Technological Tools for School Reform
MAS 963 (H) Special Topics in Media Technology
MIT Media Lab: E15-135 (Cube Conference Room)
This course explores the potential impact of modern technologies on the school reforms debate.
In this first part of the course, after providing an overview of the current state of the school reform debate and reviewing the ideas in the progressive school reform movement, we look at the process of founding and the design principles behind the new public charter school in Cambridge, Community Charter School of Cambridge (CCSC). We provide an in-depth analysis of this school because it will serve as a concrete local context for the implementation of the final design projects for the course.
In the second part, we will critically study research projects that hold great promise as inspirations and guidelines for concrete multidisciplinary activities and curriculum for progressive charter schools. Students will work in small groups to design tools, material and activities to be field-tested in the charter school during the term or beyond. We anticipate that each group will engage the faculty, administrators, and the broader school community in the design and implementation process.
The course concludes with a discussion of the challenges in scaling the successful innovations in school reform to new contexts, and the types and roles of nonprofit organizations that have been formed to meet these challenges. In particular we will discuss strategies for successful introduction of innovative educational ideas -- such as the ones students develop in this class -- in real world settings.