Endor and its home-base Open Space AVL spent all of fall 2015 in limbo transitioning between locations, so, we experimented with an online-ALC, Agile Unschooling to keep things going. I called it Agile Unschooling because it was open to the broader Unschooling community, not just the Endor community. I visited NBTSC that fall, the “summer” camp for teenage Unschoolers, and welcomed people to join UA from there.
People registered to join AU via the Endor website. Registrants were asked to read over the Agile Unschooling READ ME document before signing up. The READ ME doc was intended to be a living document that we would edit as the program went on, acting as a kind of charter for other groups to start their own Agile Unschooling or Online ALC Groups. Take a look at the READ ME if you want to learn more about the actual processes we used day to day, or if you want to start your own online ALC meetup. You can also take a look at our CMB here.
There was this two fold intention in creating AU.
1) to share the ALC Roots, tools and practices with the Unschooling community (as an adult Unschooler myself, I see huge value in keeping it ALC when Unschooling).
2) to create an outline for what an online ALC could function like.
My long term intention is to create a new ALC Net framework – for Unschoolers. Agile Unschooling would be a parallel network, and network website, to the ALC Network. The branding might be closer to “ALC Online” or something, we will see.
Here below is collection of reflections from our last meeting that I frantically wrote down as people shared them.
What Worked and What Didn’t
- Liked hearing about what other people were up to, like hearing about the bullet journal for example.
- The cycle of reiterating things and keeping good records.
- The cycle worked nicely. Having a schedule was nice.
- Wasn’t sure how people came together and what their commitments were, felt like some people were forcing themselves to participate.
- One of the reasons the group fizzled was that people weren’t invested enough in each other’s projects. People need to be invested in each other enough to like reach out to each other unplanned during the week..
- Would have loved some kind of physical meet-up. Would tell another group that it would help to have limits on things, know in advance what the peremeters/goals are, hold in like “sessions” so that people have an easy out if they want to leave the group. Sessions are like 20 weeks long and then people meet up physically or something.
- Joining from Australia was really difficult.
- Also the 8 or 9 people is too many, 7 could be the maximum.
- Having college stuff made it hard. So timing got difficult.
Advice to Future Groups
- Being consistent really helped. Once I started missing meetings I stopped caring about the intentions I set.
- Would like more accountability. Smaller group means greater accountability since there are fewer things to remember.
- How to resolve the issue of people not caring about eachother – checkin about only one thing at a time, and possibly not checkin about other things until that first thing is finished.
- I would tell myself back in time to not have such anxiety about meetings. Overall this will help you become a more productive person.
- Get to know your group mates – take time to talk to them outside of the group
- Share the rolls of CH – have clearer rolls – make sure that everyone tries to explore the rolls of CHing because you learn a skill set by doing that. Try new and different things and failing the and reflecting on them is the learning.
- I would be better at checking in with people to see if they wanted to leave.
- Would blog more! Blog more! Document more! Set aside more time for AU related things.
Big Take Aways
- Learning time management. Going to something in your own house on the internet is difficult – so pushing yourself to do that kind of “self time managemnt” where you don’t even have to leave the house is extra hard.
- Being social with the group is cool. Super cool.
- Seeing and recognizing that teens are keen and ready to do this stuff already. Seeing people go into this work is really powerful – seeing teenagers step up their game is awesome and good learning. Got a lot out of seeing how powerfully teens can run with this shiznat.
Where to Next
- So much of what SDL is about is social – sharing your projects with other people. Setting up a learning group at Teacher’s College. This group is so different than other cultures of other learners. Felt like my ideas were being attacked by other people.
- Some kind of facebook group chat or something? (this. . . kind of happened.)
- Liam and Lucy visit ALC NYC? (this happened!)