And it’s really not about the technology as much as it is about the culture of learning that they are creating. Yes, every student has a laptop. And they have been working with Moodle and Elgg to build class sites and online portfolios. But what’s neat is that the students are taking real ownership over what happens at the school. Without giving too much away since Chris said he was getting ready to blog about this, there has been one issue that has arisen that in most schools would cause all sorts of overreaction from administrators and the like. At SLA, the kids are dealing with it through the use of the Moodle forums, where, amazingly, they have been communicating since months before the school even opened in September. Chris and his teachers chime in too, and the conversation is open and honest, effectively dealing with the situation to date.
The physical space is beautiful and there is lots of room to grow for the 400 or so more students who will be coming in the next three years. And it won’t be hard to fill it up; SLA has received about 2,000 applications for just over 100 spots next year.
As with any new school, it’s hard to predict what the next day will bring. But thus far, SLA looks like it’s doing really well in terms of creating a very special foundation for education in a School 2.0 world.
technorati tags:science_leadership_academy, chris_lehmann, Philadelphia, schools, education
Paul Bradshaw says
I had the privelege of visiting the SLA on 1st December and meeting Chris Lehmann.(Will, thanks for putting us in touch). Wow! What an inspirational leader. It was great talking to Chris and seeing the students working in an engaging and vibrant atmosphere – there was a real work ethic, and a great sense of a true enjoyment of learning. We are hoping to bring some Liverppol kids over for a visit to Phili in March 07 and the SLA is definitely a place we want them to visit.
Paul Bradshaw, Liverpool City Council
Kimberly Moritz says
The work Chris Lehmann is doing at SLA is a great model and an inspiration. Every time I read him or about his school, I think “I want that for our kids.” Thanks for sharing news of your visit and the pics.
Colin Purrington says
“…there has been one issue that has arisen that in most schools would cause all sorts of overreaction from administrators and the like…”
Are they discussing how to teach evolution???
Chris Lehmann says
heh… not evolution… and I promise to blog about it tonight, now that Will has mentioned it.
(And thanks, Will!)