logo

Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation

20 Jul 2018

A Summer of Moments

In early June we were on a trail in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee standing under a small set of intertwined trees for covering at it poured on us. With rain jacket hoods up, hats and bags wet, and feet muddy, my colleague Brad Droke yells out to T.J. Edwards and me over the pouring rain, “THIS is a MOMENT!” We laugh for a while and trudge on, but he was absolutely right. Little did we know that the […]

16 Jul 2018

Experiential Learning – Being Off-Grid for 30 Days

“Stop!, don’t come down yet,” someone yelled from below the pass between two peaks in the Beartooth wilderness in Montana. There was an accident below us and my group of 5 wasn’t able to come down until we knew more about the situation. I was one of 12 students with 3 guides off-grid for 30 days on a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership Schools) course. The course was designed for outdoor educators and included Wilderness First Responder certification. I wasn’t aware of […]

17 Jun 2018

Solving Problems – Life on the Crag as Natural Learning

When someone says “learning in school does not match real-life learning,” what do you think they mean? Isn’t a student’s experience in school part of their real life? Of course it is, but I think this is what the proverbial someone means – the structures of learning in school don’t closely enough match the structures of learning outside the parameters of typical school. To explore this idea in more detail, I often think of something specific that my older son […]

17 Apr 2018

HMW curate a museum that evokes empathy about social justice?

Blog post by Team 3, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School   We start with questions here at Mount Vernon…. How might we curate a museum that evokes empathy around social justice? Before beginning our research around social justice, our driving question led us to investigate museums and how they are created. We decided to take an expedition to Fernbank Museum of Natural History so that students could examine different types of exhibits as well as elements of museums including lighting, sound, […]

07 Mar 2018

The Paco Project – A Serendipitous Opportunity

An amazing opportunity came my way thanks to my PLN to engage students in a real-world design thinking challenge involving Paco, a blind dog: This could also be a chance for our MVIFI team to test out some tweaks to our DT/MDE methodology that we’ve been tinkering with in an authentic setting – real user, real problem, real designers. But more importantly, it would be an incredible opportunity for students to witness their ability to make an impact through the […]

20 Feb 2018

Using Critique for Formative Assessment and Higher Craftsmanship

Leveling Up Project Craftsmanship with Critique “Craftsmanship means dwelling on a task for a long time and going deeply into it, because you want to get it right.” – Matthew B. Crawford. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work   This week MVIFI hosted Collider  – an in house unconference style professional learning day*. I was curious to test and share a hypothesis that I have been pondering: As critique leads to higher craftsmanship, depth and complexity of […]

23 Jan 2018

MVIFI Transformational Design Kit cards feedback Baker-Butler Elementary School (Charlottesville, VA) -Steve Saunders, Principal

A guest blog post by Steve Saunders, Principal at Baker-Butler Elementary in Charlottesville, VA   We are a public elementary school with 649 students in grades K-5. In June seven of our teachers attended fuse17. Those teachers who attended fuse17 used the TDT cards along with the MVIFI playbook this fall in several design challenges. Here are a couple of examples with pictures and feedback from our team. Name: Beth Roesch Feedback: Dot Voting helped us narrow our focus, Party […]

17 Jan 2018

Transformation Design Kit: The Right Tool for the Task at Hand by Kathy Washington, Paideia School

Guest post by Kathy Washington, Paideia School, Atlanta, GA . A blog post about her team’s experience as a MVIFI Transformational Design Kit (TDK) beta tester. The Transformation Design Kit (TDK) is a collection of mini-lessons, tools, and sparks (interactive games to spark creativity) presented on 5×7 cards housed on a keyring. Based on the portable nature of the kit, I gather that the cards are intended to be used in the moment. In practice, I did not use them […]

10 Jan 2018

TDK Beta Test – Building Capacity in D102! by Rob Hudson

Guest post by Rob Hudson, Assistant Superintendent, Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD #102, Illinois . A blog post about his team’s experience as a MVIFI Transformational Design Kit (TDK) beta tester. We were so thankful to have returned to MVIFI through the EdLeader21 site visit. At this time, we were privileged to have experienced the culture and climate that exemplifies the level at which design thinking is embedded throughout the organization. Being immersed in the practice of design through empathy, witnessing students in […]

05 Dec 2017

Moving The Rock w/ Grant Lichtman | Part 2

Grant Lichtman joins to Design Movement to discuss his latest book, Moving the Rock: 7 Levers We Can Press to Transform Education. Grant moves past establishing a case for change and develops a practical toolkit for any school community to lean into the future in a collaborative manner. This book is a multiplier in closing the gap between school life and real life. In Part 1, we discuss the first 3 levers we can all press to transform our own […]