“I think it’s true right now, in 2019, that anyone could learn anything if they have an internet connection.” - Kelly Smith

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What do you get when an MIT physics graduate volunteers at the public library computer lab to tinker with a few kids building cool games, websites, and apps? He suddenly decides - with no background in education - to start a school, and a neighborhood micro-school called “Prenda School” is born. Eight months later, Prenda Schools are spreading like wildfire across the US - with 80 launched so far.

Join us to learn about the explosion of an education vision based on the outrageous idea that school could be engaging and empowering to young people. Kelly Smith shares the humble beginnings of just wanting to help kids find their own love of learning and what it took for him to launch a micro-school movement. The story of Prenda Schools expansion contains seeds of insight for anyone seeking to expand their school.

While Prenda School students take on the daily math and English tasks, they have also “debated the merits of school box top fundraisers, discussed the relative intelligence of raccoons versus cats and dogs, estimated the number of balloons that would fit in (Kelly’s) minivan (including all the students), explored present-day Yucatan peninsula, and approximated the amount of fresh water on the planet.” Does this sound like any day EVER in your own memories of education?

Have a listen...


06:15 “I think it’s true right now, in 2019, that anyone could learn anything if they have an internet connection.”

25:17 “We’re serious about creating learners.”

27:06 “Empowering a learner is going to help all those (education or career) paths.”

27:55 “We are using academics to empower a learner who will then be able to do what they need to do in their lives.”

38:51 “I want that moment where a child sees themselves as capable of learning anything.”

39:25 “Figure it out. (And) we’re going to help you with that.”

45:20 “All the time that we spend planning is time we don’t spend learning.”

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

BASIS.ed - https://www.basised.com/

4.0 Schools - https://4pt0.org/

Y Combinator - https://www.ycombinator.com/

Design 39 - http://design39campus.com/

Sugata Mitra - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugata_Mitra


Design Thinking with Joe Erpelding -


John Danner - https://medium.com/@johnwdanner

Where to learn more about the guest:

Prenda Schools - https://prendaschool.com/

Kelly on Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellysmith35

Kelly’s blog - https://prendacodeclub.com/blog

Kelly at Medium - https://medium.com/@prendalearn/im-not-a-teacher-but-i-opened-a-school-278ddef1ca70

Kelly on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WA7srw9GTo

Code Club - http://azcodeclub.org

Prenda Schools - https://prendaschool.com/

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:

Website: www.enrollhand.com

Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com

Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/