CAS is a core component of the IBDP that involves students in various activities alongside their academic studies. Composed of Creativity, Activity and Service, students are encouraged to develop their personal and interpersonal growth by learning through experience and reflection.
Yet, despite all the exciting things CAS has to offer, students can struggle to fit it into their schedule or might feel overwhelmed by the pressure to come up with a novel way of meeting the requirement. Especially during a global pandemic, it can be difficult to find inspiration when you cannot leave the house.
Thankfully, educators worldwide have been hard at work coming up with solutions to address the challenges we are all facing. IB Gone in 60 Secs is one such initiative, and it is here to help boost motivation and provide students and teachers with a way of supporting one another while meeting their CAS requirements.
A platform and YouTube channel consisting of student-made videos covering various topics currently being taught in IBDP schools, IB Gone in 60 Secs, was designed to foster a mindset of creativity and contribution. The brainchild of Matthew J. Manfredi, an IB veteran and principal of Danube International School in Vienna, the mission of IB Gone in 60 Secs is to change the world for the better, one school, one student, one minute at a time.
Mr. Manfredi began exploring the concept several years ago, but did not get the chance to develop it until he found himself in lockdown like the rest of us. Fortunately, the idea he had sitting on the backburner was also uniquely positioned to help students and teachers address some of the obstacles the pandemic has presented. Now up and running, Mr. Manfredi is hoping to grow the IB Gone in 60 Secs network exponentially and even start generating ad income which will be funneled back to helping children through UNICEF.
To better understand how it all came together, we talked to Mr. Manfredi about the inspiration behind the project and how it can help students fulfill their CAS requirements while connecting with other young people, showcasing their knowledge and communication skills, and having fun doing it.
IB Gone in 60 Secs is an exciting initiative! How did you come up with the concept?
Honestly, I can relate to the struggle of having a short attention span. I am drawn to explanations that are efficient, economize words, and are presented in a conversational and fluid way. I wanted to come up with an accessible and effective means of empowering students to share knowledge. You can say a lot in 60 seconds, and the need to be concise helps students focus on the key points and better articulate what they know.
The short format lends itself to a natural delivery, like an exchange that would take place in a classroom when a student is asked a question. They often end up surprising themselves with how much they know when put on the spot. The student might not realize they had the answer until they hear themselves explaining it.
It is also great that they can use their knowledge to help others. Speaking of which, how does IB Gone in 60 Secs fit into the broader IB framework?
As I started expanding the concept, I realized this was a great way to incorporate CAS, contribute to sustainable development goals, and allow students to showcase their unique talents. The format can tap into different aspects of the IB Learner Profile depending on the individual. It definitely touches on knowledge sharing, risk-taking, and communication skills—and it can be an excellent platform for creativity and collaboration. Using a 60-second format, students have the freedom to be as innovative as they want.
It is also a worthwhile project for students to have on hand as they go forward in their education and apply to university. When doing so, they can include a link to their video, supplying a unique and bold contribution that will help set them apart from other applicants.
Absolutely! Any advice for students who are a bit camera shy?
That is what is great about the fact that the format can be adapted in so many different ways. You do not just have to be sitting in front of the camera talking. Even so, a minute really does fly by. The most successful videos are those which seem the most natural, so they require some advanced practice. Whether that is in the mirror or with a friend or teacher—becoming very familiar with the content before they record will ultimately help students produce a better outcome.
Where do you hope to see IB Gone in 60 Secs go from here?
I want to unite the IB community and help international schools and students connect. When I taught in Bangkok, there was a pretty tight community within Asia, but we had little contact with European or North American schools; I want to change that. There is so much potential for this network to grow and help establish stronger connections within the IB world.
As the collection and traffic grow, we will also incorporate YouTube’s Ad services to generate a revenue stream to support the United Nations International Children’s Emergency, specifically providing a monthly contribution to their Guardian Circle, which provides a “lifeline for children everywhere, helping them to survive and thrive.”
We wish Principal Manfredi and IB Gone in 60 Secs all the best! If you are interested in participating or sharing the opportunity with your students, you can find the video submission requirements here.
Photo credits: https://unsplash.com/@vmxhu