We’re nearly done with our new Waveplace Accord, which details the roles and responsibilities of Waveplace and our partners. First though, we need to outline what we aim to do together. Here’s the text from our accord called “The Waveplace Plan”. This is a pretty good summary of the parameters we’ve tweaked throughout our 18 pilots. It took a while to get these right.

  • Each Waveplace class consists of five mentors and 20 children between the ages of seven and eleven. Classes are usually held after school for 90 minutes each day.
  • Each child and mentor receives for their personal use an OLPC XO laptop with the Sugar platform and Squeak Etoys learning environment.
  • Daily lessons are taught from the Waveplace Courseware, a collection of two-week units covering topics from a general primary school curriculum.
  • All classes teach the Basic Etoys unit first, which covers the Etoys learning environment itself. The remaining units can be taught in any order.
  • Mentors use techniques such as guided discovery, iterative refinement, and peer collaboration to foster a sense of ownership by each child of their own education.
  • Children build projects which can then shared through the Internet with other children and distance mentors for ongoing inspiration and guidance.
  • Children and mentors continuously reflect and write about their experiences, providing the basis for dynamic assessment and evolution of ideas.
  • Mentors are trained in two week workshops with five trainers and 20 mentors.
  • Mentors are typically taught concurrently with children at the start of a pilot. This allows them to witness our teaching approach directly as they reinforce their own understanding.
  • Waveplace stays in continual contact with all mentors, providing support and encouragement while requiring weekly progress reports and frequent uploads.
  • Waveplace assesses mentors at six month intervals, promoting mentors to higher pay levels as they meet specific criteria. Each mentor manages four mentors of the next lower level.
  • Mentors are encouraged to create new units to share with the Waveplace community, just as they use units created by educators worldwide.

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