Ed Zed Omega is a collaborative thought experiment about education. What if six teens drop out of high school, very open about their reasons? Can people help this turn out well? The Zed Omega characters seemed real because the young actors playing them were channeling aspects of their real-life experience – and were unscripted: they reacted authentically to the advice they got and the school stories they heard.
“Agree with them or not, the Zed Omegas asked the questions that got people talking about how and what young people should learn. Their presence brought vital questions about purposes and methods of school out of the abstract into the immediate and real.”
A true transmedia project, Ed Zed Omega happened organically on social media, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and in live events. The Zed Omegas gathered hundreds of likes, touched thousands of people and registered hundreds of thousands of impressions. If education is to keep pace with changes to our economy, society and culture, it needs new, more inclusive ways to frame its discussions about what it must become. Is it preparing students for successful jobs and lives in the hyperconnected 21st century?
Ed Zed Omega gathered 800 “signals” about education on the edzedomega.org site. You can take one of the Zed Omega “Top Ten” tours, or browse the archive or search by tag, but now that you know the story, why not just free-explore the grand array?
Ed Zed Omega is a template for a new framework of interaction.
Students: you can go “zed omega” with your own inquiry into what education is for and how people like you learn best. All the Zed Omegas will tell you the experience opened their eyes wide as to what traditional education does and does not do. They felt inspired by the powerful stories they heard about alternate ways of learning, and empowered to take charge of their futures by shaping their educations to fit. Knowledge is power!
Teachers, schools, and others concerned about education: use the Ed Zed Omega idea to create a dialog about school and how best to improve it. The Zed Omegas illustrate how to frame the discussion in a way that engages the student voice. Using the existing stories, you can create a narrative space in which all stakeholders can have their say.
We will be continuing to develop the Ed Zed Omega idea. Watch for our web video series to come online this summer. To inquire about having the Zed Omegas teleconference with your fellow students or with your school this fall, contact us.