I know this can't be an original idea, but what if we actually worked with students as they designed curriculum for what they want to learn?

What would be the key processes to follow to ensure that students learned what is essential yet were able to engage in learning those things of interest to them?

For instance, if a student were to discover that he or she is interested in pursuing a career in software development, how could we satisfy the requirements of federal and state educational agencies for what students must know and be able to do (e.g., state standards, proficiency by 2013) while allowing the student to devote most of his or her time learning those things that will enable him or her to become a developer of software?

Is there a legitimate way to "beat the system" and still engage students in meaningful, purposeful learning?

Views: 19

Comment by Tammy Moore on April 23, 2007 at 6:16pm
Sure, I think you will find that your kids will take off with this. We usually set 3 months out of every year for self-directed learning (we hold a year-round school).

Funny you mentioned game design because that and game modding has been a favorite around here.

Some suggested resources, off the top of my head, for the game design/modding are:

Blender (Open-source 3-D graphics and animation software for cut scenes and character/object design).

GMAX - This free download has been hard to find since the company was bought by a competitor, but a search may still turn it up. We had downloaded it way back on our systems, so haven't needed to locate it since.

If you are willing to invest in Half-Life 2, you can get an awesome mod called Garry's Mod. It lets the students play around with the game's physics engine. This is terrific even in science classes. Our kids love this and when free time is available it is often the number one favorite, especially with the boys. Garry's Mod is at:

Teams of people are needed for games to be developed. It takes concept artists, moddlers, story writers, coders (programmers), level designers, and administrative professionals.
Comment by Terry Eis on April 23, 2007 at 7:15pm
Thanks! This is exactly the kind of information I need, and it's so helpful to know that I have professionals from whom I can get guidance!
Comment by SusanTsairi on May 9, 2007 at 6:03pm
Hi i remember reading a blogpost about student designed project based learning, this is a student video describing the process. http://www.classroom20.com/video/video/show?id=649749:Video:13279
Comment by Terry Eis on May 10, 2007 at 2:35pm
Thanks, Susan. This is great!


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