Bringing up powerful, creative, future-ready people demands educators who cultivate a passion for problem-solving around the what and the how of schooling -- who redesign and retool the systems that support and constrain the daily work of teaching and learning.
In other words... our best schools are in perpetual beta - continually refining and remaking themselves in light of the best evidence, and pushing the boundaries of their tools in service of design.
The CloudLab -- a project of New Visions for Public Schools -- is dedicated to tooling-up school-makers with free, flexible building blocks for the redesign of teaching and learning, and to incubating and spreading breakthrough tools and practices for the highest needs schools. Our team of developers -- several of them career educators -- work in close design and capacity-building relationships with the leadership and staff in 80 NYC public high-schools, allowing us to bring valuable insights, direct access to schools, and technical skills to bear in the development of solutions that land.
Our current work focuses on building, iterating, and supporting systems and “Add-ons” that extend the free and cloud-based Google Apps for EDU (GAFE) platform.
We choose the GAFE platform because Google’s approach radically-lowers computing costs for the world’s neediest schools, because of its well-documented public APIs, because of the ecosystem’s low-barriers to entry for novice software developers and educator-coders, and because of the opportunity this widely-adopted platform presents for us to scale solutions to millions at nearly zero cost.
Since September 2013:
As a very lean non-profit, we make no promise of direct support for our tools to schools not in the New Visions partner support network. If you have any questions about one of our tools, please join the Apps Script for EDU - Builders and Users Community or any number of other tool-specific groups and seek support from our growing number of expert users. If you cannot find a support community for the tool in question, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to donate funding, please visit New Visions' donation page and indicate "CloudLab" as the program or fund. If you would like to contribute your talents to our efforts, please reach out to Andrew Stillman on Twitter at @astillman or on Google Plus.