Shifting the Default Model
Schools and districts across the country are going to face a number of challenges and opportunities over the next 14 months that will need to be addressed. The traditional and bureaucratic nature of school systems will become stressed by the constant demand for decisions that require realtime input from multiple stakeholders across the system.
As a result of this spring pandemic and a deep sense that we may not return to normal for a very long time, InnovateK12 is encouraging a nimble and pervasive use of the innovation platform as a way to manage the change you are facing through the end of the 20-21 school year. Many districts will continue to run the energy-filled innovation events that we LOVE, adhering more or less to the following timeline:
This timeline provides a structured approach to innovation, careful and intentional, and has been proven successful in over 30 schools districts across the country. But as our districts mature in their approach to innovation and understanding of design thinking, they begin to see opportunities for innovation everywhere, even outside of the time-bound innovation event.
And today? Whew. Innovation opportunities are everywhere.
Today, educators have entered into an endless cycle of design. This is our mindset now. Identify the pain points, understand the problem, ideate, prototype/test, and implement.
Again and again.
When using the innovation platform in a nimble and pervasive way, innovation leaders will identify challenges coming up, turn to their staff, students, or community and carefully craft a question that will provide them with the insight or ideas they need to move forward.
Again and again.
When this whole thing started, wouldn't you have loved to know from your community:
To your staff, students and/or community:
"How should we honor our graduating seniors?"
To your students:
"How might we support you right now?"
"How might we better support your learning this spring?"
To your staff:
"How can we best support you right now?"
"How might we create equitable and accurate reporting/grading?"
"What is one positive thing that is happening now that wasn't happening before?"
The questions are always there.
InnovateK12 wants to support districts in running multiple challenges throughout the year in anticipation of and response to the challenges faced as we begin to understand the new normal. For example, lean into your crowd to find the best solutions to acute challenges you face today!
You can organize your challenge questions/events chronologically:
or by themes:
Leading the Way There are number of InnovateK12 member districts who have decided to run sprint challenges this spring to engage their staff and students to answer some of their more pressing questions. Eden Prairie High School ran a combined staff and student event for one week in April. It was their third event this year!
Our staff and students are yearning for connection. We are initiating a spring sprint, asking students and staff “How might we stay connected this spring?” to support hope and innovation among our students and staff. We are a relationship-based community, and showing our continued commitment to this to our students and staff is more important than ever at this time. However, we need the ideas of our community, to support innovation around how we re-imagine connection during this time.
Meagan Bennett, MTSS Facilitator, Eden Prairie High School
To read more about their experience with this spring sprint, click here.
Many districts we have talked with do not know where to start. Our advice? Ask your staff and students. They will guide the way.
"What are the questions you have as you look to the 20-21 school year?"