• All members of the school community respect, value and care for the other members of the school community.
  • Democratic governance at all levels.
  • Each individual plays a major role in determining their path to learning mastery.
  • A full commitment to long-term sustainable resource and energy use.
  • Seeks out, promotes and celebrates diversity.
  • Open to the universe.
  • Committed to healing the world.


School itself is a technology. We need to change the operating system. The command line just doesn't cut it anymore.

Twitter exchange between Basil Kolani and myself on March 8th, 2010.

@fredbartels the hardest part would be that culture change. maybe an existing school could have a contained program that used the new OS...
@fredbartels to reboot an existing school or to start from scratch as a model? somehow i think the second would be easier.
@bkolani It's an open question whether existing schools can reboot with a new OS. Definitely easier when starting from scratch.

@fredbartels ...as a model. once the model is proven, the OS updated, etc., it could be adopted mainstream after something was shown off?
@bkolani prototype, test, beta test, deploy! A lot of schools would need to upgrade their hardware in order to run the new OS.



@fredbartels it's that hardware piece that's going to be the deal-breaker for most, don't you think?
@bkolani hardware piece is indeed the likely deal breaker... may need to hire Steve Jobs to create a reality distortion field


What if we used an open source approach to create a new operating system for schools?

GUI is to CLI, as PBL is to ... your school?

There really was a time when the advantages of the CLI were seen to outweigh those of the GUI. http://bit.ly/deUTfx

GUIs were hard to build but easy to use. http://bit.ly/Sv3o PBL schools will also be hard to build but much easier to use.



Some help from Apple in redesigning schools: http://bit.ly/18kDaz (involve users) http://bit.ly/1vMRYq (employ users' metaphors)

"Don’t discourage discovery by making actions difficult to reverse or recover from." from Apple's User Interface Guidelines

"Allow the user, not the computer, to initiate and control actions." Substitute 'school' for 'computer' and you've got Dewey in a nutshell.

"By providing preferences, you allow both novice and expert users to mold your application to fit their needs." http://bit.ly/1vMRYq

We need a virtual Xerox PARC (http://bit.ly/bfzlw) to design and build a new paradigm for school. Who will put the team together?


Bruce Brolsma @fredbartels And early, iterative prototype user interface development precedes decisions about the software architecture.

So ideally the view is prototyped and user tested before the model and controller are developed?

Mining "Dealers of Lightning" (http://bit.ly/5M4Cu) for events in GUI creation that can inform the design of PBL schools

Imagine if every student could interact in 3D with their own dataset of a collection of objects representing a school's curriculum.




@gsiemens "Role of ICT is decisive in thinking of new models of learning." See http://bit.ly/bp27Ts for an example.

Rubicon Atlas is the premier curriculum mapping tool. It is not designed for use by students. Curious. http://bit.ly/9wioWN

What if your school's curriculum map really was a map students could use to explore and navigate through the curriculum?

School's appropriate station in the world: to conform to the user's desires, not the other way around. (paraphrasing Alan Kay on computers)