Questioning Assumptions
- Opportunity Redefinition
- Worst Idea Factory
Minimum Viable Product
We looked at what software start-ups call Minimum Viable Product: An MVP is a “version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. (LOOK AT THIS VIDEO)
- What are the minimum features of your product or project?
- How little could you possibly prepare before launching?
- Launch early and often. Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.
SuperUnit Series: G4 Talks | “Independent Me”
SuperUnit Series: G4 Documentaries | “Viable Vietnam”
SuperUnit Series: G4 Energy Saving Prototypes | “Thinking Outside the Box”
Click here to check the Presentation and Resource page for the “Coding and Making with a Purpose” session presented by Alfredo Papaseit and Melanie Sylvester at the 21st Century Learning Conference 2016.
If you choose to pursue this project, you might learn a great deal from outside education, particularly the world of software startups. We chose what they call an Agile Development Approach. Agile Development is a Project Management Methodology…it’s all about iterations. We favor getting to work, digging in and doing stuff as opposed to having tons of documentation, and a million meetings”…”quick meetings…short tight documentation….very streamlined and time boxed, and very collaborative”)