“OWL's co-designed process with teachers is remarkably simple and helps them think about taking what they are already doing and improving it in a way that works for them, not someone else. It’s not a prescription, it’s a reflection. Teachers are able to fine-tune what they are already doing to make it better for their students. Rather than just something else added to a teacher’s already busy schedule, they offer a different and practical kind of PD. Teachers appreciate that.”
-District Director of Digital Teaching and Learning
Sprinting to an Innovation Culture
OWL has a history of facilitating Design Sprints that are grounded in student and community empathy to define local problems, ideate and prioritize potential solutions, and use agile tools to prototype, test, and refine ideas. Design Sprint examples include...
Helping a Connecticut district implement a common framework for experiential learning for all its schools.
"Re-thinking time” with a North Carolina district as they upgraded their approach to school calendars and schedules.
Working with a Colorado school as they develop a learner-centered culture that matches their new, state-of-the-art facility.
Helping a California district refine its mission & vision to better align with their new Portrait of a Graduate.
Transforming Schools with Experiential Learning
OWL is proud of its work to help schools create conditions where learner-centered strategies can thrive, including community-facing experiential learning that better aligns with Future of Work criteria such as Durable Skills, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Grand Engineering Challenges. Examples include...
Co-designing an outdoor education "bridge" program with a Hawaii charter school.
Bringing Project Based Learning to two "alternative schools" in different rural districts in North Carolina that historically serve students who have faced challenges in traditional settings.
Facilitating a series of student-led design sprints to upgrade a North Carolina school's systems for stakeholder communication.
Making STEM Work...for ALL!
Too often STEM efforts, including makerspaces, can be intimidating for students and teachers not proficient with math, technology, and coding. OWL works with educators to break down these barriers by helping them design inviting spaces where creativity, tinkering, and failure are essential components that are integrated into all curricular areas and all students. Examples include...
Helping a New Mexico district use summer STEM experiences as a way to make classroom instruction more relevant and engaging for all students.
A Customized, Co-Design Approach to Shrink the Change
Change can be hard, especially if you have never fully experienced what you are striving to create. This is the premise behind OWL’s work with several districts in New England to create “bridge” projects that allow teachers and students to work together to co-design engaging Project Based Learning experiences in a lower stakes environment over the summer. By working with partners such as the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research, we are able to "shrink the change," thus helping stakeholders not only see what's possible, but then leverage that momentum to implement authentic projects in their own classrooms and schools.
Pinch Points to Possibility
Open Way Learning was one of the sponsoring organizations (along with Transcend, Education Reimagined, HundrED, Next Generation Learning Challenges, PBLWorks, the Prichard Committee, and Student Voice) who led a series of virtual conversations early in the pandemic to share ideas and best practices with colleagues from around the world. These conversations, hosted by Fielding International, created an open forum that would help participants move from “triage to transformation” during the most disruptive event in recent education history. OWL then replicated this effort in North Carolina by partnering with EdNC to facilitate a series of similar webinars that used principles of open design to allow education stakeholders across the state a platform to highlight and address historical inequities in our education systems - ones exacerbated by COVID-19.
Moving Towards Mastery
Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a highly effective way to address fundamental inequities with the traditional method of ranking, grading, and tracking students. But it’s not a trivial undertaking to move from a legacy A-F model to one aligned with the core elements of CBE. Open Way Learning has helped schools develop the localized, systems-level supports needed to make this transition to more equitable, mastery-based grading practices possible, including leveraging their CBE expertise in support of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab as they developed and launched an online MOOC focused on "the Why, What, & How" of CBE.
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Let us know how we can help you create an innovation culture for & with your students...