Making something routine can be taken as making something ordinary, something we do without thinking. However, what I have learned over the summer from my work with The Teachers Guild and with Future Design Schools, is that Innovation as Routine is anything but ordinary, and requires deep thinking.
I first heard about the Teachers Guild when researching in the Bay Area for Project 2051. Justin Medved and I met with IDEO, where the Teachers Guild was born. It is a place where, through a robust online presence, teachers answer challenges using design thinking. The idea is to understand the challenges facing teachers and students today, and to design solutions and share them. It is about a 2 month process per challenge, but the online community that is created is highly engaged, motivated and willing to share their thoughts.
My idea is the Inquiry and Design Lab – making innovation routine by providing engaging questions both in class and out, and providing a space, resources and inspiration to pursue and explore answers to these questions. You can vote for my idea here: CLICK HERE, and see my quick video below… (to be updated soon for the “Selection Phase” of the Teachers Guild.
This is an idea that I am working to implement presently at my school, and I can already appreciate the power of the space to draw in, foster and sustain innovation. That is, it is a place that will help make innovation a part of our experience here at my school. Not everyday, not every lesson, but it will be a regular part of the experience. Follow #BVGLearns to stay up to date!
Building on this idea of making innovation routine is a shift in the role that teachers play within the school, class and hallways. This August, our Professional Development was anchored by a workshop with Future Design Schools. Founded by Sarah Prevette, and seeks to bring design thinking into schools and classrooms. Primarily focused on working with teachers and students in the classroom, our workshop was introducing teachers to the Design Thinking Process:
- Introducing shared language of design thinking
- Putting teachers in the position of their students to really know what their needs are
- Using the design thinking protocols to begin the ideation of, and prototyping of, real solutions
During this workshop, we as a faculty developed over 50 real world solutions to making learning more student driven. The room was full of excitement, cheering, critical questioning and a positive approach (there is a rule that if someone uses the words “can’t” or “won’t” that Sarah will get the whole room to Boo them :))
I am hopeful that these two initiatives, both the shift in mindset and the space that puts students in the role of designer, will yield beautiful, exciting and innovative results this year. But it is only just the beginning!