Honoring Informal Learning

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

I’m reaching out today for your help.  I am thinking more and more about how schools honor (or perhaps don’t honor) the type of learning shown in the above video.  (Thanks to Lyn Hilt for sharing this at Educon, BTW.)  The saddest thing about this video is that we could not change the title of the movie to “School” because our schools rarely honor this type of learning in any formal way, yet I imagine the guys in the video would tell you their learning here was as (or more) powerful than any formal schooling they had.

I want to figure out how to change that.  Specifically, I want to know how we can better honor the informal learning students are engaging in and help them formalize that learning (and I don’t just mean credits).  At this point, I’m trying to gather data on the effective use of inquiry projects in high schools (brick & mortar, virtual, charter, magnet… all are welcome) across the country. There are a variety of names that are used for these projects: Capstone Project, Senior Project, Exhibition, etc. but, what I am really interested in are those projects that a student or a group of students engage in that have long term, potentially life or community changing results – something more than a big research project. Something that is impactful.  A project that complements the informal learning experiences that students have with the formal learning that schools and personal learning networks provide. If you think you have such a project to share, please complete this short form. I will share this list of project publicly in the future.

Thanks kindly for your willingness to share.

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