I have not written for a while. Inspiration is everywhere but the will to sit down and write sometimes is not! But I want to tell you about Teacher's Guild - so time to warm up the keyboard!
I discovered Teacher's Guild (TG) this summer, and had a blast! TG is the result of a partnership between IDEO and Riverdale Country School, and I received an email asking if I would like to join the Beta version during the summer. I answered yes and was invited to join a Google Hangout (GHO), which I did.
Here's how it works: the Guild posts a challenge and you are invited to come up with, develop and select ideas to address the challenge. The process is structured in phases: Discover, Ideate, Evolve, Select, Favorites and Reflect.
You will often start with your own idea, and you will read other people's ideas, soon there are self-selecting teams forming around ideas and developing them, and you find yourself working with people who are enthusiastic and curious and creative and fun - remember, these are people you have never met! And, you are not just working on your idea - you may be working to develop several ideas.
I really enjoyed working on them with typically about seven people, sometimes more. I was surprised how much fun we had, and how committed people were to the process - remember, everyone is doing this because the want to. The discussions were amazing and rewarding. The Guild is a place that I found that the children and the learning community is center and front.
The specific question we were looking at was, "How might we create rituals and routines that establish a culture of innovation in our classrooms and schools?" and we brainstormed, we streched our minds and we worked hard as a team to answer a common question.
We started at the Discovery phase with 210 contributions, at the Ideate phase we had 121, followed by Evolve and Select with 51 then we had Favourites with 13 ideas. From this 13 ideas, 6 were from the NYC Design Team, the team I now belong to!
We don't have ownership of ideas, we have sharedship and I must tell you sharedship is AWESOME.
Check the Guild out:
There will be a new Challenge in October, and we would love to see you there! Let's collaborate, it is a safe place, your mind will be stretched, you'll meet some great people, and you'll have fun!