Our guest today is Joshua Wittman. He is the Director of Ninos del Sol - an Eco-School in Costa Rica.
In this episode, Joshua talks about the roles of serendipity and diversity in his position as a teacher, an administrator, and a founder of the school. He relates the story of how he came to focus on bringing the classroom outside into nature in order to teach sustainability and ecology in a natural environment. Joshua has a strong marketing mindset and shares his ideas on growing the school through connecting with the community.
Listen and take notes on how to use technology in the daily life of the school - including social media - to engage existing and potential supporters.
In our discussion, we cover:
1:00 Joshua shares the path that led him to start a school - Ninos del Sol in Costa Rica.
9:32 He tells about connecting learning to project-based experiences rather than getting stuck on meeting curriculum standards in a linear way.
17:48 Andrew asks, “You are in Costa Rica with the ocean in view. How can schools in the US accomplish project-based learning wherever they are located?”
21:47 Joshua tells that schools must use community engagement as a marketing strategy to communicate about what is happening at the school and to invite the community to participate actively in the life of the school.
27:52 Bringing all of his life experiences and passions together in a coherent whole, Joshua talks about how to create a value proposition for a school.
37:14 Joshua develops the idea of serendipity and diversity in school growth.
40:35 He shares advice for schools on how to bring diversity to their local community.
46:50 Expanding on the idea of serendipity, Joshua relates that it becomes a way of viewing even seemingly negative experiences.
50:40 Joshua walks-through the many positive uses of technology to engage the internal audience (parents) and the external audience (the community at large) and to remind them of what you are doing so that they become a part of the school story.
58:10 He shares marketing goals for the next year, including goals to engage businesses and entities with money available to be shared with causes they might support - like the interface of technology in the classroom.
10:38 “We have to move at nature’s pace.”
27:10 “Everything is connected. Being able to reinforce those connections has time and time again created the synergy that makes us grow.”
36:00 “If you are not sure that you are on the right track, reassess your community and expand it to include people who are going to inspire you.”
40:52 “Create diversity in your community.”
49:14 “If you don’t have time for marketing, you have to hire somebody who does.”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
- “Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era” by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith https://www.amazon.co.uk/Most-Likely-Succeed-Preparing-Innovation/dp/1501104314
- “Dance Equations” by Miranda Abbott https://danceequations.com/
Miranda Abbott email - email@example.com
- Farmbot - https://farm.bot/
- “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Tail-Endless-Creating-Unlimited/dp/1844138518
- SuperAdobe building system www.calearth.org/
Where to learn more about Joshua Wittman:
Ninos del Sol Eco-School https://www.ninosdelsolcr.com/
Ninos del Sol Eco-School firstname.lastname@example.org
Linkedin - linkedin.com/in/jpwteaching
Twitter - jpwteaching
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg2WHoUlufQCdasly3pFL6g
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ninosdelsolcr/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ninosdelsolcostarica/
Where to learn more about Enrollhand: