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The Redesign Challenge is an online workshop in innovation where teachers, coaches, and administrators tackle K-12's toughest challenges. The mission: turning innovative ideas into real solutions you can try in your school. See how the challenge works.

Our Featured Challenge

Challenge #1: Professional Learning Video (Read why video is the first challenge.)

Share your experience using videos and what would it take for video to support your professional learning?

Learn More and Participate

Why the Redesign Challenge?

We know that the best ideas for solving problems in education come from educators. The Redesign Challenge is an online community of educators like you who will collaborate to solve common challenges by sharing experiences, giving and getting advice, and turning ideas into reality.

Each Challenge will go through four phases:

1. Share Experiences

Tell others about your experience with this challenge.

2. Contribute Ideas

Contribute and compare ideas you might use to solve this challenge.

3. Develop Recipes

Develop and propose different recipes to tackling this challenge.

4. See Your Solutions

See stories of how real schools have adopted the solutions you’ve inspired, or try them out yourself!

What challenges should we tackle next?

#RDCSuggest

Tell us what challenges affect you most, and vote on additional challenges suggested by others.


17 suggestions

Technology Integration

over 1 year ago

There are so many "things" out there for technology that it is difficult to sift through all of them. What does an technology-integrated classroom look like? I realize that we need to take small steps, but how do you take that first small step? I know that I need assistance in this area because I don't want to be integrating technology just because it is technology. I want it to be useful for the students and for me. I want to use it so that my students can master the material. What does that look like?

How much does this impact you?

MK, Shelby County East Middle School

Flipped and Blended Professional Learning for Educators

over 1 year ago

Time is a limited resource for teachers. The ability to access quality professional learning in an asynchronous format might transform the practice of those teachers who seek that balance of their personal and professional life. While Twitter is one of the most highly used PD formats for teachers currently, it is limited in its scope. The capabilities of seeing into quality instructional practice through video are growing and a much-needed resource for teachers. But how do we access quality equipment, sound, and properly catalog the resources so teachers can access what they need "just in time"? As a Staff Developer, I constantly seek ways to help teachers grow without "sit and get", in ways that meet them with what they need, when they need it. Developing a video library of best practice strategy exemplars might be one way to meet this need.

How much does this impact you?

LS, Shelby County

Scaling the Pockets of Excellence Big Time!

over 1 year ago

This couldn't come at a better time! Having just finished a pilot project on how to do teacher-led PD in my region (see below), an issue has been to scale the work to other areas of the region, state, and beyond. A consensus has been that we should make the use of technology, including videos, a key aspect of this expansion. The video aspect addresses current logistic limitations and provides for more timely and frequent sharing. Augmenting with face-to-face meetings would certainly be an advantage, but not a "have to have." I am currently testing this model in a partnership with a local university (sharing videos of my PBL physics classroom) and have enjoyed good success. The premise of the original project was that better teacher collaboration will drive more innovative teaching practices throughout our region. Video technology has a real chance to be a primary catalyst for rapid scale-up of this model across a geographically unlimited number of classrooms and schools. What do you think?

How much does this impact you?

BO, Tri-County Early College High School

Differentiation in Teaching and Standardized Testing

over 1 year ago

The challenge is that research proves that our students learn in multiple ways with multiple intelligences. We use various brain-based strategies such as manipulatives, songs, project-based lessons, collaboration, and dynamic, interactive simulations. But, how we assess our students is still largely multiple choice, bubble-in sheets. As a research-based innovative teacher, I struggle with the ever-growing gap in my students' performance on standardized tests versus their demonstrated knowledge in real-world applications of our instruction. Addressing this contradiction in teaching versus assessing is imperative if we want to really understand how are students learn and what we can do to improve our teaching strategies.The validity of standardized testing is questioned by educators, parents, and students alike since we have not simulated the environment that students will be applying their knowledge. How can we improve assessment to simulate real-life situations and model teaching best-practices?

How much does this impact you?

TB,

Take Learning Off the Clock with Content Learning Outcomes.

over 1 year ago

Schools need to move away from seat time measuring learning model that we have been using for the past 100+ years. Education should focus on learning not how many hours/years a student has been in school. Many students today learn to "play" school instead of focusing on learning. Schools become daycare in this model. Schools should allow students to work at their own growth rate. If they can cover the learning in 6 months they should move on, but they should not be moving on just because the school year has ended. Education should shift to define essential learning skills that students need to master before moving on to the next leave of learning (or course).

How much does this impact you?

TB, Warren Woods Middle School

Coach In My Pocket- PLN

over 1 year ago

As a teacher of 21 years in an urban setting I know how crucial collaboration for this profession is. Educators leave after a year or two, experience burn out or just become bitter. This year I discovered Voxer -my game changer! It is a free app which allows individuals to converse via audio. Voxer frees one from the limits of 140 characters. You can freely explain your thoughts while hearing the intonation & personality of the speakers. I first joined #Satchat with 240 educators across the nation. I have created a Specialized Instructors group, Michigan Educators group & am starting a group for staff in my school. The possibilities of using a tool like this for Professional Learning Networks are endless. This allows discussions across the nation, districts, schools & staff at a time of convenience. Educators have shared pictures, links, text messages & audio messages resulting in incredible professional development. Whenever I have questions or need feedback, I ask the "coach in my pocket".

How much does this impact you?

HG, Harrison Park School

Redesigning Leadership Structures in Schools

over 1 year ago

This challenge is important because current models of leadership don't allow the best instructional leaders to spread their expertise. Additionally, in many buildings, teachers have never seen their instructional coaches or principals teach; therefore, the title "instructional leader" lacks authenticity and credibility among the very people it is meant to inspire. Instead, we should be redesigning schools with career lattices for highly accomplished teachers to lead without leading. Administrative roles should be refined and require at least some time leading in a classroom even as some administrators will shine with other skills like grant-writing, curriculum mapping, or budgeting. In a truly distributed model, those with the highest skills would be rewarded with the agency to lead from that skill. We need to redesign the outdated, hierarchical leadership structure in our schools.

How much does this impact you?

BC,

Teachers bridging educational setting divides through common formative assessment tools

over 1 year ago

Our current education system does not have a mechanism for teachers from the same content areas to collaborate across educational setting boundaries (urban, suburban, rural). We need to create ways for teachers from all educational settings to collaborate and develop high quality (valid and reliable) classroom-based formative assessment tools that provide real-time feedback to learners and teachers about what learning targets have been mastered and what students must do/learn in order to master higher learning targets. This type of collaboration would provide all students with better feedback regardless of educational setting and all teachers could provide more opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery of the learning targets. Participating teachers could then allocate more time to individual coaching for their students and would benefit from sharing best instructional activities across educational setting boundaries. We need to take steps to truly bridge the opportunity and achievement gaps.

How much does this impact you?

BW, Olathe Northwest High School

Encourage Schools of Education to create Real-time Partnerships with their local school districts

over 1 year ago

Time and again the conversation of inadequate teacher prep becomes the elephant in the room during conversations about new teachers--and certainly contributes to the problem of new teacher retention many states and districts face. If classroom teachers really want to reshape teacher education, then they need to be part of the solution. What if schools of education partnered with local schools and districts so their ed courses were taught within the school buildings--and the professors worked with their teacher candidates not in a university classroom, but in a real school with real teachers and real students doing real work? We know the best collaborations are built through relationships, so why can't we find a way to really foster working relationships between universities and the school districts in which their graduates teach?

How much does this impact you?

MC, Butler Traditional High School

Teaching, Learning and Growing with Technology

over 1 year ago

With our students in the Technology Generation and everything has to move fast to engage them in learning and communicating. I would like to take this strength of our students and harness it with the use of technology in my classroom and with the students so they can have it accessible 24/7 . Next Year all our students will have an email address as well as Microsoft Office 2013 given to them I would like to take this one step more and set them up with One Note and the cloud and then be able to post my lesson plans their assignments videos and projects for them to work on an collaborate on. In addition not only will this help them learn better they will be able to work in groups and collaborate and use our latest technologies which will help them succeed in learning but also prepare them for College and the Work world with tools and skills and knowledge that they can use.

How much does this impact you?

DS, Royal Palm Beach High School

Closing the Achievement Gap through AP

over 1 year ago

More and more school districts are in the race to close the Achievement Gap, and many are using AP as a main solution. But at what cost? As administrators push guidance counselors to flood AP rosters with students, the rosters of truly capable students appears diluted. Yet should AP classes only be for the top performing students? So now, many AP teachers are faced with teaching a rigorous curriculum to classes full of students who fall all over the spectrum of knowledge and abilities. How do AP teachers close that supposed gap by fulfilling all the educational needs of the diverse students sitting before them?

How much does this impact you?

AS, Glen Burnie High Scool

How do we know someone is a good teacher? How do we REALLY know if WE ARE a good teacher?

over 1 year ago

Teacher evaluation is a really tough subject. Most teachers get a feel for the effectiveness of another teacher by seeing how they interact with their students. But how do you measure that? Is there a measurable and reliable way to determine a teacher's effectiveness besides just standardized tests? Yes! We know they're learning our subject area, but how can we prove it? Let's explore this issue and learn from each other.

How much does this impact you?

GG, Proctor Senior High

The story of your childhood

over 1 year ago

Every teacher must get photos and video from their homeland and for their favorite TV series. They have 50 minutes to get and edit their childhood story. This challenge was used with teachwers h¡who has no idea about how begin to use tech in classrooms. They discover how tech has evolved and then they can challenge their students.

How much does this impact you?

MP, UNAM

Breaking Down Borders by Teaching with Classrooms without Borders

over 1 year ago

I would like to be able to link my classes I teach next year with classes in Eastern Europe or other parts of the world and have the ability to have two teachers from the different countries teach each others classes and have the students get involved in working together from both countries. The students can also work on a special project together from both countries, By being able to do this we will be using our current technology and help our students learn by engaging them with students from another country. The Students will not only have a fun way to learn but they will all gain and understanding of another country and culture they will learn about diversity and the importance of respecting everyone and that we all live in a global society. I feel this could grow into a major teaching tool that could be used by schools all over our country and the world.

How much does this impact you?

DS, Royal Palm Beach High School

Creativity and Perseverance

over 1 year ago

As teachers we spend so much time cramming information in to our students so they can pass courses and score well on standardized tests. We teach our students not to plagiarize works, but then we encourage them to search the internet or pinterest for idea sources, not recognizing this contradiction. The challenge we should tackle next is how to foster the generation of NEW ideas. We need to find ways to encourage creativity in our students and also promote their understanding that a failed outcome is only a successful first step in the problem solving process. They need to understand problems aren't all solved in the first try, or the first ten tries, but by perseverance. There are too many students today that don't understand much can be learned from failure and that persistence is the key to success. Let's remake education to focus on developing these skills, because without them, even the most educated person will never live up to their full potential.

How much does this impact you?

CP,

No More Tests

over 1 year ago

Start a world-wide campaign to convince stakeholders that tests are not necessary for instruction and learning.

How much does this impact you?

ND, Atlantic University

Can You See What I Mean?

over 1 year ago

Teach, using a skills approach. Whenever you introduce vocabulary, ALWAYS, do not just give the only meanings, have students give these, but give synonyms, antonyms, add an 'e' or add an 's' so that the following skills are practiced. I call them Processing Skills: Listening Skills, Visualization Skills, paying Attention to Detail and Making Connections. These skills help answer the question "Can You See What I Mean?" The outcomes, are Widening Horizons, Deepening Perception, Arousing Curiosity and Fostering Creativity. Aren't these the skills displayed by musicians?

How much does this impact you?

SF,

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What inspired the Redesign Challenge?

You. A recent study titled Teachers Know Best found that teachers, coaches, and administrators need to be stronger partners in the design and implementation of professional development. Download the report or learn more below.

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About Teachers Know Best

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was engaged by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct a study on professional development for teachers to help identify needs and opportunities for improvement. To inform this research, between January and March 2014, BCG engaged more than 1,300 stakeholders— including teachers, professional development leaders in district and state education agencies, principals, professional development providers, and thought leaders—through a combination of interviews and surveys. BCG also analyzed existing reports and market data to identify the size and composition of the overall professional development market.

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