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Leapfrog Institutes
Leapfrog Institutes Wants to Collaborate!

Is your school or district interested in helping students become more competitive?  More creative?  More innovative?   If so, consider partnering with Leapfrog Institutes (LFI) at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Educational Policy and Administration. Leapfrog Institutes offers collaborative services to educators, school leaders and their communities throughout Minnesota and elsewhere, including China, Finland, and Mexico.  LFI collaborators champion competitive technologies in hardware, software, and mindware. Leapfrog Institutes is looking for Minnesota elementary schools who would like ideas and guidance to make the leap!

To download a Leapfrog Institute brochure, scroll to the LFI brochure PDF at the bottom of this page.

What is Leapfrogging all about?

Leapfrogging means to jump over obstacles to achieve goals. It means to get ahead of the competition or the present state of the art through innovative, time-and-cost-saving means. Leapfrog denotes leadership created by looking and acting over the horizon. Leapfrog creates the future in the present based on what is found over the horizon. This process marks an extension of the socio-constructivism and progressivism of Vygotsky’s and Dewey’s work, while ever looking toward the future.

One example of Leapfrogging is Finland’s jump to wireless phones, saving that country the cost of deploying an expensive copper wire system. Another example is present in some of the Kent, Washington, public schools, which now permit students to use wireless Web devices to help them access information to better pass tests. Leapfrogging has become a major strategy of developing countries wishing to avoid catch-up efforts that otherwise portend a high likelihood of continued followership.

Leapfrog institutions relentlessly disrupt themselves to compete successfully in the global knowledge and innovation economy. They work ahead of the competition in teaching, research, innovation, and service. They avoid playing catch-up.

What’s practical about of all this?  That’s easy!  Together, we can better help Minnesota’s kids move to the front of the line in their capacities to learn and to apply their learning innovatively!

What are some members currently doing with LFI?  Under the collaborative leadership of Principal Mary Baier with district administration, Washington Elementary School in Owatonna has devised a computer-based classroom that stresses group and individualized research-based learning.  Kids involved in a recent live video exchange with LFI acted and sounded like college students.  Never mind that they were 5th graders, and were not teacher-selected for membership in their laboratory!  Or consider Edison High School in Minneapolis.  They’re redesigning their school for a focus on innovation, including the formation of “innovation cells” – one created by each teacher!

So what can you and LFI do together?   LFI can visit your school and share what Leapfrogging is all about, possibilities for addressing your school needs, and how imagination, creativity, and innovation can expand at ridiculously low expense.  And these creative expansions don’t need to occur in the regular school day.  They can be extracurricular, involving self-chosen teachers, students, parents, and other members of our education communities!

For more information, contact
John Moravec (moravec@umn.edu, 612-625-3517); or
Arthur Harkins (harki001@umn.edu); or
visit the Leapfrog Institutes Web at leapfrog.umn.edu.


Get Acrobat Reader  LFI_brochure.pdf  


So what can you and LFI do together?
Leapfrog Institutes can visit your school and share what Leapfrogging is all about, possibilities for how to address your district or school needs, and how imagination, creativity, and innovation can expand at ridiculously low expense.  And these expansions don’t need to occur in the regular school day.  They can be extracurricular, involving self-chosen teachers, students, parents, and other members of our education communities!