Facebook is catching on to the importance of rethinking school.
The tech giant is piloting software that puts students in charge of their lesson plans.
Rather than have teachers hand out class assignments, the Facebook-Summit learning management system puts students in charge of selecting their projects and setting their pace. The idea is to encourage students to develop skills, like resourcefulness and time management, that might help them succeed in college.
Currently, this type of learning system is more often found in charter or private schools, like the Summit network Facebook is partnering with, than in the open-enrollment public school students most in need of these skills.
At UAGC, we have experienced similarly tremendous gains in reading level by doing just this sort of work through Learning Cultures. In our classrooms, students develop their own intentions around the curriculum, recognizing their responsibility to the standards and tests they are expected to meet, and collaborating with each other alongside their teachers to achieve. Much like the innovations Facebook is seeking,
the system inverts the traditional teacher-led classroom hierarchy, requiring schools to provide intensive one-on-one mentoring and coaching to help each student adapt.
Every student, in every class, has regularly scheduled one-on-one conferences with their teachers. A student with a more pronounced need, whether in a specific subject or because of a disability, receive even more support in the collaborative classroom process. It means the classroom looks, and feels, very different than the high-school classrooms of the past or those you see on TV.
Beyond just changing the curriculum, we work to change the traditional culture of learning that has underserved so many students. We are part of a movement calling for "a ground-up effort to create a national demand for student-driven learning in schools."