eco web learning NEXT.cc is an eLearning eco web that introduces what design is, what design does, and why design is important. It integrates design thinking activities across nine scales- nano, pattern, object, space, architecture, neighborhood, urban, region, and world. NEXT.cc’s journeys connect active learning with virtual field trips, museum tours, research institutions and contemporary art, science and design practices to engage imaginations in seeing the world in which they live and learn in relation to the bigger picture of the world at large. Nurturing curiosity and critical thinking through place based projects, NEXT.cc participants explore design thinking on the computer, design research using the Worl Wide Web and people, design process in conceptualizing ideas to improve situations, and design making in studying iterative approaches. NEXT.cc reaches young people, their teachers and their families with meaningful learning experiences that create positive influence on lives. history NEXT.cc is a collaborative effort by principals, teachers, architects, artists and college art, art education, design and architecture students (MIT, Harvard, NYIT, CCAC, Parsons, SAIC, UWM) . Founded as an educational non-profit in 2007, NEXT.cc staff and advisory boards research and create trans disciplinary journeys that engage local ideas with global practices. Participants move from the computer into the community and learn about themselves, their neighbors, and their friends as they engage history and culture of place and explore sustainable design possibilities. NEXT.cc delivers eco literacy and digital fluency expanding STEM teaching to 21st century STEAM (Science, Technology, Environment, Engineering, Art and Math). Imagination knows no race, creed, age or income but needs nurturing and encouragement at all stages of life. Working to reach at risk student populations and underserved teachers, NEXT.cc connects multi generational expertise in delivering best practices and cutting edge research to young imaginations through everyday technology on cell phones, IPADs, laptops and computers. Using everyday technology fluidly intertwined with hands on project learning fuses creative minds in observing, analyzing, synthesizing, respecting and designing. The K12 years are formidable in that they are a very short time in which to instill the desire to learn and the need to know to find one's place in the world to contribute. As two thirds of the US population does not go on to college, it is imperative that environmental and responsible understandings are cultivated early on. As design is not taught in the United States until college, it is crucial that it is introduced in the educational system as a lens for learning and testing possibilities. The iterative, experimental, explorative nature of design needs to be part of every young person's schooling to allow for failure, reflection, evaluation and rethinking. The neuroscience of learning tells us that early years are formative years in connecting to place. NEXT.cc is an outstanding example of a social network that locally and globally introduces and supports systemic change in teaching and learning. Recognized as a National Environmental Education Green STEM Innovator (2012), for outstanding Media Education in the Built Environment by the Union of International Architects (2011), Wisconsin Arts Board Creative Communities (2010), United States Green Building Council Excellence in Green Building Education (2009) and a Design Education Innovator, National Endowment for the Arts (2007), NEXT.cc is charging education and students to connect to their informal interests through self selected exploration of the world. NEXT.cc staff deliver teacher professional development workshops and create place based opportunities for schools to connect directed instruction with project based learning. In response to teacher and student user feedback delivered in over one hundred Design as Nature and STEAM by Design workshops, journeys are now sortable by scale(s) and traditional topic(s) and end with interactive reviews and next related steps. In addition, journeys are now set to National Environmental Education Standards, Art & Design Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Media Connected Teaching and Learning NEXT.cc introduces digital fluency by topically accessing fun and free online interactives such as SketchUp, Kuler, Universal Scale, GeoGuesser, History Pin, Earth Day Footprint Quiz, These free resources not only introduce the wonder of learning online, they quickly support informal learners in their ‘need to know’ quest for connecting data, information, research with digital and physical modeling. These easy and friendly interactives encourage students and non digital teachers to learn together. NEXT.cc belives that having fun motivates positive learning experiences. Moving from making learning fun (“This is exciting”) to “I like to do this” to “I CAN do this” to “this is important to me” creates the foundation for personal life long learning and assists people in finding their purpose. partners NEXT.cc works with Ace Mentors, Burnham 100, Chicago After School Matters, Detroit Public Schools, Earth Day Network, LaCrosse Design Institute, National Environmental Education Foundation, Global Campaign For Climate Action,Industrial Design Society of America, National Environmental Education Foundation Environmental Education Week, US Green Charter Schools, The RISD, STEM to STEAM Project, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Smithsonian, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Harvard Career Links Project, FutureLab’s InfoCow, UIA’s Architecture and Children Program, and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. NEXT.cc workshops have reached over 5000 teachers and 25,000 students and are being accessed in 50 states and over 150 countries.
Posted on July 21, 2014. Modified on July 21, 2014