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The Education (Re)Open Turns to Global Community for Solutions to Educational Challenges

Author: Roberto Lewis

As schools begin the process of reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic, learners and educators at every level are facing an array of challenges, old and new. The process of recovering from the social change of the past year will require an unprecedented level of innovation, and the involvement of everyone who has a stake in the future of education.

Annenberg Learner is proud to help drive much-needed innovation by joining the ranks of organizations supporting The Education (Re)Open, an OpenIDEO program designed to crowdsource solutions to the numerous educational challenges facing students, parents and educators as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A collaboration between the Center for Engagement-Driven Global Education (EDGE) at the USC Rossier School of Education, the Andrew Nikou Foundation and IDEO, The Education (Re)Open is a public-facing solicitation for answers to the question, “How might we strengthen school communities, as sites reopen, by highlighting solutions that reconnect people and enhance collective wellbeing, teaching, and learning?”

The Education (Re)Open will accept solutions until May 14th from anyone with a stake in the evolution of K-12 education. During this first “Open Call” period, participants may refine the ideas they have submitted. Submissions are visible to the public, and will receive written feedback by the coaches and education specialists involved in the (Re)Open project. On May 17th, the Review phase begins, where judges from (Re)Open partner organizations and the Los Angeles educational community will evaluate and discuss each potential solution. Winning submissions will be added to The Solutions Exchange, a public repository of ideas, advice and strategies designed to help school communities thrive amidst unprecedented social changes and will be available to a global audience of educators, administrators and scholars who are ready to use them to enrich their own communities.

Submissions should address one of the following themes: 

Communities Reconnecting 

  • How do we foster connections within our communities, and reach out to new ones?
  • How do we break down the barriers between classrooms and communities to acknowledge the reality that learning can happen anywhere?
  • What new systems of mutual support and communication will boost wellbeing, mutual accountability, and benefit everybody?

Collaborative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

  • How do we establish open channels of communication so teachers, students, and leaders can honestly express what they need from each other?
  • How can schools create a network of support for students who have fallen behind academically?
  • How can we support teachers and leaders to provide a manageable curriculum that is collaborative, meaningful, and meet each student where they’re at?
  • How can we empower students to play a larger role in their own education?

Collective Health and Well-being

  • How do we address the deeper struggles and inequities facing students that have been exacerbated by the pandemic?
  • How do we address the collective and individual sense of anxiety and overwhelm?
  • How can we build trust, model vulnerability, and create a sense of belonging to support both students and educators to thrive in schools?

For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

Participants whose ideas are featured on The Solutions Exchange will be eligible to win $1000 prizes. Winning submissions will be announced during the launch of The Solutions Exchange, which will go live the week of June 7, 2021. 

Visit the Education (Re)Open page at OpenIDEO to submit your solution!

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