why... ...as a design ﬁrm do we want to
empower teachers as hackers?
we lear n about co entions.
need s from des these int
prototyp ventions act as
es of cha
we believe in empowering
teachers as problem solvers.
Edutopia focuses on
ideas. We provide
practices to make
the case for hacks
to schools across
Project Based Technology
Social Emotional Integrated
PREP: WEEK OF:
• Teacher interview INSIGHT to IDEAS
• Administrator interview • idea/solution session
• Scoping trip STUDENT WORKSHOP PLANNING, VOLUNTEERS, &
• Planning meetings SHOPPING
m t w th f s s m
• ideas to strategies
• insight/pattern session
teen tech bar & project
dashboard & desk
room arrangement &
HIGHLIGHT imagery & identity
SOLVE installation from pencils
custom story posters &
Mr. Mattice branding
simpliﬁed reference posters
display student work
teach from anywhere
project table storage
digital/analog teacher dashboard in
center of room
1/3 of tables on casters
story & action wall
Mr. Mattice poster refresh
treat others the way you want to be
treated share don’t be
mean to others
follow your rules
be seated don’t
be awesome be yourself
the students of Mr. Mattice’s class.
Importance of process:
observation to ideas to prototypes
Involvement of community and
student engagement & enthusiasm fueled project
Scrappiness, resourcefulness, and
asking friends & looking beyond
What Prototype as advocate for
the power to start a dialogue in a school & with
learned... formal leadership
Urban, private school.
English & American Studies teacher, culture maven, adventurer.
Mixed cohort of teacher-designer fellows.
School unrolling their “Vision for Learning.”
How do we transform classrooms and a
cohort of teachers into designer/hackers
that embody the vision for learning?
catalyst! proof of concept / scale of one / expansion / integration
living research of vision / empowerment
a m j j a s o n d j f m a
PHASE ONE PHASE TWO
One teacher. Cohort of teachers.
One class. Ecology of classes.
IKEA hack. Light design meets hack.
What is at the core of Bennett’s classroom:
• A balance between playfulness &
• A commitment to an intriguing,
engaging, curious, stimulating classroom
• Relevance and media/cultural literacy
• First day: Plays up nervousness
• Favorite thing: The farewell talk
Aligning Mr. Spann’s goals
with school vision.
Being able to write on the walls is a nice
addition to the classroom. It allows the entire
class to be writing on the "board" at the same
It also takes away the "teacher standing
at a whiteboard" idea of classrooms
It has helped me to understand that
there are many ways to learn and
many different settings that help
This new room makes it so the
class is never the same every time
we meet and, for me that is a
I think the story studio allows kids to
think out of the box and more
How does the design of the "story studio"...
VERY styles involvement
MUCH 5 Energize
teacher students class
4.61 content Fit class
4.52 4.48 4.45 Facilitate reﬂection
In addition to my observations about the physical space, I
found myself observing teachers in a different way.
...my new approach to teaching has me
asking questions and trying to see various
possibilities and hypotheticals rather than
observing everything at face value
MR. SPANN REFLECTION
How can we create learning
experiences and environments
that facilitate the development of
the Lovett learner?
What resources & access (tools, people, information)
do students need to support these experiences?
Vision for Learning
The Lovett Effective Communicator
Student PEOPLE TOOLS
Character Creative Agent
honesty • respect
responsibility • compassion
A cohort of hackers...
Co-processing Cross-Pollination Collaboration
a moment to step back mixing ideas and perspectives building together
reﬂection interdisciplinary making
introspection creativity brainstorming
Critical support Experimentation
constructive collegiality permission to try
feedback new practices
A single class can act as a catalyst, but
a constructive community is crucial to
larger school change.
Hacks can spread and be thought of as
Simple planning tools can help
teachers choreograph use of space in
Reﬂection and sharing is key to
What professional evolution.
we Measuring outcomes is tricky, but
our hack themes
one project based
three teacher zone. four curate student
25 student desks, 1 teacher desk, teacher wall, 1
window wall, 1 door, no closet, 1 row of built-in
50-min class that meets 5x week. After school
meetings hosted in the classroom.
Maybe a 'blog' used on occasion; standard
What does our theme currently look like
in the standard classroom?
What do students/teachers want to do?
What barriers are there?
Where do I see promising examples?
What patterns do we see?
What areas do we want to focus on?
Identify 2-4 “How might we” questions.
for big ideas.
Create structure, but leave room for ﬂow.
Root your brainstorming in empathy.
Hone problem statements.
Create an immersive environment.
Gather a diverse team.
There will be time for iteration and critique.
1. Defer judgment.
2. Encourage wild ideas.
3. Build on the ideas of others.
4. Stay focused on the topic.
5. One conversation at a time.
6. Be visual.
7. Go for quantity.
FROM IDEO’S RULES FOR BRAINSTORMING.
Drop us a note. Share your story.
Melanie Kahl Christian Long
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