Iowa Student Learning Institute

ISLIIf you’re interested in improving education (and you live in Iowa), there’s an event coming up next Saturday, October 5th, you should check out.

It’s called the Iowa Student Learning Institute (ISLI). It’s a conference that was totally spearheaded and organized by students – specifically Ian Coon and Jack Hostager. I think they did a pretty impressive job getting it all setup. I’m also just impressed that they did this at all. It really shows some great initiative. The idea behind it is to get input from students on what’s happening (or should be happening) in transitioning schools to 21st century teaching/learning practices.

In their own words: “ISLI is like an edcamp- except for students. ISLI is a day being planned by a group led by two Iowa teens designed to enable students, with the support of their teachers, to make their voice heard by sharing ideas about improving education. ISLI will combine presentations from education leaders with edcamp style breakout sessions.”

Next Saturday, follow the #isli hashtag on twitter to join the conversation.

You can also follow the conference on facebook and twitter.

Here’s the full schedule.

I (Jake Kerber) will be on a panel from 12:25-12:50 (during lunch) entitled, “What I Wish I Knew in High School”. I’ll also be giving a talk that I call, “Put Students in Charge for Success”. (I originally thought of calling it “What Monkeys, Marshmallows, and Games Can Teach Us About Education”.)

Here’s what my talk will be about:

I’m a businessman, technology entrepreneur, parent, and researcher on the psychology of education.

In my talk I’ll enumerate the problems I see in the current education system:
– Students aren’t properly prepared for college (or careers)
– Students aren’t happy
– Some students are held back from achieving and others are forced through the system
– Student creativity is crushed

I’ll explain the science that tells us what schools should be doing instead and present a possible comprehensive solution.

Finally, we’ll discuss how we can work together as a group to make the change to a better system.


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