Ignite is Student Driven. So, we asked a class of students to brainstorm what they want. This was our first round, we will be getting more groups of students to brainstorm. It was fun and exciting. The students are so Ignited!
We started with an Empathy Map, asking how they perceived classrooms today. They definitely crave more exciting and vibrant learning environments where they are more empowered.
We then started to brainstorm how they can make Ignite a place they would love to be in, what tools they would like to use to create, and what would the roles and responsibilities might be in a self-directed classroom. They came up with some great ideas, such as painting the room themselves, music playing, robotics, and more. They also wanted teachers to help, but serve as mentors and guides, rather than instructors telling them exactly how to do something in Ignite. They love the idea of blending their own passions with someone else's to create something different. One idea was that they could design robots (from the student who was into robots) and combine it with another students passion to create music, and have the robot dance to a cool soundtrack they create.
Some of our 8th grade students stated they did now want to leave Verrado Middle School for High School now, because they wanted to be a part of Ignite. We are on the right track, to make it a space that pulls students in, rather than push them in. A space that is theirs, but also develops crucial 21st Century Skills and reinforces what they are learning in the classroom through cool and fun projects to apply that learning.
John MillerDirector of Technology
Litchfield Elementary School District