The STARTedUP Foundation, an Indianapolis, Indiana-based educational innovation foundation, announced this week that it's making available free digital curriculum in the wake of widespread coronavirus school closures.
"What an opportunity we have. A lot of people, millions of students are going to have downtime and my fear was that they were just going to get on TikTok and watch 18 different people dance renegade the same damn way and the same damn time," said Don Wettrick, president of the foundation. "So instead I wanted to like, 'Hey, might you be introduced to a new way of thinking? Might you be introduced to some skills that we have kind of worked on and refined over the last five, six years in our class?'
"And so yeah, in design thinking I had empathy for our end-user, which is either parents, teachers or students. And we decided to kind of give an abbreviated version of our class."
What's in the curriculum?
Wettrick said it's good for kids through the fifth grade.
"It's a two-week mind course then some specific skills. I sign off every podcast, 'This is Don Wettrick reminding you of opportunities everywhere.' So the first week is kind of identifying things, a little bit of skills in there.
"And then I'm hoping to get students look for some of these opportunities in their region or in their neighborhood and then they give feedback on some of the things that they want to start tackling. Because once you kind of have your eyes open, you're going to like, 'Okay, then what do I do about it? How can I go about this? All right, let's wrap a prototype, submit a small proposal. What do you think they should happen? What would you do?'
"It'd be great if teachers designed this because then that way they can kind of take a look at what they're working on. We're kind of just providing a platform of like, "Hey, you've got time, you've got maybe two weeks, maybe longer, what would you possibly want to work on and where does your skillset lie?"
Parents, students, and teachers can get the curriculum here.