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Is School Enough?

Is School Enough? documents vivid examples of where new modes of learning and engagement are taking hold and flourishing. This new approach reaches motivated students as well as kids that educators call “the bright and bored,” helping these learners tune in rather than drop out.

FILM CLIP, CHAPTER ONE - Introduction

This documentary chronicles vivid examples of where new modes of learning and engagement are taking hold and flourishing. This new approach reaches motivated students as well as kids that educators call “the bright and bored,” helping these learners tune in rather than drop out.

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FILM CLIP, CHAPTER TWO - Hope Elephants

Students in Maine work with veterinary experts and digital apps to prepare a new home for a retired circus elephant.

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FILM CLIP, CHAPTER THREE - Community PlanIt

Students in Boston work with Community PlanIt, a large scale participatory game that invites Boston Public School stakeholders to discuss and debate issues that are important to them.

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FILM CLIP, CHAPTER FOUR - Sierra & Luis

In Colorado, Sierra is a curious and creative teen who crafts her own educational experience based on her passion for natural healing and yoga. Luis, in Oakland, produces state-of-the-art music videos to engage his community—and himself.

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FILM CLIP, CHAPTER FIVE - Harry Potter Alliance

Young people worldwide use the online Harry Potter Alliance to launch meaningful social justice initiatives.

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FILM CLIP, CHAPTER SIX - Conclusions

Through the voices of these inspired students and America’s foremost education thought-leaders, Is School Enough? provides insight into an essential new understanding of what education can be in the 21st century.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Noah

Noah is a student at San Diego Met, a Big Picture School. Two days a week, he interns off campus at a water quality non-profit called San Diego Stream Keepers. This videos shows the importance of giving students the opportunity to do authentic work in professional environments as a critical part of an education. Expert voices from Elliot Washor and Dennis Litky, founders of Big Picture Learning.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Kjersti and Violet

Kjersti and Violet are high school seniors and have been active member of the robotics club at their high school in Pacifica California. They compete nationally through the FIRST Robotics Competition. During their senior year, they decided to coach the team, rather than compete. They transferred their love of robotics to teaching others about it, thus ensuring that the club survives in the school when they graduate. Expert voice from Woodie Flowers, retired MIT professor and pioneer of competitive robotics.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Kathyrn

Kathyrn purchased a Pontiac Fiero when she was 12 with the intention of completely restoring it by her 16th birthday. She does this with the help of her father and uncle and with the help of countless others whom she interacts with online at the Fiero Forum. Expert voice from Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Rhys

Rhys is 10 years old in this video. He loves to design video games and play baseball. He won the 2010 STEM Video Game Challenge. This video shows the complexity of game design and explores how the feedback of players and online communities help Rhys become a better designer. Expert voices from Kurt Squire and Gabe Zichermann.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Aquaponics

High school student Pierre combined biology, math, economics, and more to transform his campus greenhouse into a sustainable aquaponic system that provides fresh vegetables for the cafeteria.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - People Serving People

At People Serving People, a homeless shelter in Minneapolis, local design firms and educators work together to show kids how design thinking can help them make a difference in their neighborhoods.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Public Workshop

16-year-old Alexa gets hands-on experience and leadership skills by collaborating on a play space for kids through Philadelphia's Public Workshop, which promotes community engagement and civic innovation.

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IS SCHOOL ENOUGH BONUS VIDEO - Sustainable Houses

Teens in Philadelphia learn how to solve math and engineering problems while working together to build high-efficiency homes designed for disaster relief, as part of an alternative senior year program called Sustainability Workshop.

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EVENT PANEL - What Does Engaged Learning Look Like?

At an “Is School Enough?” event hosted at Twin Cities Public Television, moderator Cassie Sharber asked local experts what engaged learning looked like. Local experts Mark Garrison, Molly Vasich, Joanna Kohler, Ange Wang and student Naly Yang offer real-life examples.

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EVENT EXPERT - Yasser Ansari Explains Citizen Science

Yasser Ansari is the co-founder and chief leaf of Project Noah, a National Geographic-backed technology company focused on connecting people to the natural world. He studied molecular biology and bioinformatics at U.C. San Diego and earned his Master’s degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) where he is currently adjunct faculty. He holds several technology patents and likes frogs. In this video, Mr. Ansari explains citizen science and Project Noah.

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EVENT EXPERT - Yasmin Kafai Discusses the Importance of Learning About Technology

Yasmin Kafai explores how computer programming can empower children to become fluent and creative with technologies. She helped design scratch.mit.edu, called the YouTube of interactive media, where millions of kids create and share their programs. Recent publications include Connected Play: Tweens in a Virtual World, which investigates how playing in virtual worlds affects kids’ offline lives, and how this impacts digital education design. Dr. Kafai is a National Science Foundation Early Career Awardee, past president of the International Society of the Learning Sciences and co-executive editor of Journal of the Learning Sciences. In this video, Dr. Kafai explains the importance of learning about technology and coding, and the interest she has seen in kids to learn it.

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EVENT EXPERT - Naly Yang Talks About the Benefits of Youth Programs

Naly Yang is a high school student at Saint Paul Central High School. Her educational experiences extend to a youth program called the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center (KAYSC) at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Through KAYSC, she works on the Teen Tech Crew which involves working with teens at three libraries in St. Paul (Rondo, Arlington Hills, and Rice Street). Ms. Yang also serves on one additional high school crew called Cell Lab which involves working with museum visitors and introducing them to basic hands-on biology/chemistry experiments. In this video, Ms. Yang talks about what she has learned in the youth programs she has participated in.

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EVENT EXPERT - Molly Vasich Discusses Her Approach to Teaching and Technology in the Classroom

Molly Vasich teaches English within the Minneapolis Public Schools, focusing on media analysis, documentary filmmaking, and critical literacy. She is committed to helping students develop awareness of cultural context as they analyze and respond to both fiction and nonfiction texts. Ms. Vasich is inspired by her students, colleagues, social media, and the Twin Cities' artistic and social advocacy scenes. Her work has been featured in Teaching Tolerance Magazine, Minnesota English Journal, and on the local NBC affiliate KARE-11. In this video, Ms. Vasich talks about her approach to teaching and the need for more development opportunities for teachers to learn about bringing technology into their own classrooms.

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EVENT EXPERT - Mark Garrison Discusses Project-Based Learning and Technology in Classrooms

Mark Garrison is an innovative educator and a passionate advocate for technology in education. Garrison is currently the Director of Technology for White Bear Lake Area Schools in Minnesota. He earned a Masters in Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota, is a Google Certified Teacher and was named one of 15 Youtube Star Teachers in 2011. In this video, Mr. Garrison gives an example of project-based learning in the classroom and how technology can be a powerful tool to engage students in the classroom but there are challenges to overcome.

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EVENT EXPERT - Joanna Kohler Talks About Working with Youth

Joanna Kohler is a filmmaking artist committed to telling reflective community stories and empowering young people through media literacy, education and production. She has served as coordinator for the Twin Cities Youth Media Network, and has held fellowships within the Creative Community and Leadership Institute supported by the Bush Foundation and Intermedia Arts. Ms. Kohler is currently a producer and strategist at Kohler Productions with a focus on local and national clients within government, schools, intermediaries and foundations. In this video Ms. Kohler talks about the working with youth, what she’s learned from the experience, and some of the best moments that come with it.

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EVENT EXPERT - Eric Gordon Explains the Benefits of Games as a Learning Tool

Eric Gordon is an associate professor in the department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, where he is the founding director of the Engagement Game Lab. Dr. Gordon is also a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and author of "Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World" and "The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities From Kodak to Google" (2010). In this video, Dr. Gordon explains the benefits of games as a tool for learning.

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EVENT EXPERT - Cassie Scharber Talks About Formal and Informal Education Spaces

Cassie Scharber is an assistant professor of Learning Technologies and a co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab (LTML) at the University of Minnesota. Her research and teaching explore technology integration and the engagement of youth in technology-mediated school, community, and public library settings. She has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters about these topics and served as the co-editor of the Digital Literacies column for the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. She also provides local service and leadership for programs that engage youth with technology across school, community and public library settings. In this clip, Ms. Sharber talks about the possibilities of formal and informal educational spaces working together.

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EVENT EXPERT - Ange Wang Explains Design Thinking

Ange Wang is a graphic designer and adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Ms. Wang teaches graphic design studio classes in identity development, interactive design, and user experience principles and process, and recently served as Design Strategist for AIGA Minnesota's Design for Good pilot project, leading a team of consultants in design-thinking processes to address the needs of a local non-profit. In this video, Ms. Wang explains the concept and process of Design Thinking.

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