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  • JM16

    I am very interested in your approach and proactive thinking around education. I have been an educator for the past 20+ years in four different countries and have witnessed wonderful work at all the campuses and problems as well. With this in mind, I think you are truly limiting your vision when partnering with one educational institution, namely Green Dot Schools. Having read your proposal, followed by a closer look at Green Dot Schools, I believe you've compromised your effective use of the diverse insight of professional educators that exist in the Los Angeles area. Case in point http://www.examiner.com/article/14-of-15-green-dot-schools-are-failing-by-parent-revolution-s-definition

    I hope that you broaden your educational partnerships in an effort, to not only gain exposure to diverse and innovative practice, but to the build trust among those, that together, can build a more holistic approach to education in the future. Thank you for your work!

  • mhairi

    Good luck with this initiative. I am very interested in following your progress and definitely keen to dialogue once you are at the piloting in schools stage. I will soon be working in an English Schools Foundation school in Hong Kong heading up Creativity across the Curriculum and working on very similar ideas. My vision is to harness the creativity of students which is relatively simple to unlock if it has been blocked (schools are often effective in bashing out creative thinking in children) and train them to build change from within their school system working with teachers as learning partners. I believe in holistic, relevant learning for change and innovation that leads more of the world to a higher quality and appreciation of life. So, building things that matter really appeals to me.

    • Viktor Venson

      Sounds like a great mission, mhairi. Please make sure you sign up on our site, and leave us your info. cheers

  • sconesnbones

    Buckminster Fuller who once said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

  • Sooz Stahl

    Of course this sounds totally hip and awesome. I wish I didn't feel completely dissed by this proposal.

    I'm a high school classroom teacher of 13 years and I'm sorry to say that I now bristle every time I read of yet another "do good" company that is poised to cash in on our underfunded and collapsing public school system. I say this not because I think that's what you're consciously doing, but that is what's happening and the main reason is because people who have never been teachers are convinced they know how to be a good one or how to design great stuff that will be useful in classrooms - since everyone was once a student, and perhaps a disgruntled student at that. Right?

    Thinking that whatever innovative thing designed by these innovative people is going to be great for teachers without getting some teacher input is an oversight, to say the least. Who knows what would be great for teachers? Teachers! And please ask veteran teachers who have been in the classroom long enough to deeply understand the complexities of that environment.

    Innovation is awesome and I like the intention of making the classroom a place where creativity thrives. I think my students would tell you that my classroom is such a place, and I know other teachers who are doing excellent, innovative work. I encourage you to consider teachers as resources to help you with this project. If you're open to this I can hook you up with some great science teachers to give you feedback on what your team comes up with.

    • Annemarie Spitz

      Sooz- You bring up a great point that I think designers need to be pushed on for every project: How are we engaging our users and leveraging their combined expertise? And how are we crediting their participation as an important part of the design process?

      Thanks also to Matthew for your reply- it's great to hear you'll have the benefits of Green Dot's partnership through the whole process, not just for prototyping. I hope you have a positive and impactful workshop!

      Our projects at Greater Good Studio focus on social impact, and we've developed a lot of engagement strategies to learn from and design with our users. I'd be happy to talk shop with anyone wanting to incorporate participation into their design work. Reach me at annemarie [at] greatergoodstudio [dot] com

      • Viktor Venson

        Thanks Annemarie - your studio sounds interesting. Best of luck!

      • Annemarie Spitz

        oops- should be "Thanks also to Matthew & Viktor for your replies"

    • Viktor Venson

      Sooz, thanks for your input. I think your worry is valid, but we're treading in unfriendly waters when we start assuming that all intentions will result in the same output. We are very aware that this is a pitfall, which makes it so important for us to have the right educator partners involved throughout the process. In this case, Green Dot Schools is our partner. We will be intentional with having both student and teacher involvement, and usability testing. Also, this session will not present a final product. Doing so in 6 days is impossible. Instead, we want to explore a new way of collaborating, lauching both a conversation and a prototype that can be iterated on in the real world, with both students and teachers as participants.

    • Matthew Manos

      Thank you for your feedback. We are glad to hear your concern, and we have similar concerns ourself when we hear about companies working in this space without experience. Luckily I myself am an educator (experience in K-MFA), and I have grown up in a household of educators my entire life. We are also very closely connected to green dot and we are seeking advise throughout the process from teachers. We are not heading this up blindly and assure there are the best intentions with this work possible.

  • Ceejae Devine

    Have wished for years that I could be involved in rethinking the education system. I was lost in public schools, then discovered the hidden power in books, got a B.F.A. and now have to continually rein in my passion for learning. Both of my daughters are strong in math, science and the arts and my oldest is finishing her second year at MIT. I’m currently working on a memoir about my experiences and some of it has to do with understanding how I began to become aware of my creative process and how it impacts my life and work now. But with the demands of being single parent, I have my hands full. Will look forward to updates on the event!

    • Viktor Venson

      Thank you Ceejae. We are looking to document the event and experience. Stay tuned for that..

  • mogarek

    After being involved in numerous curriculum meetings this year that lack discussion on the importance of creativity it would be so refreshing and inspiring to hear and participate in something like this...any chance of floating into Chicago?

  • nagreen13

    Hi, I just applied. I'm in Houston at the moment. But I'd fly in to attend. Do you have an e-mail address? I'd love to send photos from a design-thinking project I did at a school here.

  • mira_rao

    It would be amazing to have something like this for Bay Area-based designers! SLÖJD, come to the Bay!

    • Matthew Manos

      hmmm maybe we should bring it up to you guys! thanks for your excitement :)

      • Viktor Venson

        agreed! Mira - make sure you drop us a note on the site so we have your info.

        • mira_rao

          Hey Viktor and Matthew! I just sent a note on the website. My small team of educators, curriculum designers, and creative consultants would be happy to help bring this initiative up to the Bay Area!