Our Mission

The demand that students develop skills that will will enable them to survive and thrive in the 21st century (communication, collaboration, problem solving) is rising.  This, in turn, is forcing a big shift in education -- away from the mass production, content-centric model in use for the last 100 years to student-driven work on real-world projects. As this transition unfolds we fear Milwaukee and its students will be left behind. Learn Deep aims to put Milwaukee out in front.

Practices and curriculum for this new model have been around for years. Though we see growing use, teachers and schools find the transition difficult. A shift to student-driven, project-based work recasts the role of the teacher and places new demands on schedules and processes within the school. Our goal is to accelerate the rate at which the mindset and culture that enable the effective use of these practices takes root and spreads.  Why now?

 

Connect

Our monthly Collab Labs bring educators and community partners together to share ideas and solve problems. They provide a chance to hear what other schools are working on and how they’ve overcome hurdles to implement innovative practices.

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Experiment

We see lots of places where the ideas and enthusiasm of educators can lead to some remarkable opportunities for students.  We’re also big believers in trying things out at a small scale to better understand the challenges and opportunities at hand.

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Scale

We look to drive change from the bottom up by tapping into the energy of teachers who want to see their students do great things. Our cross-district initiatives are driven by the passions of teachers to engage students in meaningful, authentic work, and structured to build the capacity of schools to do even more.

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What’s New

  • Building Computer Science Talent Over the summer we met with Ryan Bennett from SafeNet Consulting and Ryan Osterberg from Brookfield Central to talk about the CS internship program they put together for high school students.  That program leads teams of high school students to develop custom applications for other local non-profits. Over the past 2 years, they’ve developed an effective way to engage students in meaningful, high quality work. They have started a new non-profit, Code The Way, to carry on the effort and reach a broader pool of talent. In the same way that having a real-world project helps sharpen the thinking of students, having a real-world program as a case study helped us talk through a number of the issues around developing CS talent in K-12. We began the evening with an overview of the Code the Way program, how it is structured, and the key aspects of the approach that make it a valuable experience for students.  Our initial set of small group discussions focused on the aspects of the approach participants found most compelling.  Those key aspects fell into the following categories Collaboration Building a pathway from high school to college Pedagogy Context matters (real-world projects) Encourages [read more …]

  • We’ve set the schedule for this year’s Collab Labs.  In Collaboration with SafeNet Consulting, we’re kicking off the season in October with a look at developing computer science talent. [read more …]