TD4EdTEACHERS DESIGNFOR EDUCATIONUnleashing the Potentialof Teachers as DesignersJUNE2014

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TD4ED SUPPLEMENTAL PACKETTable of ContentsWould you like to learn more?The following pages are excerpts from the June 2014Check out the online platform at www.td4ed.comTD4Ed report. The report follows our TD4Ed designprocess, from Define through Transform.Interested in understanding how TD4Ed works?Browse our curriculumpg. 2TD4Ed ManifestoDefine: 3Introduction to this DocumentExplore: 4Introduction to the ProjectReflect: 6ResearchImagine: 9InsightsPlay: 11Opportunity MapTransform: 12Design Principlespg. 14TD4Ed Concept Summarypg. 17Goals for the Play Phasepg. 20Results from Testingpg. 24Key Learningspg. 29ConclusionWant to see TD4Ed in action with our teams?Check out their storiesTeam Innovate: Warwick: Nettelhorst: about other projects teams haveTo see the full report, go their solutions at to start your own project?Jump in at

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECTAt the Business Innovation Factory, we believe in the power of design thinking. We use these principlesof human-centered design to generate and test new business models in complex social systems likehealthcare, education, and government.We used the principles of design thinking to build this project - from beginning with a design challengeand ending with a meaningful solution that is implemented in the real world. To stay true to our TD4Edcurriculum as well as our development process, we have framed our project through the lens of our sixphased design thinking curriculum.We use this document as a vehicle for sharing our journey and learnings along the way, and also as a casestudy for how design thinking can be used in a larger organizational context.What is design thinking?It is a proven approach for identifying opportunities, creating new ideas, and accelerating changethrough experimentation. It brings a human-centered, creative, and rigorous approach to problemsolving by tapping into creative competencies that we use everyday.18

DEFINEEXPLOREREFLECTReframe aproblem asan opportunityfor changeBuild a deeperunderstandingof yourchallengeMake senseof what youare sDevelopand testyour ideaGrow yoursolution andadvance yourpersonaljourney19

ResearchBIF set out to deeply understand the context around our design challenge, which would helpinform future solutions. Building upon insights from the 2012 Feedback for Teachers3 studywe completed the following activities:1. Engaged an advisory group of educators in the Rhode Island area to help us design theTD4Ed teacher experience. With them, we developed messaging, gathered insight intohow to recruit teachers, and edited a first draft of the curriculum.Shawn RubinRoshni MirchandaniLucas DuClosKeith NalbachRebecca TaubDawn Casey-RoweKyleen CarpenterJessica Waters3.Business Innovation Factory. (2012). “Feedback for Teachers: A qualitative study of how teachers receive, share and makemeaning of feedback.” Retrieved from student/portfolio/feedback-teachers27

2. Interviewed a variety of innovators withinKaren Brennan, HGSE and ScratchEDthe education and design sectors in order toJeff Dunn, DeVry Universityunderstand the platforms that are currentlyMelissa Goodwin, Goodwin & Sommervold Consultingbeing used, and trends in the teacherAlex Hernandez, Charter School Growth Fundleadership and engagement space.Jack Klett & Natalie Nixon, Philadelphia UniversityBen Kutylo & Daniel Rogers, Chicago Public Education FundCarlos Moreno, Big Picture LearningDavid Sebek, Creativity 2.0Sheree Speakman, CIE Learning28

3. Conducted an audit of current education innovation platforms and resources.DesignEDU - www.designedulab.orgIDEO Design Thinking for Educators K-12 Lab - nry Ford Learning Institute - www.hfli.orgCode Academy - www.codecademy.comEdCamps - www.edcamp.orgSkillshare - www.skillshare.comStack Overflow - www.stackoverflow.comWorking Examples - www.workingexamples.org4.0 Schools - www.4pt0.org29

InsightsBased on our exploration, we developed insights about what is currently lacking in learningplatforms for education & design. This helped us frame how we might position TD4Ed as a newoffering to fill those gaps.What is currently lacking: Hands-on training: We heard from many educators that professional development istypically encouraged through a presentation or lecture, which often don’t enable hands-onlearning. Because of this, they aren’t able to practice what they learned until they are backin their classroom, on their own time. They struggled to ground the learning in the currentcontext of their practice — making it less likely that they will find the training meaningfuland valuable. Collaborative learning: Teachers rarely have the time and space provided within school tocollaborate together, even though they frequently rely on their peers for help. They cravemore moments of collaboration to help solve challenges in their daily practice. Instead, thestructure for learning within the educational system tends to be individualized, rather thanenabling teachers to work together and build new value alongside their colleagues.31

Innovating from within: There has been much progress on building teacher entrepreneurswho take initiative in innovating within education. The potential problem that this causesis that these forward-thinking educators and leaders move their focus from the classroomto other sectors. We need to have teachers that lead, but won’t leave. It’s important for usto support teachers as they innovate within the education system so we aren’t losing theirvalue in the classroom. We want to be able to change the face of education from within,rather than from outside. Integrated platforms: With a plethora of new platforms that are developed for teacherprofessional development, the choices are overwhelming. Currently, teachers are mashingtogether different products and approaches, effectively hacking together their PD strategy.In order to fit their current behavior patterns, we should ensure that we are building inways to connect to key platforms that teachers use (such as Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter)to create an integrated platform.32

Opportunity Map of Current Learning OfferingsFORMAL LEARNING OFFERINGSMassive OpenOnline Courses(MOOCs)Professional ABORATIONProfessional Social MediaPlatforms(twitter, Facebook)“Underground”Learning GroupsINFORMAL LEARNING OFFERINGS33

Design PrinciplesFrom these insights about the current experience, we developed design principles —guiding values or criteria that new solutions must have, rooted in the needs of those atthe center. These design principles provide the basis and drive for the development ofa solution.In order to be successful, TD4Ed needs to:Provide a meaningful experience for educatorsThe experience must be relevant to them in order to make it meaningful — tacklingproblems that they are passionate about, and making something real, tangible,and lasting.Integrate into teachers’ already busy livesThis experience can’t be seen as “one more thing ” for someone with little free time. Inorder to successfully engage educators from beginning to end, it must be easy to access,quick to understand, and compelling to complete. Otherwise, we risk losing theirattention and engagement.Create value together that can’t be created aloneCollaboration is a key part of creative problem-solving, and it starts by building a teamof individuals with different strengths. To foster an active community, we must createthe conditions for peers to support, share, and collaborate together.34

Invigorate teachers’ practiceEven though the approach is called “design thinking,” the experience is about doingrather than thinking. Through a “learning while doing” approach, we can tap intokey mindsets that teachers can use within their own practice, such as empathy,experimentation, embracing failure, and visualization. By providing a process forcreative problem-solving, it can facilitate the transformation from frustrated teacherto confident and passionate leader of change.Use storytelling to highlight changeEnabling teachers to bring their experience to life through storytelling, inserts theirvoices into the national conversation about transforming education and improvingoutcomes. We need to message the value of not just of the solutions, but of theprocess itself.Foster sustained engagementFoster continued engagement with the platform, community, and design thinkingwithin education will increase the impact of the TD4Ed platform, community, anddesign thinking within education. We must find the right motivators to provideteachers with the right value at each moment of engagement.With these design principles as our guidelines, we were ready to develop a model fordelivering this experience to teachers.35

TD4Ed Concept SummaryWith our design principles in hand, we developed a model of the TD4Ed experience.Teachers Design for Education (TD4Ed) is an online platform that uses a design thinkingcurriculum and collaborative teamwork between educators to help them tackle challengeswithin their classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. The platform unlocksteacher potential, empowering them to generate meaningful and valuable solutions tosome of the toughest problems within the current educational system.37

Teachers who use the platform:Tackle a real-world challengeA team of three to five teachers can use the TD4Ed program to tackle a challenge they’re facingwithin their classrooms, departments, schools, districts, or communities using design thinking.Collaborate with othersThe TD4Ed journey includes an online curriculum and in-person collaborative teamwork todesign a solution to a real world challenge.Learn by doingThe program uses elements of project-based learning to tackle a real-world challenge. Thecurriculum centers on a series of activities that build upon each other throughout each phaseand the whole experience. In addition to the activities, we’ve provided multimedia videos, tips,and resources.Share their storyAlong the way, teachers will record their process and learnings to form a story that they canshare with others, including their fellow teachers, administrators, and the public.“I know that this is a process I will use in my own teachingboth in and out of the classroom. You’ve all taught me anew, invaluable, skill that I will be using moving forward.”– Teacher from the Rhode Island pilot38

There are two major components of the platform:1. A multimedia, activity-based design thinking curriculum, through which educators canlearn how to use the tools of design thinking2. Collaborative capabilities that enable communication between team members,tracking their progress as they journey through the curriculum, and sharing their workand learnings with othersTD4Ed Online CollaborativeCapabilitiesInteractiveActivitiesTo tackle real world challengesTracking TeamProgressSharing Workwith OthersTo support team-based learning andshowcase solutions to a broader audience39

Goals for the Play PhaseWe began this phase of work with the goal of developing and testing our prototype — acollaborative design thinking platform for teachers. This platform would be the foundationof TD4Ed moving forward. This phase of work included the following objectives: Develop and refine the online design thinking curriculum based on user testing Build and sustain engagement with teachers as pilot participants Establish a community of users Identify potential partnerships for further development Produce a foundation of stories to highlight the process and outcomes fromthe TD4Ed platform Determine a set of future features that would enhance the user experience41

Methodology of TD4Ed PrototypingRecruitmentWe developed and tested the TD4Ed curriculum and platform in three pilot locations wherewe could establish strong networks — Rhode Island, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The rolloutof the pilot engagements occurred in six-week staggered cycles to enable an iterative build ofthe platform, curriculum, and activities. We later added two online pilot teams (one in RhodeIsland, one in Massachusetts) to learn how teachers journeyed through the program withoutin-person facilitation.Pilot schools were recruited with the help of “on-the-ground” supporters who had deepknowledge of the local educational environments, with the exception of the Warwick team inRhode Island who reached out to us directly. Public and charter school networks were targetedto gain insight into how the platform works in resource-constrained environments. Oneexception was made for IIT/Boeing Scholars Academy, an after-school program, in order totest the platform in a non-school setting.Participating educators within each school were then recruited by their principal or otheradministrators based on the interest and availability of educators. To ensure that participatingteachers would have the support of their administration to test some of their ideas, principalsor heads of school were required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.In total, we recruited 13 teams of educators — 50 educators in all.42


ResultsBased on what we observed from our participants, as well as feedback we receivedfollowing the pilot, we understood what worked well about the platform in its “final”form & what improvements could be made.1. Did participants stay engaged throughout the process?Positive signs All teams completed the full curriculumEach team was represented in every weeklycheck in and workshopPotential challenges66 Participants continued to stay in touchwith each other and the BIF team viaTwitter, email, and in personRecommended steps forplatform improvementOne online team struggled to find time to completethe activities in the suggested schedule, though theyeventually completed the workBuild in light touch “email reminders” or “weeklytasks” for encouraging completionThere were activities/phases that teams consistentlystruggled to complete (such as activities in theReflect, Play, and Transform phases)Complete a “site audit” to streamline curriculumand revisit activities that had low completion rateCollaboration on platform is currently limited towithin teams, rather than between teamsBuild an area on platform where teams cancollaborate and share with each otherMany participants struggled to find time to completethe activities - even with professional developmenttime provided from their administration.Extend some phases that were more time-intensive.Leave more time for certain phases,such as Reflect and PlayExplore how TD4Ed could be a credentialed offeringthat teachers could use towards their professionaldevelopment hours.Ensure that the experience is valuable enough to motivateteachers to complete the program

2. Did participants generate meaningful, valuable, and actionablesolutions to their challenges?Positive signs All teams created a concept that they testedand/or presented to their colleaguesSome teams have recruited additionalsupporters to continue to developtheir solutionPotential challenges All teams are moving forward with theirconcepts to further test or implement in the2014/2015 school year —with the supportof their administratorsRecommended steps forplatform improvementMany teams had difficulty moving fromdiscussing their concept to creating prototypes,which hindered the process of testing theirconcept in the real worldRevisit how activities are structured and messaged toencourage rapid prototypingDifficult to distinguish when participantsshould shift from Play (developing iterationsof prototypes) into Transform (implementingtheir solution)Revise activities and messaging to distinguish betweenthe two phasesUnclear when the program ends, or how tocontinue to update on progressDefine a “stopping point” - for instance, submitting abadge or professional development credits, uploading anoverview video of complete project, etc.Leave more time for Play“It was awesome to share our concern, and nota directed concern. We had a chance to improvewhat we thought needed improving, that is verypowerful. It keeps people vested in their work.”- Teacher from the Rhode Island pilot67

3. Did participants learn the value of TD4Ed and design thinking?Positive signs Great feedback about the program and howit changed participants’ thinking in their ownpractice — a testament to buildingtransferrable skillsMany participants felt like “design thinkingexperts” after completing the TD4Ed curriculumPotential challenges68 Participants had clear next steps for wanting tospread TD4Ed and design thinking approach tocolleagues & larger networksRecommended steps forplatform improvementCapturing evidence of “changes” that programhas made — on challenge, teaching practice, andpersonally — requires a longer testing periodInclude metrics capture via initial & post-program surveyThere were points in the process whereparticipants felt “in the weeds” — confused, lost,and even frustratedMessage the “fuzziness” of the process — that you willfeel lost at points, but trust in the processUnclear when the program ends, or how tocontinue to update on progressDefine a “stopping point” — for instance, submittingcompleted work for a badge or professional developmentcredits, uploading an overview video of complete project, etc.Use badging as a way to give credit for work done withineach phase and as a whole programBuild in real-time support capabilities, such as weeklycheck-ins (via Twitter or Google Hangout) so teams thatfeel lost can receive advice or support from others

4. Did participants feel invested or inspired about their workas educators as a result of the program?Positive signs Many participants felt the program reinvestedthem in their practice and career, due to theexcitement and passion for education reformthat it ignited.Potential challengesSeveral participants left their current schools forpositions at new schools. While the reasons for thetransfers are not known, this may have implicationson how they will continue to move their work forward, or whether the program was able to reinvestthem in their current positionsRecommended steps forplatform improvementTrack the experiences of pilot teams post-TD4Ed to betterunderstand the long-term implications of the programCreate a set of stories that show the impact of TD4Edprojects have on teachers’ schools, practices, and livesBuild a community that can provide advice and/or supportto those in nee“We were challenged to focus onpeople’s needs and NOT solutions.”- Teacher from the Chicago pilot69

Key LearningsWhile much of the work during the pilot phase of TD4Ed was focused on building thedesign thinking curriculum and platform, BIF has found several overarching learningsabout the experience of our pilot participants that can be applied more broadly to teacherled innovation and professional development. These key learnings also reveal a series ofopportunity spaces that signal both potential areas of additional research research, andsolutions for prototyping and piloting.71

Teachers have bold challenges they wantto address togetherWhen we began each pilot program, we started with the Define phase —where participants turn a problem into a design challenge they can tackle.Some participants had already prepared challenge areas (though mostof them shifted over the course of the program), while others neededmore discussion to get to the challenge that they all wanted to tackle.But all teams chose big, bold problems that many schools and districtsare struggling with — from teacher retention to technology rollouts toaddressing the “whole child” (which includes both academic and socialemotional factors) in their learning. In spite of challenging conditions andmoments of feeling overwhelmed, all continued on their journey.In the span of six weeks, our pilot participants developed solutions thatthey felt confident about and ownership for, with support from theiradministration to implement.The challenges they tackled grouped into four areas:1. Increasing student achievement,2. Building school culture,3. Personalizing professional development, and4. Collaborating beyond the four walls of the school.They are not small challenges, nor are they individual to one type ofgrade level, department, school, city, or community. They are importantchallenges that every educator faces, and many are ready to solve.72

Teachers embrace a “blended” modelof engagementprogram hinged upon the engagement of our participants. As“The freedom tojust be able to ‘thinkfreely’ was amazing strange, but amazing.”advocates for design thinking and human-centered design, we- Teacher from the Philadelphia pilotWhen we began this work, we knew that the success of thisknow there are moments of frustration and confusion. Thereis a lot of work that goes into the development of meaningfuland actionable solutions, and our participants have gonethrough all of this for the first time on top of their teachingpriorities. Therefore, we know that if the program doesn’tkeep them engaged and motivated to persevere, then it willfail to gain the traction it needs.During the pilot, we used a blended model of in-person andonline collaboration that was born out of a strategic structureto help us test the TD4Ed platform. We found that teachersloved this model of learning and collaborating, and voicedstrong support for keeping the in-person elements. We hiton a sweet spot in terms of facilitating the collaborativeexperience that teachers often seek. By using the combinationof a robust online platform for individual learning, team-basedactivities, weekly check ins, and periodic in-person gatherings,it provided a balance of structured activities and unstructuredcollaborative opportunities.73

Cross-collaboration fosterscross-pollinationTeachers thrive when given the spacefor creative problem-solvingAnother serendipitous learning moment occurredWhile we do not yet have long-term metrics aboutbased on the way we structured the pilot program.the lasting impact the TD4Ed platform has hadBy building TD4Ed as a team-based experience,on participants, they ended the pilot programand incorporating hands-on workshops thatwith excitement and enthusiasm about how tobrought different teams together, teachersbring the TD4Ed experience to others - especiallycapitalized on the opportunities for collaborationtheir students, colleagues, and larger educationand relationship-building across grades, schools,community. They were recognized by their peers,districts, and cities. As teachers from differentadministration, and even state legislators for theirbackgrounds shared what they learned aboutinnovative solutions as well as renewed sense oftheir design challenge, they realized that theiragency and autonomy. Because the experiencestruggles were more similar than they thought, andinspired them to lead positive change withinbroke down the barriers between traditional andeducation, they felt invested not only in the growth ofalternative, public and charter, and neighborhoodtheir solutions, but also the growth of TD4Ed to theand district. Ultimately, the cross-collaborationlarger teaching community.fostered the cross-pollination of challenges, ideas,and best practices outside of the four walls of theirschool to make not only their project, but also theirpractice, more effective.74

How might we scale and spread TD4Ed andteacher-driven innovation?ContextTD4Ed was developed as a way to learn the principles and tools of design thinking by tackling a real-worldchallenge. We had originally envisioned the solutions teachers created as a vehicle for learning, but through theprocess, our participants developed powerful and exciting solutions to their challenges that they brought backto their classrooms and communities. Below are several approaches we can take to facilitating and showcasingthe ideas and solutions that come out of the platform.ApproachesSpread the user base.There are many other stakeholders in the educational system — including students, administrators, andparents. Why stop at teachers when we can develop additional design thinking offerings for these others usergroups to tackle educational challenges? We can develop offshoots of TD4Ed for each of these stakeholders,or leverage the deep experience that each of these stakeholders possess by developing a platforms that crosspollinates innovative ideas from a variety of these user groups.Develop national partnerships.In order to scale and spread the blended model of TD4Ed, we can partner with national educationorganizations, such as Teach for America and City Year. Through professional development sessions andcourses, we can train entire cohorts of teachers with a mix of the online platform and in-person workshops.80

CONCLUSIONAfter six weeks with the TD4Ed platform, we witnessed the tremendous impact theexperience has had on our teams of educators. Imagine what it might look like if wecould build more meaningful experiences into existing professional developmentstructures Or enable more collaborative opportunities for innovative teachers toconnect with other trailblazing educators Imagine how this could positively change theface of education.We’ve built a foundation of teacher-driven innovation with thirteen teams of educators.We intend to continue this work with more educators, more partners, and moreopportunities to make lasting impact. We know we can continue to transform theeducation system — together.To join our pilot teams of teachers in realizing your creative potential, go and become a leader of change with them.82

Jeff Dunn, DeVry University Melissa Goodwin, Goodwin & Sommervold Consulting Alex Hernandez, Charter School Growth Fund Jack Klett & Natalie Nixon, Philadelphia University Ben Kutylo & Daniel Rogers, Chicago Public Education Fund Carlos Moreno, Big Picture Learning David Sebek, Creativity 2.0 Sheree Speakman, CIE Learning