Who Are We?

      As the world moves forward in technology, there are very few places to be found that don’t utilize the plethora of available tools. Chief among those blasts to the past is the classroom. Desks in rows and lectures on a chalkboard have been happening since our grandparents were in school and it’s time for change. As mentioned on our home page, we’re only middle schoolers in north Texas. Above average and mentally gifted middle schoolers, but still 4 years from the “real world” and the ability to be treated like our voice is worth listening to. We live in the problem – the best ideas for change are going to come from us. We don’t blame the teachers or the schools themselves for this outdated method – we blame the system. As a group of students stuck in public school long due for an upgrade, we demand change.

Responses

  1. I went through school designing in my head something completely different from what I went through so that my kids would get to experience something that hadn’t been invented yet. Now I’m about to launch Primer Labs’ first game Code Hero which is a first-person shooter puzzler like Portal that teaches computer programming. I love your video and I’ve featured it on Primer’s site: http://www.primerlabs.com
    I’m with you guys and I want to help.
    3 questions for everyone here:
    1. Have you read The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diamond_Age
    2. Have you participated in Hackerspaces? http://www.hackerspaces.org
    3. What is the video game you wish existed instead of school?

    • Alex – Thanks for your interest. I think you’ll find it a lot easier to reach the students via the forum link, since they can’t realistically ALL respond to you here. :) As their teacher, I very much applaud what you’re trying to accomplish – I have a modest history in game design myself. :) I’m reasonably certain none of them have heard of Hackerspaces, but I’ll make sure to mention it to them. – Mr.Fletcher

  2. Great work, students and Mr. Fletcher! Your work is cool and important. If you have a chance, J., check out http://www.drivenlearningandteaching.com, shoot me an e-mail (travis.macy@gmail.com) and maybe we can chat about collaborating.
    Keep it up!
    Travis Macy
    Evergreen High School,
    Colorado

  3. Mr. Fletcher,

    I would like to make a resource known to you. I’m an education consultant in California and am trying to sway public opinion toward collaborative project-based learning. I was inspired after seeing the website and video and blog, and thought to share something I value and which I think will help you in every way as a teacher.

    It is Quora. You can access it at http://www.quora.com. I think you may need to sign in or receive an invitation to join, and I think you have to be a certain age to read it … However, it could be quite valuable to you as a teacher and inspiring as a human being because it is a Question and Answer forum and the people answering ARE VERY HIGH TECH START UP LEGENDS and others of fame and great knowledge. Right now there are many questions about education and I would value your insight or at least knowing you have had the opportunity to read what is being asked and is still unknown about teaching and learning. Perhaps you will feel moved to respond if you see a question such as ‘How can we improve K-12 science and math education in the US?’ that makes your fingers dance and your blood pressure boil. That’s what happens to me! –In a good way, I mean.

    I got involved here by writing an answer to that very Quora Question: http://www.quora.com/How-can-we-improve-K-12-math-and-science-education-in-the-US. I found your class’ video and posted it in a comment to my own answer so it is more complete. I could not find a better illustration of advocacy for project-based collaborative learning than that video.

    Congratulations for inspiring a country, and a world (one person at a time). And thank you for making my job so much easier. I believe this video’s publication along with the blog and website has created a paradigm shift. You are lucky to teach such students, and they are obviously inspired by you. You deserve a Presidential medal in my opinion just for implementing such an educational environment which allows such an unusually libertarian project: to encourage students to express their own thoughts about their educational process, and to publish them.

    Wow. I wish you could tell a nation needing to solve an educational crisis what to do and how to do it. Because I wish you were speaking into the ear of those writing the lesson plans for national standards, I posted the link to the video on Quora.

    Thank you again, on behalf of all the kids.

    *If you would like an invitation after looking at Quora, feel free to let me know and I’ll send one to you– I have really enjoyed being on Quora (note the plural form of the word ‘quorum’ and you’ll understand the nuance of many weighing in with various opinions to gain the best collaborative response to a question about any topic).

  4. Thank you for this insightful video on educational reform. It is both what we teach (which is guided by the government) and how we teach (which is guided by our own philosophy) that needs to be continually tweaked if our students are to leave school ready to learn.
    I saw your students’ video via T/L Weekly Special Report, a blog by Teacher Librarian extraordinaire Moira Ekdahl in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I was searching for something about Learning Commons as I am taking a course in Teacher Librarianship, and I will post a link for my fellow students to see your video.
    Thank you
    Doni

  5. You guys completely ROCK. Thank you for making this video.


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