Low cost prototyping, or, what can educators learn from bulgogi tacos?

passers-by checking out a prototype school model

Thanks to Matt Candler at 4.0 Schools in New Orleans, we have a new mental model for prototyping ideas in education. Drawing from his extensive gastronomical experience, Matt urged the participants of Startup Weekend EDU D.C.: Next Gen Schools to start thinking about education prototypes like pop up dinners and food trucks:

It makes sense. Instead of the typical new school design process that takes many years, millions of dollars, and an extensive strategic plan gathering dust as soon as kids walk through the doors, why not start today with an idea and take it directly to families and students?

Start small like a pop up restaurant. Run a sample class at a community center or inside an existing school. If you are ready for the next level of investment, think: food truck. What next level of infrastructure or materials can you prototype out on the road? Multiple sites or multiple groups of students?

TaKorean, a local D.C. food purveyor, has food trucks and a stand at Union Market. They have grown by proving their concept each step of the way.

The teams at Startup Weekend EDU D.C.: Next Gen Schools will be judged on Sunday by their prototyping today. It’s time to get out of the building and road test your ideas.

Could you be the TaKorean of schools?

That’s how SWEDU it! How do you do it?

—Margaret Angell

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