Alright, I am not a cartoon type. Yet just such an image developed yesterday as I explored the ecology of our field with my children.
The scene opens with a brick school house….
As the audience marvels at the antiquity of it all, the roof blows off and all four walls collapse to the outside.
Left are high school students neatly sitting in a row and a “teacher” pointing and in mid-sentence is at the front of the classroom.
The students look side to side at each other and get out of their desks. They proceed to take out their mobile devices to check social networks….the teacher barks, “put the devices away, I see you!” The young people turn to the teacher, and call him by first name. They alert him that they would like to convene class themselves for awhile to make some project management decisions; they will need an hour and a half….or two hours….they figure.
As the teacher runs away he is heard murmuring, “the class only goes for 60 minutes….” the young people then hear screaming and he is gone.
The young people meet for a couple of hours, deliberate intensely, and determine a course of learning for themselves. They then dismantle the desks (on principle) and move out in project pods to meet again via elluminate at the agreed upon time.
The rest of the story is full of individualized spaces for learning: mentors who see and hear young people, MIT open courseware, fieldwork, research….