Student/Parent Hackathon

Students and parents work together to create an individualized learning plan for the school year - and celebrate the creation of the plan!

Photo of Jared Amalong
10 11

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Hackathons are truly fascinating.  Like-minded individuals come together as a team - sometimes in a competitive environment - to solve real-world problems.  What if parents and students teamed up in an immersive environment to plan 

The Student/Parent Hackathon would be an event that occurs at the beginning of the school year - with the goal of building a customized learning plan for the student.  The results of that learning plan could be captured and celebrated in a portfolio at the end of the school year.

How might the Student/Parent Hackathon be competitive in nature?  At the beginning of the school year, what can students and parents create together to "set the tone" for the school year?

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Photo of John Faig
Team

I love this idea on  two fronts - hacks are great brainstorming events and it involves the parents and students.

Photo of Mark Silberberg
Team

Jared, had great fun with others in NYC prototyping your idea. We took a step back and thought that before we asked students and families to come into school that they might hack the experience at home. We thought of Mad Libs as an inspiration to guide the conversations. Parents and student would each do separately and then come together to discuss and make commitments. A low tech version could be done on paper. A more high tech-version woudl allow each party to do respond to the prompts and then when the family comes together they'd be guided though a conversation in which each would acknowledge each other's responses. Like StoryCorps, these might even be recorded. They would also enter a typed response indicating how each would support the other to achieve the learning goals. This data would then feed to the point person at school most closely tied to supporting the student (classroom teacher, advisor, etc.). We thought that schools could find better ways to communicate the content that is delivered at most Back-to-School nights and instead use this time for families to come in and discuss these goals with the school point person.

Here are some images from the 90 second pitch we gave:

https://twitter.com/SilberbergMark/status/734173940722065409 

https://twitter.com/SilberbergMark/status/734174387327369217

Photo of William Cavada
Team

Interesting and innovative idea. Looking to reading more of your idea.

Photo of Jared Amalong
Team

Thanks, @Will Cavada!  I suspect the awesome group at the d.school Brainstorm was the inspiration!!!

Photo of Lisa Abel-Palmieri
Team

I love the idea - I do wonder how to reel in to much "blue sky" thinking and keep it realistic. How do you engage parents who can't be there so all students get the customized plan? Great ideas to figure out! 

Photo of Jared Amalong
Team

Blue skies smiling at me!  Great thought - there needs to be something grounding/tangible.  Do you think virtual or asynchronous options would help allow all parents to participate?

Photo of Margaret Powers
Team

Awesome idea Jared Amalong How would teachers be involved in this event? Do you think families would need any prior exposure/experience with a hackathon before diving into something that would affect their learning goals/experience for the year? 

Photo of Jared Amalong
Team

Gosh, great questions!  I wonder if the teacher serves/models a facilitative role?  Part of the experience of a Hackathon seems to be learning what a Hackathon is :)

Photo of Jennifer Gaspar- Santos
Team

Yes and... for folks that don't have a whole day for a hackathon. What if there was a mini-hackathon for a half day or a few hours for households with single parents or where child care for other siblings might be an issue. And it was great brainstorming with you Jared--let's definitely keep in touch!

Photo of Jared Amalong
Team

YES!  And what if there were virtualized options?  Hack from home!

Also wonderful to brainstorm with you!  You have two great posts - I am digesting them today.