Expanded Education in Poligono Sur District's Junior School

Published on 05/05/2009 - Experiences

Co-Learning, Self-management, Sharing resources, Communities / Networks, Analogies of digital, Collective learning, Education / Training, Social development, Networking

Contributors: Platoniq

Related with: Qué es Banco Común de Conocimientos

Within the framework of the 11th ZEMOS98 Festival, with the Expanded education Symposium at its core, in March 2009 Platoniq carried out a pilot Bank of Common Knowledge (BCK) experience at Antonio Domínguez Ortiz
secondary school in the Polígono Sur neighbourhood in Seville, also known as Las 3000 Viviendas. The school structures its educational approach around the Educational Compensation Plan, which forms part of the Commissioner's Comprehensive Plan for Polígono Sur, an area whose social, economic and cultural characteristics call for new educational models and practice to ensure effective schooling and prevent social exclusion. Platoniq took up this challenge together with the school team and ZEMOS98, who had spent the previous months setting out well-defined lines of action for a week of experiences with students.
Below is a chronicle of the BCK workshops held at Antonio Domínguez Ortiz secondary school in Seville, which can only hope to give a glimpse of students' intensive experience over these days and hint at the tremendous progress made.
Keywords: Digital competences, Symposium, Expanded Education, Knowledge Bank, ZEMOS98, Platoniq, Networks(Nets), Collectivities, Polígono Sur

We do recomend to watch the documentary made after the experience (Click on mediadock)

First Session
Have you ever felt that if you only knew 'something', that 'something' could change your life forever? Is there something you'd like to be able to do, but just never found anyone to teach you how? How many useful things could you teach your friends? Do you know anybody who can do something useful, interesting or special? This is a chronicle about the art of listening, learning and sharing at the first session of the BCK at Antonio Domínguez Ortiz secondary school.
After several months of meetings and preparations, we finally set up this pioneer Knowledge Exchange experience.
We set up our base camp in the school library and organised the chairs and tables to help form working groups. This strategic location (in the middle of a corridor on the ground floor of the building) was chosen to ensure the whole school would see us as an open office for knowledge exchange.

We got under way with an introductory session for 4th-year secondary and 1st- and 2nd-year baccalaureate students about Platoniq and the BCK and how we were going to create 'networks' in the school and neighbourhood. Olivier Schulbaum (Platoniq) reassured students that this would be the only 'theoretical' session where the teacher speaks
and the students remain silent; after this the idea would be to invert the roles of teacher and student.
The BCK project follows the philosophy of copyleft, social networks, free software and knowledge transfer. One student asked whether you needed to know what freeware was in order to understand the Bank of Common Knowledge. Olivier gave the example of making gazpacho soup:
we all know what the basic ingredients are (tomato, pepper, bread, etc.), but everyone has their own particular way of making it. And we understand that the recipe doesn't belong to anyone; it belongs to everyone, even though everybody follows it in their own individual way. This is the key idea in both cooking and software. Knowledge – belonging simultaneously to both everyone and no-one – is a kind of 'asset' (as on the stock exchange) with its own value. This whole week would be about giving knowledge value: we would be responsible for deciding what was important. And, above all, we were going to strengthen and forge new relationships and networks.

Have you ever stopped to think what you could teach other people? This isn't an easy question for anyone to answer; some of us found it the most complicated exercise this morning. What can you teach your friends? And, more to the point, are you interested in sharing something? And in exchange for what? On what subject? What might others
find useful? We tried to find answers to these questions, without forgetting our own interests and bearing in mind the questions that the school's educational system cannot answer or for which we'd like different answers and from different people: "Teachers know lots of things they don't teach."

We split into two groups, first only 4th-year secondary students and then the sixth-form students. Platoniq suggested making a map of everyone's skills. "Let's look at people's hobbies, good practices, interests, etc." We used board markers and pens to write down what we wanted (What do I want to learn?) on pink post-its, and what we could offer (What can I teach?) on green ones. We also used yellow post-its to suggest other interesting people with something to teach, from outside our working group or school (friends on other courses, family members, friends from the neighbourhood, etc.).
"I compare the Bank of Common Knowledge with Cash Converters: you sell what you no longer need and buy what other people no longer want. Once you know something, it's not that you no longer need it, but you don't mind sharing it and you might need something from someone else in the same situation", said Antonio (2nd-year baccalaureate) to his friends.

We asked each student to write at least five requests for knowledge and five offers of knowledge. When there were at least two matching requests, the group would get to work and look within the neighbourhood network for someone to satisfy this request. If there was already someone in the group who could satisfy the request, we would put them
in contact with each other.
Each group's map of interests took shape in the form of a notice board with the post-its organised by subject: sport, technology, society, humanities, the body, etc. We agreed to continue the exercise the following day with a smaller group, the motivator group, which would return to their schoolmates' classes to set up the knowledge market.

Second Session
The goal of today's session was to work with the motivator group. By Wednesday, everybody should be 'experts' on the Bank of Common Knowledge ; we should all know how to communicate the project to other groups, teachers, friends and members of our family or anyone else who asks us.
Up to now, knowledge had not been as important as teamwork, joint responsibilities, new ideas and internal organisation for communicating a project. Students threw themselves into the exercise, and the working environment flourished as motivation increased when they saw the first results. They were responsible for communicating the work they were doing in the Bank of Common Knowledge office.
We defined goals and tasks. On Wednesday the motivator group (about a dozen people, including 4th-year secondary and baccalaureate students) would go into some 2nd- and 3rd-year secondary classes to find 'assets' for the bank:
a) what people know and want to share and
b) what they want to learn.

Teamwork and commitment to each task is key. Students divided up into groups by interest and personal tastes:
- Communication Cell. This group decided which sentences and keywords explained the BCK simply, clearly and directly. In addition, they prepared a script to help structure the presentation to each class, decide what needed to be transported from class to class and determine what to do at each moment.
- Production and Design Cell. This group decided which format to use to get the ideas across: post-its, T-shirts, posters, murals, etc. The production cell was the coordination centre and gave shape to the work being done by their classmates in the Communication group.
- Audiovisual Cell. This group documented actions and used ads and short informative videos to express the ideas from the Communication group using the cameras and video cameras on their mobile phones. To make the ad, they had to prepare a technical script, decide on the shots and the necessary material and above all decide what they wanted to communicate and how to do it.

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La Célula Audiovisual documenta las acciones y expresa, a través de spots o vídeos informativos cortos, las ideas que vengan del grupo de comunicación. Usan las cámaras de vídeo y fotos de sus propios móviles. (...) Para la realización del spot, hay que trabajar un guión técnico, definir cuáles son los planos a tomar y qué material es necesario pero, sobre todo, pensar qué queremos contar y cómo lo vamos a hacer.