Education

Pitching Big Idea Solutions for Education Challenges

By Katie Ash — December 06, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Now that the 2012 Big Ideas Fest has come to a close, it’s worth noting some important observations from the conference.

One aspect of the Big Ideas Fest that sets it apart from others is the Action Collabs. Conference attendees are split into groups of about 12-15 people in order to collaboratively tackle a challenge in education. By the end of the three-day conference, each group pitches a prototype for a solution to the challenge—similar to a startup weekend event. This year, the three challenges that the collabs focused on were creating opportunities for learning through international collaboration, reinforcing the value of the arts in education, and creating educational offerings for adults who want to improve their employment opportunities. There were nine groups total, with three groups working separately on each of the design challenges.

On the last day of the challenge, the groups pitched their prototypes to the audience, and a panel of judges chose three different ideas to “incubate,” or help support, throughout the year. This year’s prototypes ranged from a Web tool to help students document their creative process and show the creative process of other artists, a network of community members that could provide internships for adults hoping to move into different job opportunities, and a network of traveling teachers who could connect to share professional development opportunities.

The three chosen ideas included the aRtV, an RV that would pull into communities, set up, and allow students there to engage in art activities; mission: possible, which would facilitate a pen pal-type program between students in the U.S. and another country to send artifacts from their communities and environments; and Myne, a website that would allow users to input relevant job information, including extracurricular, church, and recreational activities as well as past job experiences into a website that would pull out relevant job skills from the data and match it with potential job opportunities in that community.

Conference staff members encouraged all participants to keep working on their ideas, even if they weren’t chosen to be incubated. Overall, the Big Ideas Fest placed a large emphasis on networking and bringing people together who don’t normally interact in hopes that by working together and including lots of stakeholders in the discussion, groups could come up with solutions to some of today’s most pressing education challenges.

There were quite a few videos and recordings done at the conference, which I’m sure will be starting to migrate online once the organizers have a second to start sifting through the material. We’ll link back to the material once it’s online so those of you who didn’t have a chance to attend can see what it was all about.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP