Motivated by Design

Last September, I officially embarked on a journey to help Arizona educators reimagine learning experiences for children as CEO of New Learning Ventures (NLV).  Two months later, my own daughter was born.  Alina Rose is now almost six months old, and NLV is in the second half of our first year of work.  

Since this journey began, I have had the opportunity to further my understanding of how children learn, what motivates them, and how we can best prepare the next generation of citizens to thrive in our world.  I’ve read books and countless articles, engaged in hundreds of meaningful conversations, watched videos, interviewed educators and students, and visited many schools, virtually and in person; however, nothing has given me more clarity and affirmation about the future of education than simply being a father.  As I watch Alina grow and explore, even as an infant, I am reminded that learning is a natural human characteristic.  I never want Alina to lose her desire and ability to learn through exploration, curiosity, and, yes, even failure. 

I recently had an opportunity to give a TED talk at a student-led TEDx conference at Grand Canyon University.  I am most thankful for the opportunity to share a vision for how we might think about the design of school differently. Check it out, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.   Fair warning: I experienced the worst case of dry mouth halfway through my talk so bear with me and enjoy.     

Andrew Collins is President and CEO of New Learning Ventures and Acton Academy Phoenix. He serves on the leadership board for Empower College Prep, Teach For America Phoenix Alumni, and Young Education Professionals Phoenix. Most importantly,  he is a husband and father.  Follow Andrew on twitter @CollinsAndrewD and New Learning Ventures @NLV_AZ.