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“Is School Enough?” — Premiers this Week on PBS

September 5, 2013

A documentary film premiering on public television this week — “Is School Enough?” — takes the viewer inside the lives of teens from various backgrounds and reveals the importance of tapping into students’ passions to drive their learning. Thanks to we have learned these are some of the covered topics:

Students at English High School in Boston helped pilot a social networking and planning tool called Community Planit. The online platform offers participants a series of missions, problems to solve and questions to answer about how the school district could improve and meet student needs better. As a player completes missions, he receives tokens to spend on the priorities he’d most like to see in school. The information and feedback then goes back to the district.
Sierra Goldstein was always a good student, but it wasn’t engaging. She memorized facts out of the book, regurgitated them on tests and forgot them, getting A’s along the way. “There wasn’t a lot of freedom, except electives, so you really didn’t get power over what direction you wanted to go,” Goldstein said. “It made me feel like I had no control over my future.”
The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) is an organization almost entirely based on online interactions. It uses parallels in J.K. Rowling famous books to inspire young fans to become “heroes” in their own world. The project has media and literacy researchers excited partly because it started organically as a Facebook group and became international in a matter of hours.
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Check your local PBS listings for air times and dates.

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