The idea of an unconference, like this or this, allows attendees to generate their own ideas, empowers them to teach to those ideas and creates organic learning opportunities. Adding on to "dymystifying the college process" is empowering students to feel like they are the experts. They can share resources and tools with each other, and wrestle with this journey to finding resources together. This is not to be confused with students advocating for what they need. That skill is definitely important! They should know when to ask for help and how to craft questions, but there is piece of the journey to college that is missed, if we deny students the opportunity to help each other. Students teaching students is an approach I think is worthwhile. To teach is to learn twice.
Sample Unconference Agenda
- students are welcome with a nice breakfast (students on their way to college + students in college)
- giant whiteboard with markers for every student
- students write topics on the board --things they want to talk about
- then "experts" of those topics identify themselves
- then the "Unconference" moderators create these organic groups of topics + self-nominated experts
- then students can attend those workshop topics that appeal to them - students taught by other students
- end with an idea lightning round swap
- flip the giant whiteboard over and folks write down their takeaways and throughout the conference create hashtags to share with the broader community.
Can we imagine what would happen-- if we let students own this process?