"Unschooling" Threatening Conventional Education?

Interesting article by KQED about "unschooling", basically a highly unstructured approach to home schooling.  The article asks whether "Public School" (as if this is an organization... so diverse, too fractured to refer to all Public Schools in general) is "scared of unschooling".

I don't think so.  But I do think career educators and researchers are wary of new approaches to teaching, wondering if what appears on the surface to be a very unstructured process (it doesn't really look unstructured to me) will prepare students for successful transition to the workforce or to higher education.

Interesting idea, "unschooling".  I'm not sure I'd support it, and I don't think the general world of Education is "ready" for it, but it seems to be a growing trend.  With oversight and structure it does make sense that this approach will work for at least a subset of homeschooled children.  I do have to say, from the article, I like the articulation of learning objectives and tracking progress, regardless of the path the home learner takes to acquire the knowledge.

Here's a New York City Department of Education resource on home schooling.  Doesn't really address "unschooling", but if you're interested, give a look.  And, of course, I think Google's education productivity would be an awesome adjunct/facilitator to home schooling.  Not sure how the economics of that work... are Google Apps for Education somehow accessible for free to home learners?  Interesting question...

p.s. when in Northern California, or listening to NPR anywhere I have always found KQED articles and reports insightful and thought provoking.  Found the article on Twitter today.  Good on you, KQED!

Christopher J. Church, Managing Partner
Technology Planning & Consulting, LLC
www.techplanning.net

North Queens Community High Project Kickoff

Part of the QNCHS Google Team...

Congratulations North Queens Community High School in New York on starting your Google for Education journey. Love your spirit, Marty Howfield and team keep up the good work.  

NQCHS is but one of literally hundreds of public schools "Going Google" in the New York City Department of Education.  DOE schools see the cost effectiveness (basically, all of Google is free to schools), low IT overhead (way, way less IT support needed than Apple or Microsoft products), inexpensive hardware (Chromebooks are incredibly inexpensive for NYCDOE), and most of all the awesome collaboration and workflow platform Google provides in the forms of GAFE and Google Classroom.

Others may imitate, but there's only one real leader in Education Technology hardware, software, and services, and its Google!  Proud to be a partner...

#working247NQCHS #googleedtech #googlerocks

Congratulations West Side High!

Congratulations are in order for our Customer, New York Department of Education's West Side High.  West Side officially kicked off their Going Google project yesterday, and we're helping them with Technical Services and Professional Development.

At TechPlanning, our job is not to do all the work for the customer - hand them a fish - but rather help them build their own capacity for taking the Google technology and running with it,.  That's what Mark Chenault and his team at West Side are doing.  We've established a great partnership, and will keep them involved in all aspects of the project as we progress and at the same time build their bench strength.

Mark, thank you for your business, confidence, and partnership.  We look forward to a mutually beneficial engagement and are excited about working with you and your staff!

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Christopher J. Church, Managing Partner
Technology Planning & Consulting, LLC
www.techplanning.net

Giving Back to K-12 Education. TechPlanning Micro-Grants...

Photo by Svetlana Kuznetsova/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Svetlana Kuznetsova/iStock / Getty Images

At TechPlanning, we are very interested in the model of private/public partnership as it pertains to US-based K-12 organizations and technology projects.  We are fortunate to be partnered   As such, we have made a strategic decision to be good education community partners, and will set aside 5% of annual profits to give back to those Googley projects in our client base who with innovative, reference-able success.  We also occasionally take on strategic projects at a discount, and can bring partners to the table for doing same.  Finally, we do some Pro Bono work in the geographies we currently serve.

Of course, this is nothing like the massive investment Google make in K-12 every day, but micro-grants in the $250 to $500 price range seem like a great way to a) recognize Google innovators among our clients and b) give us a vehicle for giving back.  The program will be competitive, and will expect applicants to submit up to a five minute video on what cool stuff they're doing with Google, what their project highs and lows are, and expose any best practices in the process.

Stay tuned for program details.  We work on a calendar year, so we'll be looking at making micro-grant awards as early as January, 2016, and opening applications on 1 November, 2016.  We're looking forward to giving back.  Even a small giveback would be beneficial and shows we're interested in our shared success, but the bigger picture we see is recognizing those innovative teachers and leadership who are paving the way for Google in Education.  These people are almost always putting in non-work time in their projects, and a little boost can potentially go a long way.

Wish us luck, and we'll post details at a later date.  Stay tuned to our blog for the scoop.  Thank you for either considering or working with us, we take that personally.


Chris Church, Managing Partner
Technology Planning & Consulting, LLC
www.techplanning.net