Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pitch Day 2015

After all of the planning that went in to Pitch Day 2015, by us and the kids, it was finally time to pitch our ideas. Pitch Committee members began showing up at 8:15 and by 8:35, we had all of our judges in place. We divided them into groups of four judges and each of the three groups was located in a different room. Each committee would hear roughly fifteen pitches. Our first couple of students for each room readied themselves and the pitching began. The committees heard about ideas from coding to cooking, fashion design to water desalination gadgets. The committees heard it all.

Derrick and Bryce are READY for their Pitch Day Presentations!

Each presentation started with a one-minute video that functioned as a commercial for the student's idea. When our school wifi was working properly, the videos were actually one minute. Most of the time today, the wifi was glitchy and the kids were frustrated when their videos stalled out. All of the kids overcame the wifi problem, often talking instead of showing their video. The videos were to be followed by a two-minute description of what the project was, what the student was planning on learning, and the plans for the project beyond this year (if there were any). Lastly, we reserved two minutes for committee members to ask questions of the kids.

While debriefing with the committee members after the last pitch was done, we heard an array of comments. All of the members were impressed with the kids' presentations. Some raved about a particular student or thought that a certain idea could be a world-changer. Nearly all of the committee members talked about how excited the kids were about their ideas, how invested in the ideas they were and how meaningful the projects would be for the kids. This is the kind of learning that is exciting to see. Those committee members left our rooms with a sense of excitement about learning in general and 20% Time in particular. It is one of the reasons why we're convinced that 20% Time, PBL, Genius Hour and personlized learning is the future of education.

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