Sunday, May 26, 2019

Palo Alto and Esther Wojcicki post 3

The last school we visited on our Boma Ed Fellowship to California was Palo Alto High School to see their Media Studies department and meet with Esther Wojcicki (It was a highlight for me, to meet Esther). 

I had watched a few of Esther Wojcicki online talks through Singularity U and have the 'TRICK' acronym up on my whiteboard. The word I really love is the acronym   'Kindness' and is something I am wanting to focus on with the students.

I think what struck me the most about visiting this school was here was a teacher who had believed in her students and program. She made it work inside prefab buildings until the number of students overwhelmed the space, and a purpose built building was built. That Esther had the drive and passion to deliver a curriculum that was truly engaging and authentic.

We walked into a classroom where students were just announcing who the new editors were.
Students where running this learning with teacher off to side observing. Students clapped and cheered as the new editors went up. The chatter among the students was positive. The air was filled with anticipation and celebration. It really was exciting to watch. From here they split into their own groups and down to the business of putting together a publication. 
There are a number of publications students put out and each one is responsible for gathering the advertisements to fund the print run. Each publication is of an exceptional high standard whether it be a newspaper such as The Campanile or a magazine like Agora:
Besides the print publications there are also involved with visual media such as tv where student produce a variety of tv shows.

Infocus is a daily tv show where students share announcements and information for the school community - it is the schools daily update system. 
There is is so much to this Media department (including radio) and students have the responsibility of not only producing articles of an exceptional high standard but for distribution.
Esther is an inspiring educator and woman who not only has seen this vision realized at Palo Alto but also has raised two incredible daughters. One is a co-founder  of 23andMe and the other the CEO of Youtube.
I recommend watching Esther Wojcicki presentations there are a number of videos and she has also released a new book 'How to raise successful people'. You can follow her on Twitter @EstherWojcicki