I'm participating in a brainstorming session next week about what a 21st century high school could look like. I wrote some of my ideas at What Might a 21st Century School Look Like.

I'd love to know what this community envisions in the context of the below questions:

1-What could the student experience be in an innovative 21st century school and what outcomes are we looking for high school graduates?
2-How would families and the community experience the school and what would outcomes be for them?
3-In what ways could this school impact the wider school community and provide concrete scalable lessons?

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Technology holds the promise of freeing learning from a particular location or instructor.

I have long imagined a situation where a student, under guidance from a mentor, could seek out instruction or experiential learning within the the local education system or from the world at large. The curriculum would be far less specific than it now is in order to facilitate greater student control over his or her learning. This would allow for a much broader opportunity to learn because of the removal of locational, scheduling, and resource restrictions.

High schools as we know them today might no longer exist as physical spaces and become part of the knowledge cloud. Some physical space and particular identity might still exist for gatherings of small learning communities as well as for orchestra, bands, clubs, sports and other collective activities. The physical space could also serve as a technical resource center to provide access to technology for those who cannot afford to purchase their own.

Of course, this would eliminate the warehousing service schools provide the community in order to prevent job competition or other potentially undesirable effects of having thousands of youths free to roam at will throughout the day.
Thanks for the feedback so far. Please keep it coming. Here is what my Facebook Friends have said.

Marc Prensky at 3:35pm July 10
Thinking about "a 21st Century High School" is thinking inside the box. I'd suggest it's far more interesting to ask "What kinds of experiences (learning and other) should 21st century 14-18 year olds have? (And, BTW, do any of them require a special building, or--if you want to go really far-- even a deicated staff?)

Liz Keren Kolb at 12:29am July 11
Good point Marc! I love the way you think.

Sandra Bynum at 9:56am July 12
I like the question also. Experiences-investigative, inventive, inquiry, experimental, thought provoking, connecting, integrative.
using algebra to understand music and other types of sounds.
how art influences biological knowledge and how biology is influencing art.
Another thought comes to mind in using the backwards design model to target incoming Freshman and sofmore students at colleges/univ asking the question Marc posed.
Also some colleges/univs are developing really innovative classes, pooling these as resources also to help develop a 21st century school.

Marc Prensky at 2:57pm July 12
Yes, some are--but many colleges and univ are as confused as we are about what 21st c students should know/be able to do, and are clinging to the past. Think teachers colleges, for example.

Sandra Bynum at 3:26pm July 12
Yes, but just because a school has a certain philosophy or challenge does not mean there are not people inside that have great ideas and input. Univ. of indianopolis Biology for Artists and MIT linear algebra and music...
What I think would be great is to get input from students in grades 4-5, 7-9, 12th educators of these grades. College freshman and seniors, college professors..... I do not believe the answer is in one place. Another group I left out were kids who drop out of school



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