Monday, January 25, 2016

Podcast - Harmonized Learning 48

In this episode, we talk about the Idea Showcase, a gallery walk event showcasing the student projects thus far. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and follow us on Twitter @dayankee and @melissahellwig4

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reaching Out to Learn

Whitley and Lauren are doing a 20% Time project that entails developing a desalination device and water purification system. They have been busily researching and working on this idea for several weeks. Their Pitch Day presentation knocked the socks off of the Pitch Committee and we expect great things from them this semester. Yesterday, as part of their research, they contacted an organization, Water Is Life, through a Google Hangout.  The girls spoke to Ken Surritte, the President of Water Is Life. Ken was at his office in Oklahoma and the girls were in the technology lab here at school. Through the use of technology, the kids can learn from anyone anywhere in the world.

Because of their contact with Ken, Whitley and Lauren were able to learn about the pressing need for drinkable water, gain access to resources that they never knew existed, and chart a more solid course for their project. The girls had their idea validated by one of the world experts on water. They returned to class more confident, more excited and more passionate about their project than ever before. Events like these, where students learn from others around the world, are extremely valuable for the information they learn as well as the confidence they gain by seeing themselves as independent learners.

Each of the girls is blogging their learning. The blog links are here: Whitley's Blog; Lauren's Blog.

Whitley and Lauren getting ready for their GHO with Ken Surritte of Water is Life.

Lauren and Whitley showing the items they received from Water is Life.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Podcast - Pitch Day!

In this episode, we talk about Pitch Day and the Pitch Committees. We also touch on our upcoming Idea Showcase. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and follow us on Twitter @dayankee and @melissahellwig4

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Different Pitch-Day Perspective

One of our former students, Harry Gallagher, has graduated high school and moved on to work in the coding world. He has visited a few times over the years and the last time he was in, we asked if he'd like to be on the Pitch Committee for this year's Pitch Day. If you're a regular reader of our blog, you know that Pitch Day is when the kids present their 20% Time project ideas to a committee, a la Shark Tank. Well, Harry was all too happy to participate.

When Harry was on Harmony Team, we had not yet started doing 20% Time. When we told him about 20% Time, he became a big cheerleader and offered to help with anything we needed. Harry saw the value of 20% Time for kids, especially since he was a student who would have benefited from 20% Time the most. He is exactly the kind of learner who would take full advantage of 20% Time and all of the creative, problem-solving independence it offers.

Harry participated in Pitch Day as a judge on the Pitch Committee. He later blogged about the experience. Please read Harry's blog post, 20 Percent Time in Schools, and Why This Changes the Game to understand a young adult's perspective of 20% Time and traditional schooling.