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Incomplete notes after visiting Quest To Learn today…

Quest To Learn (http://q2l.org) is a joint venture between the Department of Education, The Gates Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation Institute of Play.

150 kids, 1:1 laptops stored in 6 laptop carts (combination Macbook and netbooks). Mostly cloud based usage via servers and Google Apps. Machines are numbered, so more often than not, kids use the same computer.

The NYC Board of Ed requires filtering, so there are two networks in use; There are only two points of access to the unfiltered network though.

There are 5 curricular Domains at Q2L that integrate multiple disciplines:
The Way Things Work
Being, Space, and Place
Sports for the Mind

Quest To Learn Core Values:
1. All ideas are improvable
2. Diversity creates balance
3. Win and lose with grace
4. Respect all things
5. Collaboration matters
6. Get in the game: Play fair, play fully
7. Experiment and imagine possibilities
8. Nobody walks by
9. Be tenacious
10. Lead by example

Down the hallway is a working Game Design Studio staffed with 4.5 designers. They have an open door policy, so students can walk by, pop in, and see the process unfold. Those games are then used in the classrooms to solve quests or missions. All topics of study are treated as a mission or game.

Q2L is in its second year. Last year they were just 6th grade on East 23rd Street. This year is 6th and 7th grades on the 4th floor of an existing public school on West 18th Street. They share a cafeteria, a boys gym, and a girls gym with the older/bigger/tougher kids on te 6th floor of the building. The 7th floor is a vast, gorgeously lit space that will eventually be Q2L’s high school. Today, I saw a couple of kids playing soccer in one alcove, and as per every floor, there was a hall monitor present.

More information in the Village Voice article here: http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-04-06/news/game-theory/

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