Collaboration is often called the lifeblood of innovation, but rather than tap into the wealth of collective knowledge, experience, and diverse points of view that exist within any school, most suffer from an isolation epidemic. The current education model that dominates our schools was designed for a different time and place, when educators and students did not need to routinely collaborate to help equip students with the skills and knowledge they needed for success. But times have changed and collaboration is an essential element in a rapidly changing world. Schools that are averse to a culture of collaboration risk a destiny of irrelevance as the world races past them. Open Way Learning emphasizes collaboration in the classroom and among educators to solve problems that are best solved by a team, not alone.. Effective teacher teams are capable of innovating countless approaches to address issues for their students and stakeholders and act as visible role models for the types of collaboration students will need as they enter a global marketplace.

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Free Knowledge

We learn more from each other and are able to respond to the needs of our learning community when information is open. The information age has changed the paradigm regarding the acquisition of knowledge. No longer dependent on formal institutions, today’s learner can easily find what she needs, when she needs it. Rather than fighting this current, educators need to learn to leverage it by shifting away from hoarding tendencies, shifting from being “teachers” to “learning guides,” and encouraging open, transparent sharing in their classrooms.

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The challenges facing our world demand innovative thinkers that use creative problem solving to tackle messy problems. But the term “innovation” has been thrown around so much that it has lost its potency. Open Way Learning focuses on true innovation that thrives in an environment of radical collaboration and open, freely exchanged ideas. It is within this environment that educators and students are able to use the Design Process to develop continuous improvement mindsets that help them solve pressing problems in their schools.

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Open Way Culture

Open Way Learning is not a methodology that tends to work with "window-dressing" changes for your classroom, school, or district. It is a fundamental shift in culture away from from the comfortable traditions that produce relatively predictable results that may be “good enough,” to a new paradigm that welcomes uncertainty, demands continuous improvement, and produces learners ready to take on the challenges in a rapidly changing world. It’s a compelling model for the pioneers ready to create change in an educational system that stubbornly resists it.

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