Introducing the AltSchool Student Storytellers
Emily Dahm, Head of School, AltSchool Yerba Buena
Alex Ragone, Head of School, AltSchool Union Square
What do learner-centric experiences look like from a student perspective? This spring, we set out to answer that question and launched a pilot program called Student Storytelling, with middle school students at our Union Square and Yerba Buena campuses in New York and San Francisco. Heads of School Emily Dahm and Alex Ragone share a glimpse.
In our lab schools, we are cultivating the next generation of lifelong learners who possess the knowledge, strength of character, creativity, and drive to impact the modern world. Through our curriculum, we create powerful learning experiences designed to empower students to operate at the center of their own learning. As agents of their own learning, AltSchool students are creating the change they want to see in the dynamic environments around them.
Empowering students to exercise voice and choice are key components of creating learner-centric environments. But what do learner-centric experiences look like from a student perspective? This spring, we set out to answer that question and launched a pilot program called Student Storytelling, with middle school students at our Union Square and Yerba Buena campuses in New York and San Francisco.
Learn more about Our Vision for Lab Schools.
With the aims of making learning visible, building community, extending learning beyond the classroom, and connecting learning to real-world experiences, we assembled our student storytelling teams, which included students, educator mentors, and a professional video journalist. Learning the basic skills of video production—shaping a concept, storyboarding, using camera equipment and editing software, directing—our students began to conceptualize the stories they wanted to share with a broader audience beyond their school walls.
Over the course of several months, the storytelling teams produced five student-led and student-directed videos that showcase their learner-centric experiences. We’re proud to share their stories in the coming weeks, which include a mini-documentary illustrating the story behind participating in a school walkout; a collaboration with video storytelling teams at four different schools across the country; a self-organized initiative to train a new team of student storytellers who then documented their school’s learning exhibition, and more. These students took deep interest and initiative in their learning over the course of the pilot program and exercised agency in the projects they pursued. We can’t wait to see where they go next.
Learn more about our lab schools and our partner school program.