Digi IF Retrospective: Celebrating the Pioneers

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1 Digi IF Retrospective: Celebrating the Pioneers

2 Introduction Digital Inventing the Future (Digi IF) is a collaboration between The Cloud Institute and the International Education Resource Network (iearn). Digi IF is a condensed, digital version of The Cloud Institute s Inventing the Future: Leadership and Participation for the 21st Century curriculum. Inventing the Future is designed to challenge high-school students to become leaders of sustainable local and global communities. Through Digi IF, students learn to become active citizens, envisioning the kind of future they want for their communities, and implementing action plans that support sustainable community development. In January 2011, students from the Global Academy at Tahoma High School in Tahoma, WA and a small group of dedicated students from New Roots Charter School in Ithaca, NY, led the pilot of the Digi IF program. Using iearn s collaborative platform, students shared their perspectives as citizens of locally, and globally, interconnected communities and learned how to envision and measure progress toward their desired futures. This booklet provides a few highlights from student interactions and work throughout this distance learning course.

3 Discovering Community The first week of Digi IF expands student understanding of community. Students created Wordles, as a method looking for patterns within their communities. In groups, students discussed their understanding of community types, members, and characteristics, and used a web based software tool to generate a word cloud. Worldes give greater prominence to the words that appear more frequently in their written work about what personal and collective communities meant to them. Below are a few examples of the generated Worldes and the reflective thinking students shared during the course. I didn t think much about the communities I belong to, really I thought I only belonged to one which was the city community. [This assignment]...had me thinking more about [the other] communities I could be a part of. Doing it with the Wordles helped show an understanding of what a community is all about.

4 I already knew the gist of what a community is... but when we learned about it, I got a better understanding. I really liked creating the Wordles, and I liked how the words that were most often used were bigger to show the significance of what the word is to a community. It was really interesting being able to interact with other students from other schools and communicating and learning about different communities....it was kinda cool to describe [my communities] to my friends and see who I am.

5 A New Vision key component to Digi If is the essential question of the course: A What kind of future will we invent? This question is explored through community work, learning about the visioning process, and developing solid action plans that can achieve long-lasting results. When students were asked what kind of future they will invent, their responses were profound and moving. The purpose of the course is to help students take these profound dreams and ideas and provide them with the skills and tools to create their visions, one step at a time. There is nothing more engaging and empowering for youth than to see that their ideas and thoughts can truly come alive and make a difference in their communities. I would like to make it so we have more healthy living also try to make our economy go up and the deficit go down in the US and around the globe. I want to invent a future where there is no animal cruelty and gay marriage is legal everywhere. I want to invent a future where all animal shelters are no-kill and that the animals that are killed for meat live a happy and healthy life with many friends and a good amount of space to move and live. They are to be given food they are able to process healthily and enjoy to eat. I will invent a better future for the future generation so our kids don t have the same problems we face.

6 I will invent a future with an obese free environment. A place where people know what is in their food and know what is done to their food. A place where people don t need to worry about getting sick from food or getting life threatening diseases from eating a small cheeseburger. If people knew what was in their food and ate the right stuff there would be no obese people around and the future would be full of healthy people. My main goal for the future I will invent is education. In order for any issues or problems to be solved we need to know about it and we need people to know and understand it. It s incredible how much our society doesn t know. My goal is to educate people about all the unknown and least known problems and let them think of solutions to solve this issue. I would like to see a peaceful future where all countries work sustainably. Where all people from everywhere are easy living and no one has to worry about walking down a back alley. I would like to see no more war so people don t get drafted and taken from their families. The kind of future I will invent is where everyone is equal, money has no meaning, and all that truly matters is the wellbeing of the human race. So, what kind of future will you invent?

7 Thank you to the Bay and Paul Foundations for their generous support.

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