Monday, March 1, 2010

Innovation Field Trip Quick Guide

School Innovation Field Trip Quick Guide

A decade into the 21st century and we are starting to see more and more schools that value innovative practices and are interested in getting better at this work and learning more.  An innovation field trip is both a great way for host schools to get better at incorporating innovative practices and for visitors to learn about innovative practices.  To follow is a guide explaining what an innovation field trip is and how to conduct one in your school.
    
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Planning for your innovation field trip                                                                                                                     

What is an innovation field trip?

Review with staff what an innovation field trip is. Use the Innovation Field Trip slideshow as a guide. 

What's your innovation?

Determine the innovation your school would like to focus on using The Innovation Scales.pdf.  This document outlines a number of different innovative practices in which schools engage.  Using this as a lens schools across a network, district, or nation can come to define innovation using a common language. 

Determine your school's problem of practice.

Your school will determine a problem of practice with a focus around how your school can get better at implementing this innovation.  A problem of practice includes the following elements:
  • Focuses on instructional core: the interactions of the teacher, student and content
  • Is Directly Observable
  • Is Actionable (and can be improved in real time)
  • Connects to a broader strategy of improvement and the school's action plan (within school or school system)
  • Is high-leverage (would make a significant difference for student learning)

Here are some sample problems of practice.  You will focus on the same problem of practice for each classroom. 

Determine three classrooms to participate in your initial innovation field trip.

It is recommended that the classrooms that are a part of the innovation field trip are selected among those teachers who volunteer to participate.  There might be an application that teachers complete to apply and the principal may consider giving these teachers some benefits to acknowledge appreciation of being the first to engage in the process.  Some principals I spoke to provide some of the following depending on school and district policy:  additional prep periods, purchase of hardware or books to support innovation, a leave a period early pass.

Prepare selected classrooms for the innovation field trip.

Share with each participating teacher the classroom visitation overview.  This document outlines what the teacher will be doing during the class period and provides the teachers with what the visitors will be looking at. 

Questions to which the teachers provide answers:

Problem of Practice:
Teacher Name:
Room Number:
Grade/Subject:
Name of Lesson:
Previous Learning:
Teaching Point / Objective:
Brief Description:  
What you might want to look at (i.e. student journals):
Notes / Comments:

What visitors observe:

  • What is the teacher(s) doing and saying?
  • What are the students doing and saying?
  • What is the task?
  • Student Responses. The visitors may talk to students asking questions such as
    • “What is the purpose of the lesson?”
    • Why are you doing this assignment?”
    • “How is this lesson useful to you?”
    • “Can you explain what it is you are working on?”
    • “Can you tell me how you know if you are correct?”

The principal should discuss with each teacher what support might best help them prepare for the day.  This may include direct support from administration, support from onsite or offsite coaches, support from lead or mentor teachers, helpful professional development. 

Preparing the school for the innovation field trip

Set up innovation field trip page on school wiki, blog, or website.

Documents to prepare

  • Classroom visitation overview
    • This is given to teachers to indicate what is happening in the visited rooms.
    • This is given to visitors so they know what is occurring in each room and they have a space to take notes.

Websites to establish

  • Flickr
    • You will designate a student (or staff member) to take pictures in each visited class and of the prebrief and debrief
    • These photos will be uploaded to a Flickr album to share on your innovation field trip page of your website, blog, or wiki
  • Vimeo
    • You will designate a student (or staff member) to take videos in each visited class and of the prebrief and debrief
    • These videos will be uploaded to the Vimeo album to share on your innovation field trip page of your website, blog, or wiki
    • Note, these should be simple videos to just give an idea of what it is like to be in each classroom with footage as applicable of the teacher, students, and the room
  • Wallwisher or Twitter
    • Use Wallwisher or Twitter to capture classroom and host thank yous. 
    • Schools already using Twitter may want to use Twitter for this purpose.
    • Schools not using Twitter would set up a wall on Walwisher

Innovation Field Trip Schedule

DurationActivityReference Document Notes
15 minsWelcomeInnovation Field Trip Schedule (http://tinyurl.com/innovationfieldtripschedule)
Welcome and introduction of participants.
30 minsPre - BriefInnovation Field Trip PowerPoint (http://tinyurl.com/innovationfieldtrip)What is an innovation field trip slideshow.




15 mins / 5 min transitionClassroom VisitClassroom Visit Overview (http://tinyurl.com/classvisitoverview)Participants take notes on classroom visitation sheet and text in a reflection to Poll Everywhere (99503) to each of the questions below.
15 mins / 5 min transitionClassroom VisitClassroom Visit Overview (http://tinyurl.com/classvisitoverview)Participants take notes on classroom visitation sheet and text in a reflection to Poll Everywhere (99503) to each of the questions below.
15 mins / 5 min transitionClassroom VisitClassroom Visit Overview (http://tinyurl.com/classvisitoverview)Participants take notes on classroom visitation sheet and text in a reflection to Poll Everywhere (99503) to each of the questions below.
15 minsReflection Review
Review Poll Everywhere responses and think about any patterns or implications that might be emerging.
30 minsDebriefObservation Debrief Form (http://tinyurl.com/observationdebrief)Group conversation about "Here's What." "So What:" "Now What?"
30 minsNext StepsNext Level of Work Form (http://tinyurl.com/nextlevelofwork)Complete Next Level of Work form with suggestions for classroom, self, and administration and discuss results.
Adjourn



Post Innovation Field Trip

Publish your innovation field trip to an online space:

This will enable you to:
  • Celebrate accomplishments of school
  • Share learning with learning community
  • Share with student's and their families

Your innovation field trip page should include:

(Sample page)

  • About our school
  • Pictures
    • Take pictures and post to school Flickr account.
    • You can link to the album or embed the album as a slideshow OR can link to/embed individual pictures
  • Video
    • Take video and upload to school Vimeo account
    • You can link to or embed videos
  • Next Level of Work
    • Create a Next Level of Work spreadsheet with the three columns below and embed:
      • The plans of each teacher for next level of work
      • The plans from administration for next level of work
      • The plans from participants to help innovate their own practice.
  • Show appreciation and give feedback to hosting teachers and students

Reflective Practice

  • Schedule an internal follow up meeting with school staff and selected students
    • Review problem of practice and discuss progress toward addressing the problem of practice
    • Have teachers share changed practice
      • Challenges
      • Successes

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