2. How do we develop individual expertise and collaboration? Solving the shark problem involved collaboration among marine biologists, lifeguards, politicians, pilots, marine technology experts, and more. Each individual possessed a specific expertise, but solving the problem required collaboration among all of them. How are we preparing students to have deep expertise in a given field? How are we creating cross-curricular opportunities to learn, explore, and problem solve? How are we helping students learn to collaborate?
3. Do our students know how to collaborate across cultures? While the shark story started in Australia, the team quickly partnered with experts in San Diego, California, to gain new perspectives, learn other options, and test solutions. More and more, the opportunities to collaborate globally are expanding. How are schools preparing students to find people in other parts of the globe that may have expertise on a problem that needs solving locally? How are we teaching students about efficient ways to communicate globally?
4. Are we encouraging students to fail forward? These marine biologists developed a multitude of solutions to the problem, and they failed several times before they succeeded. How do we create the culture of failing forward in our schools?
5. Are we leveraging technology? The most simple and effective part of the shark solution was to use Twitter to quickly notify beach-goers of shark sightings and alerts. Are we teaching students to think about Twitter in ways other than a social platform? Using high-definition cameras, the team developed a method of spotting sharks despite changing weather and ocean conditions. Obviously these are very specialized tools, but are we giving students access to basic digital tools and teaching them how to use them?
Clearly I have more questions than answers, but I know we must be FIERCE in our pursuit to create opportunities for students to learn in these contexts. There's nothing nerdy about that.