Building Stronger Innovation-Minded Educators with The Teachers Guild

Blog Series, EdTech, Learning, Platforms & Data, Smart Teachers

IDEO’s Teachers Guild is an open, collaborative platform that engages educators in design thinking, with the goal of inspiring new and creative ideas for school communities. Within the site, ideas are built in response to a challenge question posed by hosts, as users move through each of the phases of the design process while working on their ideas. Google For Education is hosting the current challenge, driven by the question:

How might we create rituals and routines that establish a culture of innovation in our classrooms and schools?

We have spent the first month of the challenge thinking divergently, as we’ve been iterating through ideas that can help build a sustainable culture that values and pursues innovation within the school. To date, users on the site have shared 120 exciting and creative ideas, and these ideas will be pared down and combined, as the challenge moves forward.

IDEO has recruited a number of “teacher coaches” (think teacher leaders) whose role is to provide guidance and support, as members of The Guild to work through their ideas. In addition to helping “connect the dots” and encouraging challenge participants to form teams that strengthen their individual ideas, teacher coaches also share their own design tips and tricks.

Guild teacher coaches recently hosted a Twitter chat with the #dare2design hashtag in which we reviewed some of our most inspiring ideas, including “When the Teacher is Absent”, “Connecting the Dots”, and “What if?”. Using these ideas as a starting point, we then shared our thoughts on making them even stronger. See below for a Storify digest of the discussion.

We are currently in the “Evolve” phase that welcomes us to begin convergently thinking and narrowing our focus onto the most promising ideas. By doing so, we can consolidate and build out prototypes in teams, while we start collecting feedback on the ideas. Ultimately, the challenge will be concluded when community votes on their favorite ideas.

We’re excited to continue the conversations both on The Guild platform and on Twitter using #dare2design. Find us there for open office hours or reach out to us anytime with questions or comments on your use of design thinking in your schools. We’d love to hear from you!

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Moss Pike

Moss Pike

Moss Pike is a Latin Teacher at Harvard-Westlake School. Follow Moss on Twitter at @MossPike.