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Leadership Exchange
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Edtech Advocacy &
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Solving Instructional Design Challenges With Coaching and Creativity

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Saturday, December 5, 10:45–11:35 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Heather Dowd  
Dee Lanier  

Utilizing a gamified problem-based learning activity, participants will be guided through the design-thinking process to understand and embrace powerful strategies and tools available to improve student outcomes, no matter their existing comfort level with risk-taking or technology.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Coaches, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Participants will be required to have a Google account in order to sign in and use Dynamic Learning Project Strategy Menu located at Further, participants will need a Google account or Microsoft account in order to engage in the Flipgrid community.
Topic: Coaching & mentoring
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
For Coaches:
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Design, develop and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Conduct needs assessments to inform the content and delivery of technology-related professional learning programs that result in a positive impact on student learning.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will backwards design strategies for overcoming challenges common to classrooms and instructional design. Utilizing an adapted design-thinking process, participants will collaborate to share a creative solution to the problem they have identified using the Dynamic Learning Project Strategy Menu.

Participants will utilize a modified design-thinking process called Solve in Time, in order to develop an array of solutions for their school environment. Solve in Time is a 5 step process that is facilitated by 4 question and answer cards, 1 creative solution prompt card, and a group help card called, SOS.

Participants will be expected to work in small groups and input their responses digitally on a Pear Deck interactive slide deck. Lastly, they will submit their creatively solution within the given time using Flipgrid.

Since this is a gamified/challenge-based workshop, success will be measured by working through the steps and submitting a solution and on Flipgrid and receiving direct feedback from other participants. Further, the Flipgrid topic will stay live and will be displayed at other future events for other global educators to view, be inspired, and offer feedback.


Setup and Instructions first 10 mins:
Participants are broken into small groups of 3 or 4 and asked to put away all devices, with the exception of one person per team. The person with a device is the designated researcher and note taker. Each team will randomly select one of the Classroom problem cards to identify the problem within their school setting that they will aim to solve.

Each team is instructed to flip over their SOS card and instructed that the SOS (Someone else, Other sources, Search online) serves as a reminder to players to collaborate and use all resources before asking for help. If assistance is still needed from the facilitator, the group can raise their SOS card. Warning! If you use it, you lose it, so use it wisely!

A 20 minute time-limit for completing all steps will be made visible on the projector for players to see. Teams will be directed through the slides to respond to each question on the cards either analog or digitally. The final slide requires each team to share their solution on a Flipgrid topic linked in the Slides. Teams are reminded to use their time wisely!
~3 min to identify and define the equity Problem. Relate the identified problem to the school setting, and summarize it in a single sentence.
~3 min to read the selected Research card and have each team member contribute an answer to the question using their personal knowledge and research skills. Summarize thoughts in the space provided.
~3 min to read the selected Understand card and have each team member answer the question using their empathy and compassion skills. Summarize thoughts in the space provided.
~3 min to select a Solve card and have each team member answer the question using imagination and critical thinking skills. Summarize thoughts in the space provided.
~8 min to select a Share card and each team should use their communication and creativity skills to collaboratively share their solution to the problem.

The remaining 30 minutes is dedicated to group discussion on how to combine ideas and begin planning to put solutions into action! Participants are encouraged to share their ideas and continue to crowdsource feedback online using relevant hashtags such as #edchat, #DLPcoaching, and #SolveiT

Supporting research

Research findings from year 2 of Dynamic Learning Project:

Summary of findings:

Creativity and Learning:
‌A recent survey by Change the Equation asked students how they feel about different classes. Computer science came in near the top, just behind graphic arts and performing arts, but ahead of English, math, history, science, and foreign languages!
Allen School News » Search Results » change the equation. (2016). Retrieved September 17, 2019, from website:

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Heather Dowd, Heza LLC

Heather Dowd is the Senior Director of the Dynamic Learning Project at EdTechTeam. She mentors coaches who help teachers use technology in impactful ways. She is the author of “Classroom Management in the Digital Age” where she encourages teachers to set the learning free with a solid classroom management plan. Heather is a former physics/math teacher, instructional designer, and education technology coach who loves talking about physics, digital citizenship, coaching, spreadsheets, and design.

Dee Lanier, LINC

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