Butler Tech prides itself on doing education differently. That’s not new.
But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the career and technical college, which has traditionally emphasized hands-on instruction, to rethink its model again — right in the middle of filming a documentary touting the life-changing power of non-traditional schooling.
Curricula needed changed, said William Sprankles, executive director for secondary education at Butler Tech. Communication got more complicated. The physical spaces in which students learned and worked were rearranged to accommodate social distancing.
But the documentary crew didn’t stop rolling.
The finished documentary, “The Education Revolution,” came out in February, and the pandemic shapes the plot arc of the final episode.
Graphic design student Anjel Robinson, who gave permission for the school to make her one of its central characters, said she was excited to share more about herself, her decision to attend Butler Tech and the way COVID-19 reshaped her plans for 2020.
“I wish we could be in school everyday, but for what it is, I do feel like they're working really efficiently to teach us this stuff,” she said of the COVID-19 school year.
Sprankles said he hopes the documentary will inspire other students and schools to seriously examine the benefits of nontraditional education.
"The work that we do at Butler Tech is only impactful if it spills over and starts to be a multiplier if you will,” he said.
The entire documentary is available to watch on Butler Tech’s YouTube channel.