In the weeks since ISTE and the Stanford d.school teacher workshop, I’ve been reading Michael Lewis’s books Moneyball and The New New Thing. Moneyball looks at Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s, and getting the most out of every dollar spent. The New New Thing, on the other hand, follows Jim Clark as he looks for riches through the creation of the next up-and-coming thing. Jim Clark founded Netscape, as a way to browse the Internet. Microsoft quickly took over, as they could force Internet Explorer into every PC using Windows. No browser really picked up steam over IE until Firefox. No encyclopedia really picked up steam over Brittanica until Wikipedia. I’m simplifying it, but the point is: Open Source. The community contributes because they are contributing to a better product for themselves and others to use.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post: I want to open source my classroom. It’s radical, perhaps naive, but it’s my attempt to make myself a better teacher and make an even bigger impact on my students. I’m still in the initial phase of this idea, but basically, I want to share what I’ve done in my classroom and the results, and get input from the teaching community on the changes I can make and the results expected. I don’t plan to completely change my classroom, nor do I plan to implement every single idea thrown at me. I do plan to take effective practices into my classroom and use them to increase my impact on my students. While I plan to share data and numbers, they will be abstract enough to protect the privacy of my students, but specific enough to allow others to see the impact of the implemented practices.
If nothing else, I expect that this venture will lead me to question the structures in my classroom, focus on my effectiveness, and ensure that I take the time to consider the emotional and academic well-being of each of my students.
First up in my next post, our opening (Morning Meeting) and closing (Closing Circle) of every day.