Monday, May 28, 2012

Educational Sushi?

Two big things happening in the Wise family with careers. Me, I've hit what I believe is the perfect job combination of innovation and leadership. I am the newly appointed Director of Innovation and Extended Learning for the Hilliard City Schools district. I know, you're more confused now than ever by that title. I need a catchy nickname.
    The second career move is my brother.  Brad recently left his job and with two other creative minds started up Rebel Pilgrim Productions in Cincy. They are bringing professional films, scripts, and storytelling that spark hope.  One idea they are kicking around is the possible story of three buddies that wanted to bring Sushi to the midwest. Their creation is a Chipotle style eatery based around Sushi called "Fusian". It's genius. 

With my job we are charged to find the "next" or the "innovative" of education. If these guys were educators, they would be it.  But why?  Sushi has always been here. You can order Sushi anywhere you want if you go to the right location. Then why are these guys making it such a phenomena with the youthful crowd? Because it's the two things all iGeneration kids want, choice and experience. 

When the people go through the line of Fusian they get their choice of creating their own meal, just like Chipotle. What was once scary, adult food is now controlled by the youth. Ownership is now part of the tasty experience. 

They also get the Fusian experience. It's what people are talking about. Why do kids drink starbucks and not brew their own keurig homestyle brew?  Because it's not cool to carry "best mom on earth" mug to school. It's cool to have the starbucks logo. 

How do we make school all about choice and a "cool"experience?  Simple. Remove the scary adult thinking. Make the educational sushi restaurant. 

School needs to start shifting toward the chipotle/fusian experience.  Choose your educational experience. You want to learn a certain way? Choose that. You want to show me how well you know the content? Go ahead, show me. Remove the barriers. Stop being adults that think "this is how I learned, look at me, I'm great". Imagine if we thought that way with lead painted toys. Not pretty. 

 There is a reason these kids aren't strolling into Kroger and buying the pre-packaged Sushi. They want to create their own, and they want the experience. They don't want what you think they should want because it's what we've always wanted. They want the ownership. They want to be in line choosing the best experience.

Will we be serving Sushi at the Innovative Learning Center? Maybe educational Sushi; there won't be any barriers. "Not your average education" isn't the idea, it's the goal.  

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