Testing the SOLE Toolkit

Posted on December 29th, 2013 by Tony Tepedino

Post written by AC first grade teacher Kasandra Stark


First graders dove into the SOLE toolkit designed by Sugata Mitra and his team in the UK.

Last year, first graders tested out a new style of educational thought: Why not support students while they tap into their own wonder and big questions and use technology and each other to answer these big questions? We tested Sugata Mitra’s educational design of a Self Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) where students did just this (http://www.ted.com/pages/prizewinner_sugata_mitra). It was very successful and the students had a lot of fun learning.

Earlier this year, I was approached by Ana Santos who works for Mr. Mitre. She is working with a team to design a web-based page where children can explore their SOLE’s. This toolkit is being designed using feedback from teachers, students, and specialists from around the world, including our very own first graders here at AC.

We had a chance to test out the toolkit using the question: What is the biggest threat to our oceans right now? Students managed their own groups, researched this topic, and were able to present their ideas regarding the worst threats including overfishing, pollution, and whaling. It is remarkable what 5, 6, and 7 year-olds are able to do using a computer and each other. We were able to send Ana some great feedback and are going to continue to work with her to develop this toolkit. Hopefully we can weave SOLE’s into our everyday curriculum during part of our day, letting the kids be the teachers, students, and organizers of their own learning.

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Posted in: First Grade, Highlights, Lower School

SOLE Challenge

Posted on March 5th, 2013 by Tony Tepedino
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Posted in: Lower School

TEDx brings 'Ideas Worth Spreading' to Allendale Columbia School

Posted on January 22nd, 2013 by Tony Tepedino

If you’re wondering where I have been and why I have not been posting as much, here is your answer. I am helping to organize and curate our TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool. If you are interested in attending apply for tickets here. We are very excited to be  able to host this event at Allendale Columbia School and hope you can join us!


From the article in the Brighton Pittsford Post:

TEDx Allendale Columbia is being organized primarily by Martijn Appelo, a 16-year-old junior at the school who came up with the idea to host the event after watching TED talks in class last year. “I kind of said it as a joke at first and now it’s really happening, which is scary and fun at the same time,” Appelo said. Appelo isn’t putting the event together by himself, though. He got TED’s approval to host the event in October and has help from a faculty advisor and a student committee that meets daily to have everything ready to go by February. Gee said the real-world planning, deadlines, and consequences the students face in organizing the event help to make it an invaluable learning experience. “I think schools are often contrived places where we create these situations that don’t really exist in real life,” Gee said. “Trying to organize something like this develops a certain skill set that I’m not sure schools do their best to develop, putting students in real situations. It’s a genuine experience, and we try to encourage that.”

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Posted in: Upper School