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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor: "Are you with me now?" 2.19.21


For many years, we have talked about what would it be like to do Big Picture without having the trappings of school i.e. specific content, specific times, specific ways to learn. What would it look like if you could mingle, muddle and matter – anytime, anywhere and the many ways you can develop your skills? Last week, we got the opportunity and funding to build both virtual and workplace scenarios that are Big Picture outside of school. Originally on paper, the name of this initiative was Outlearners and now it is changed to B-Unbound or B-U. Honestly, the people who are working with us on this initiative didn’t know about College Unbound.

Included in B-Unbound will be the ImBlaze platform, initiatives like Harbor Freight Fellows, Project InSight, The International Big Picture Learning Credential, BPLiving and Alumni Toolkit. They all fit nicely into place in B-Unbound. The work of building and piloting starts immediately. Anyone who wants to talk more about B-Unbound, let me know.

I’m real excited about Carlos’ talk with Nicole Hannah Jones. I’m sure this will be a conversation that gets down to the nitty gritty of racial segregation in schools, housing and more. This is going to be something else.

As part of BPLiving, on the ZOT call this week students discussed how they are managing their sleep. The studies are out there about how lack of sleep impacts our physical, intellectual and emotional health. One of our students, Marlene Gaeta did a great video summarizing the research on sleep. Ironically, schools are a major reason why students sleep patterns are poor. Is it a surprise that students have loads of trouble managing their sleep? Bus schedules, transportation, school stress, cramming and more all contribute to students not sleeping well. This was a real honest conversation. Even without the pressures of school, students talked about staying up way too late and sleeping way too little. How do we support better sleep patterns for students, staff and families? BPLiving is tackling this issue and others.

Next week, Odyssey students are doing another webinar hosting BPLiving work. Here’s a preview and info on the webinar – Monday February 22nd – 10-11 pacific - Rocio is going to be back with us and has a treat in store. Maria will be sharing some interesting data with us. Ahmari will be showing a quick pre-recorded video on how to make plant-based sushi.

I had a great time on the Vision to Learn workshop put on by Andrea, Carrie and Casey and our students. Once again, students were the drivers here and their presence made the adults on the call question, why they don’t have students lead and participate in their endeavors more. It is one thing to be student-centered where groups PUT students at the center (center of what learning?). It is quite another to be student-driven. This is a difference that makes the difference.

Craftsmanship Quarterly put out a great story about the late Congressman John Lewis and his love of art, craft and artists. Benny Andrews was one of his favorite artists and lifelong friends. Congressman Lewis spoke at Benny Andrews memorial service, at The Cooper Union college. In the same issue, Craftsmanship Quarterly dedicated their entire Winter edition to the “generations of creativity and innovation that Black Americans have brought to this country in the arts, crafts and trades that constitute a vibrant society.”

Be Well!


Elliot Washor Co-founder of Big Picture Learning

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