Mozilla Gigabit and The Lean Lab's Project Bright Spots
The beginning of 2014 saw some initial challenges. With Kansas City Public Schools' loss of accreditation and discussions with the state looming, discourse around public education was often divisive and emotionally charged. However, at the same time Mozilla Firefox saw hope in the education landscape of KCMO, and on the heels of Google Fiber decided to bring it's Gigabit Community Fund to Kansas City. Testing the power of the 'gig' capacity of Google Fiber, the Gigabit Fund exists to fund small pilot projects that test the capacity of the 'gig' while also benefiting education and work force development in Kansas City. The Lean Lab got lucky and is one of five projects selected by the Mozilla Gigabit Fund to both play with with the Gig's potential and highlight the "bright spots" of teaching and learning across Kansas City. Thus, Project Bright Spots was born. Learn about the concept below, and directly visit the project here!
Kansas City is not currently known for innovation or excellence in education. However “bright spots”-- isolated examples of innovative and inspiring teaching and learning--do exist. Project Bright Spots exists to illuminate such examples, share them with the greater Kansas City community, and spark dialogue and support so such examples of excellence and innovation can spread throughout the region, serving as inspiration to students, teachers and the community at large.
Project Bright Spot acknowledges that currently, the vehicle to share, convene, posit and brainstorm new innovative solutions does not yet exist. Project Bright Spots is the solution to create such a forum. Project Bright Spots works to highlight existing innovative and effective teaching and learning experiences in K-12 settings across the Kansas City metropolitan area, while also spurring conversation about how to create new collaborations/innovations.
Project Bright Spots will accomplish this goal by providing a showcase for innovative and effective teaching and learning, and also as a place to use integrative and multi-media technology to build community and catalyze citywide conversations around innovation in education. Project Bright Spots will accomplish this by developing a web interface that engages teachers and students in dialogue about innovation in education, as well as acting as an archive of existing examples. A “live feed” by nature, the interface, entitled “The Project Bright Spots Feed,” will act as a twitter feed, but will be segmented into three columns: dilemmas, ideas for solutions, existing examples & inspiration. Users can enter submissions into any of the three categories through the use of a username. Submissions can be text, photos or videos—imagine a twitter/instagram/facebook feed, but segmented into three columns and dedicated to all things innovation in Kansas City education.
The success of Project Bright Spots will be measured by progress to outlined goals. The measurable goals of Project Bright Spots are as follows:
Share existing examples of “Bright Spots” of teaching and learning in the KC metro region with the entire KC-metro community