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 the iDiploma Program engaged in “consultivation” work, and even engaging in introductory SPARKs as a means of introduction created a great desire to bring some of this back with us to share back home. The invitation to join the TDK Beta Testers was the perfect way to bring some of these opportunities home to our district.



Four Corners – AdTeam, Parent Network, TLC

In D102, we have introduced various tools and SPARKs from the Transformation Design Kit with our internal and community teams. These have then been used in building-level and student-facing activities. The Four Corners tool was an immediate hit with our Parent Network and Teaching & Learning Council (TLC). As we embarked on the next phase of our district reconfiguration, this tool allowed us to bring individual and collective issues to the surface, while also identifying strengths and areas of support upon which to build our dialog. We found this tool to be a great way to collect individual ideas, before discussions ensued, to provide all participants the opportunity to hear from each other their likes, concerns, questions and ideas as presented.

100 Ideas in 3 Minutes – Wellness Committee

We modified our traditional “share and celebrate” with a SPARK introduced on the MVIFI tour that required partners to create a handshake based on their uncovered passions and interests. This committee is made up of students, teachers, parents, administrators, nurses, social workers and psychologists. Allowing this opportunity for such a diverse group to interact, design, and present their original creation was the perfect way to start the work of this committee. Building on this energy, we used the 100 Ideas in 3 Minutes tool to generate as many ideas as possible on the topic of Daily Physical Activity. With the timer running, teams set out to generate as many activity designs as possible. In three minutes, each group had completed the short bursts of ideation and re-mixing to reveal a list of activities that were then shared and discussed as ways to increase daily physical activity in our schools.

What’d Ya Hear? – Second-Year Teachers

Identified as an opportunity for improvement, our second-year teachers who were hired with previous teaching experience provided empathy and insight into how we might improve our approach to teacher induction (especially for those hired with prior
teaching experience). After using the Four Corners tool to analyze the existing program for “induction” into D102, the teachers identified what they liked most about, what needed
improvement, what was confusing, and what new ideas should be considered. They then reviewed insights from the current new teacher cohort on what elements were most needed in their program, and compared these to elements determined to be unnecessary or redundant (bugs). The teams then began to identify design opportunities for more personalized and impactful topics for our newly hired teachers.

Likes, Wishes & Wonders – TDK

We are thankful for the opportunity to join the TDK Beta group. We like the ease of use of the kit and how the cards can be combined to maximize a design process. We also like the “hat tips” to sources of inspiration that provide additional resources to explore. Most of all, we like the open source “freedom-to-hack” spirit that accompanies this project. We did create some modifications to address specific topics and found each iteration to be an opportunity to test and improve the process.

We wish that our culture was already fully developed in the practice and processes of design thinking. This is a goal for us as we continue to pursue our reconfiguration.

We wonder how long it will be before some iDiploma Program students build the TDK App that will help align the tools with the needs of the end user on a mobile device. Whether on the train, sidelines of the soccer field, or awaiting the end of a blind college audition, a person can enter the type of information that is desired, and a list of tools, SPARKS, etc. can be accessed and flipped right on the device (with links to related activities and resources). Knowing the innovation at MVIFI, this is probably already in development. Please send us a shout when the app is out :-). Thank you, again, for allowing us to share the Transformation Design Kit through the Beta Test cohort.

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