Designing the Super High School of the Future

Designing the Super High School of the Future

Extreme Networks announced that it has partnered with a group of New Hampshire students, educators and community members to deliver a proposal for the XQ: Super School Project, a national competition that aims to reimagine high school learning. The program will award five schools with a collective $50 million to implement entirely new educational approaches in their respective school districts.

Justin Ballou, a teacher at Campbell High School in Litchfield, New Hampshire created his own system in his classroom: Socrademy.

Socrademy is a personalized learning system that pairs educators and students in order to learn through experiences which transfer to credits at the high school and collegiate level. The name itself is a portmanteau of: Socrates – the ultimate teacher and Academy – where students go to experience education. The project is designed around five pillars of learning called the 5Cs:

  1. Conceptual understanding
  2. Critical thinking – in application and synthesis
  3. Creation – of web sites, papers, and documentaries
  4. Curation – collecting data and information, reading, bio-lab, primary and secondary research
  5. Communication – through listening and speaking, as well as written word

There are three major elements to the project: The Socrademy Platform, Socrademy Labs, and HackEDU events.

The Socrademy Platform – the C5 scaffolding
Teachers and students connect on the C5 platform. The Teachers build apps called aporia (from the Greek for difficulty or perplexity) or chapters, which are a combination of lessons and project-based assessments that are aligned with state and national standards and Socrademy’s five Cs.

Socrademy Labs – the physical infrastructure and resources
The plan is to refurbish a 60×30 space within existing high schools - an affordable option for cash-strapped districts.

HackEDU events – professional development
Special training-oriented events will be hosted at the Socrademy Labs. For example, a design challenge with prizes for the team of teachers who win.

Next steps for Socrademy
The team has now put the finishing touches on the final plan and submitted it on May 23. The finalists will be announced by August. If all goes well, the Socrademy will launch in September, 2017.