Drawing on what we know about our uniquely human ability to share ideas and stories that can galvanize us to act and coordinate our activities, the most important element of these organizational systems of belief, the one thing that has been proven to drive standards and practices to a level of unequaled excellence over time, is a made-up and invisible story: vision.

Academy of One: The Power & Promise of Open-Source Learning

In recent decades, individuals and organizations have increasingly promoted the importance of setting intentions that drive decision-making and behavior. Schools, nonprofits, and private sector companies often post “vision statements” to inform and inspire their communities.

School vision statements are often too generic and abstract to be useful: “A safe place where … [potential] … [21st century learning]… [citizens of tomorrow]… [blah, blah, blah].”

However noble and well-intended these ideas may be, they don’t help us make choices or act in alignment.

Below you can read some additional thoughts on what goes into creating the vision for an Open-Source Learning network.

If you’d like to read more about this in Academy of One, or share the book with your learning community, please scroll to the bottom of this page to receive your 20% discount code.

Teachers and Students: Please feel free to use the elements of this post that work for you, and customize the approach for the learners in your network.

A vision statement must be more than wishful thinking. It must articulate what is truly important in a way that people can reinforce with their decisions and actions.

Students who elect to transform their classes into Open-Source Learning networks come to understand that they are joining a tradition with a specific vision and a history of success. They observe how previous Open-Source Learning networks have demonstrated the principles of Open-Source Learning; these role models provide a clearer path than any syllabus.

From the beginning, co-creation is essential. Well before students get to course content, technology, or curation, they get a chance to test drive Open-Source Learning practices.

Communicating the Open-Source Learning vision does not require a formal organization where roles are defined by hierarchical authority or top-down mandates. The vision is defined and illustrated by actions that speak louder than words…


(12th grade network) Through the practices of value, interdependence, and hope, we will understand the world and the world will understand us.

(3rd grade network) Every day, all the time, we will host a learning party. Forever.

(home school network) We will expand our family by learning and connecting with people around the world.

(10th grade network) We are learners without borders, and we will bring the public back to public education.

You can learn more about ways to introduce Open-Source Learning in Academy of One – available wherever you like to buy your books online. To receive a discount of 20% click on the image below & use code RLEGEN20 to order directly from the publisher.

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