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Tag : iDiploma

08 Nov 2018

Using StrengthsFinder to discover the potential in our students (and employees)

One of my very favorite things about working with students is watching them come to understand how unique they are and how unique they can become. For nearly 5 years, I have taught the Transformational Leadership class at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, and one of the core pieces of the curriculum is to discover and harness that which makes our students unique: their strengths. The tool we use with our students is StrengthsQuest, the Gallup StrengthsFinder test. The 30-minute […]

25 Oct 2018

Starting with a Prototype

At the center of every design thinking challenge are empathy and an authentic user.  So what happens when you jump right into prototyping to solve a problem?  How do you know if you’re solving for the right problem? At the beginning of the school year, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School did just that –  started with a prototype for “Family Style Lunch” and then stood back, gained some empathy, iterated, and plowed ahead. Trying to Solve a Problem Lunchtime was really […]

27 Jan 2017

The Slow Hunch: One iDiploma Member’s Story

WRITTEN BY MEGHAN CURETON Meet Brady. He joined the iDiploma program last year as a freshman. He had aspirations to innovate something and start a business. Hailing creators like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, he put together some impressive videos outlining his definition of innovation and even an idea for innovating the backpack. He said all the right things during his interview and easily convinced the iDiploma application committee that he would be an asset to the team. We were […]

28 Nov 2016

The Movement: Transforming Education

BY ANYA SMITH (ADAPTED FROM PERSONAL BLOG PINYABANANAS) A few weeks ago, 42 students and some smaller number of adults, were gathered from 15 different schools across 13 different states for a conference called SparkHouse hosted by Education Reimagined held in Washington D.C. I want to take a few minutes to reflect on the experience: TAKE AWAYS: Relationships are key in a learner-centered environment: between students, teachers, families, and the community; every student needs to have the feeling of being known, […]

24 Sep 2016

New School Model that Will Transform Education: Student as Designer & Community Partner as Client

By Meghan Cureton Using design briefs as a primary means of project curation is still new to iDiploma. Last year we launched our first, full-scale design brief (you can read about it here), and this year, we have quadrupled the number of design briefs just for the fall. It’s exciting. It’s overwhelming. And it is so incredibly empowering to our students. The fact that they had clear, measurable success with their first brief has them fired up to do more […]

03 Apr 2016

That’s a Wrap: Design Brief #1

Today was pretty incredible, as it marks the end of iDiploma’s first full-scale design brief. As a bit of background, we launched “Consultivations” last year (named by the students, who liked the thought of combining the word “consult” with “innovation”). In the consultivation model, we hosted community members and business leaders, and asked them to share a problem or opportunity with the iDiploma team. Using design thinking as a framework, the students engaged in a rapid 90 minute session that […]

25 Mar 2016

iDiploma Challenge at the d.School

Almost a year ago, the Innovation Diploma facilitator team began imagining an intensive field experience at the Stanford d.School. While Mount Vernon has been a school steeped in design thinking for about six years, and while the iDiploma foundations are built solidly in design thinking methodology, we know that we can continue to stretch ourselves and grow capacity as strong practitioners and coaches of human-centered design. What’s more, the Interim Term at Mount Vernon allows for a week of complete […]

14 Feb 2016

To Help Another

(This post was originally published on October 14, 2015, on The Creek Bed) A bit of background before I get into the meat of this post: There are two cohorts this year in Innovation Diploma. There is the Disney Cohort, who all started last year, and the Jobs Cohort, who all started this year. The names were picked by the cohort and are innovators that we admire. In this past week of Innovation Diploma, we were split up into our […]

14 Feb 2016

Waiting for Thursdays | The Life of Pinya

I haven’t blogged in a while. Partially because I’ve been busy and already up too late, but also partially because I haven’t had anything happen that makes me think, “I have to blog about this,” and I didn’t feel like writing more posts about how I’ve been feeling this way for a little while now. However, today was different. Today was exciting. Today was productive. Today was noteworthy. Today was a Thursday. It seems that every week we have 3 […]

15 Jan 2016

Building Innovators | I wonder

Yesterday, we hosted a coffee for parents and students currently enrolled in Innovation Diploma. It was such a great morning to share the work our kids have been engaged in for the past few months, and it was an opportunity to talk with parents about the why and the how of what we do every day in iDiploma. We began the morning trying to define the word innovation and decided that while there are countless definitions, essentially all definitions include […]

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