happy SOLE is a program that promotes a self-organized learning environment developed to spark creativity, curiosity and wonder in students and inspire them to take control of their own learning. The program is based on a big question, a project based learning unit,which promotes the acquisition of critical thinking skills needed by students.
happy SOLE program is a weeklong program with two 1-hour in-house sessions at the library. During the first session, the participants will be introduced to the big question and formed into groups. The groups then explore the question in the form of discussion. The participants are encouraged to use the Internet for research. The moderator facilitates the discussion with more open and useful questions and their process in answering it. At the end of the session, participants will be provided with access to the Peerwise** system to continue their discussion online throughout the week.
The online discussion will be open to all the participants invariable of their groups and the learning occurs via questions, answers, comments, and expert opinions in the Peerwise system. The Peerwise system is a reputation based peer evaluated system that awards each of these activities. The group members are also encouraged to communicate amongst themselves via Google Hangouts or similar online tools to prepare for the next session. During the second session, each group will present their discoveries. This is one of the most important elements of the program as it gives them a chance to think more deeply about what they have found out, and how they discovered it. The moderator/subject expert will end the session with his/her closing thoughts.
The discussions on Peerwise for each of the happy SOLE topics will remain open for further discussions for the current and future participants. Participants with the highest reputation score on Peerwise will be added to the happy SOLE Hall of Fame every quarter.
happy SOLE is a completely free program for middle and high school students sponsored by Nextide Academy in partnership with Loudoun County Public Library, Virginia.
* The concept of SOLE is adapted from Dr. Sugata Mitra’s “The School in the Cloud” (http://www.theschoolinthecloud.org) : Self-Organized Learning Environment – A SOLE is where students are given the freedom to learn collaboratively using the Internet. An educator/knowledge specialist poses a big question and students form small groups to find an answer. SOLE sessions are characterized by discovery, sharing and spontaneity lead by a moderator.
** Peerwise is an Ask, Share and Learn system developed by Computer Science Education Research Group, University of Auckland, New Zealand. (https://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/)
Click the link below to access the general information flyer about the happy SOLE program