The rate of technological change in the world is breathtaking. Ten years ago, at the Acton MBA classroom, we installed a series of high definition cameras in the Socratic Classroom so MBA students could debrief their performances on video. Total cost: over $500,000.
Last week we installed eight discrete high definition cameras in the Acton Academy studios, allowing us to record “to the cloud” every interaction and discussion between Eagles. Total cost: $3,000 – including a much more user friendly playback system.
Our goal is not surveillance. In fact, parents and strangers are not allowed access to the password protected system and we’ve pledged never to use the system in a disciplinary way. (Eagles are allowed to review the video, with permission from the Council, to settle any disputes over a breach of the promises Eagles have made to each other.)
Instead, Eagles and Guides now have the ability to record, review and critique every performance, either individually or as a group. The energy around these critique sessions has been high, and we’ve already seen a quantum improvement in discussion techniques and embracing the “rules of engagement.” (Even though standards already were high.)
This also gives the nine other Acton Academies we’ll have open by fall the ability to learn from each other, since having password protected access to cameras in each studio is a precondition of opening a new Acton Academy. Just imagine how this will multiply the rate of experimentation and learning.
New technology. Direct feedback. Rapid learning. It’s going to be powerful to watch what our Eagles do next.