Our Stories

JPDS-NC Partners with Kiddovate to Offer "Innovation in Action" Workshops for Area Teachers

May 12, 2016 by Elana Cohen (Faculty and Staff)

This year, we have been offering a series of teacher workshops called Innovation in Action in partnership with Kiddovate. This professional development opportunity is open to JPDS-NC as well as other area teachers. We met three times this school year and have two more sessions to explore innovative teaching strategies. Each workshop explored Kiddovate’s Innovation in Action™ methodology, a Design Thinking process, and focused on specific skills and tools teachers can use in the classroom to unlock creativity and spark innovation. The workshops are hands-on, interactive experiences that offered opportunities to share ideas and creative thinking.

“Kiddovate has been a wonderful resource to further my understanding of the Design Thinking Process,” shares Laura Cohen, Pedagogista. “It has been inspiring to talk to other educators about ways to bring this to our students. Hearing that others are taking risks and diving right in has inspired me to just go for it… to just see what happens. It has been a rewarding year of experiencing what is possible when we put the students in the driver’s seat and watch them bravely take the lead.”

Each session focuses on a different phase of the Innovation process:

  • Exploration: Exploring ideas, asking creative questions, and imagining possibilities with Ideation strategies.
  • Concept Development: Refining and defining ideas and digging deeper into concepts.
  • Prototyping: Creating simulations, models, and drafts to bring ideas to life.
  • Feedback/Iteration: Facilitating constructive feedback and supporting the revision process.
  • Presentation: Exhibiting ideas through a variety of media outlets for an audience.

Teachers leave the workshops with practical ideas to implement in the classroom and an opportunity to motivate colleagues here at JPDS-NC and other schools. As Senior Mathematics Specialist Wendy Herndon noted, “there are as many ideas and viewpoints as there are teachers at the Kiddovate workshops. After each session, I walk away wanting to incorporate this wealth of fresh ideas into my instructional time.”
We are delighted that so many JPDS-NC teachers have benefited from this professional development opportunity, and that many teachers participated in multiple sessions, providing our teaching teams the opportunity to reflect on our work and continue along the path of providing students with creative, innovative, and meaningful learning experiences.