• InnovateK12 Team

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. 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:

Or, you can use the innovation process to guide your strategic planning and response by first running an "Open" challenge and then following up with multiple "Focused" challenges. An Open Challenge is an opportunity to engage stakeholders in a process to identify focus areas and opportunities for improvement and innovation. Open Challenge questions are broad and allow for a variety of topics, ideas, themes and solutions to be surface. A Focused Challenge is an opportunity to engage stakeholders in a process to identify innovative solutions to identified focus areas, problems or opportunities.

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?"