Collab Lab 17: Recap & Notes

Healthy Food Passport — Connecting Students to Food & Culture

Collab Lab 17 was a chance to further develop an idea that came out of our December session. One of the three projects proposed would engage students in real world issues around obesity and nutrition–  the Healthy Food Passport.  Participants in our December Lab noted that the specifics of the program would vary by age group, but the goal is to have students research a culture or cuisine and then craft a healthy version of the selected dish. Even better would be to have the students grow the ingredients. Inspired by the notion that “Food is how culture talks”, the team envisions a food fair where families are invited to sample the dishes, and stories about the dish may be shared.

Through the project, the team aims for students to gain an understanding the food production process (e.g. where food comes from), help build family connections to the school and increase exposure to different fruits and vegetables.

At this session, we used a version of the Lean Startup Canvas to guide our thinking and capture our assumptions about the goals for the project, and how it might be structured.  We started the process with a discussion of the problems we are trying to address through the project, and then stepped through the remaining sections of the canvas.  We closed with a discussion around the importance of starting with validation of the key assumption– that the problems we identified matter to the students engaged in the project.  The end result is available here:

 


Thanks again to The Commons for providing the space, and to our featured participants for the experience and insight they brought to the discussion:

Shelley Jurewicz,  Executive Director of FaB (Food and Beverage) Wisconsin

Marisa Wall Riepenhoff, Vice President of Education SHARP Literacy

 

For an overview of the Learn Startup Canvas, visit https://medium.com/@steve_mullen/an-introduction-to-lean-canvas-5c17c469d3e0

 

Collab Lab 16: Recap & Notes

First, a bit of background…

In our conversations around makerspaces over the past year and half, we’ve heard several concerns around the cost of materials for student projects, and the effort involved to secure material donations.

Schools need material for student projects but:

  • They have limited budgets
  • It’s time consuming to track down potential donors
  • They can’t always find donors for what they need

There are a parallel set of concerns on the industry side. Companies are willing to donate material for use in schools but:

  • They don’t know always know what is useful
  • They don’t know who needs it
  • They don’t have a simple means to do so

We started exploring a model for getting excess material from industry available for use in area schools last January when we partnered with Betty Brinn to sponsor a challenge through The Commons.  That work continued over the summer and fall as we experimented with pulling equipment from Gooodwill’s E-Cycling stream for tear down events to recover useful parts.

The challenge of getting excess materials to educators has been addressed in the Bay Area through a non-profit called the Resources Area For Teaching (RAFT).  While they do a great job at pulling material in and packaging it up, the relationships that develop with donor companies are with RAFT.  Given all the efforts we see to help schools develop relationships with area firms and career based learning experiences (CBLEs), we see that as the wrong model for Milwaukee.

We’d like to see schools use up-cycling as another point of engagement with the companies around them.  The idea is to develop a network exchange model, where participants have access to materials their counterparts are able to pull in. That network could include not just K12 schools, but libraries, museums, and other organizations who can provide or use up-cycled materials for student projects.

In a network model, we need a way to create a view of inventory that is spread across nodes.  It turns out that a couple of the leading thinkers on network resource planning live in western Wisconsin. They have developed an open source platform that facilitates the kind of network we envision.  We’ve paired them up with a team of MSOE students who are working to tailor the application to see how it would work for us.  We’re starting with the simple stuff– let me see who is in the network, and what is available.

The model we proposed looks like this:

  • Non-Profit consortium
  • Supported by membership fees
  • Members issued credits used to purchase material
  • Members set pricing (in credits) for material/services they offer
  • Consortium sets membership fees/credit pricing
  • Supported by open source NRP platform

And now, the recap…

Up-cycling discussion at Collab Lab 16During Collab Lab 16, we walked participants through our model and had them beat up the idea in both small group discussions and a sharing out of key points to all participants.

Participants listed the following as key questions/concerns for each player in the model:

Donors

  • Liability for downstream use
  • Transportation/Logisticcs
  • Visibility of need — how do we know who needs what?
  • Impact on student learning

Aggregators/Distributors of Donated Material

  • Liabilty
  • Compensation
  • Sustainable model
  • Space limitations within schools

Recipients

  • Getting the right stuff
  • Equitable cost structure
  • Ensuring equal access
  • Growing the network/community collaboration (share recipes)

We then prompted the discussion groups to think through experiments that could help validate potential solutions to these concerns.  That generated:

  • A commitment from Digital Bridges to provide laptops for a tear down event at one of the schools participating, and to document the lessons learned from the process.
  • Involve students in understanding how to acquire donated material by having them explore potential relationships with area firms.
  • Start the network, learn and grow:
    • Start with a simple catalog
    • Let participants work out transportation of materials
    • Skip the distributor role for now
    • 4 column spreadsheet for catalog
    • Promotion to potential network nodes
    • Communicate to actual users.
    • Next Steps

Quick & Dirty Has/Wants Directory

We like the idea of prototyping with a shared spreadsheet that can serve as a directory of folks at schools and other organizations that have material or skills that may be useful to others, or have something they are looking for and could use help finding it.   Here it is: https://tinyurl.com/y7uas8h3

Feel free to add/edit/share.  We added attendees from schools as editors, but the link is set to view only for everyone else.  If you’d like access, let us know.

School/Donor Interviews

We also want a better understanding of how schools work with companies who make material donations on an ongoing basis.  If you have a such a relationship, we’d like to sit down with you and your contact at the company to walk through your current process, talk through what works, and what gets in the way, and what would help make the process better.  If you’d like to bring along a student who is, or would like to be involved in the process, we’d more than welcome that.  We have time to schedule six of these discussions between now and the first week of March.  If you’d like to be included, let us know.


 


Thanks again to The Commons for providing the space, and to everyone who joined us for the insight they brought to the discussion.  We had several folks from outside of K12 join us (thank you). For those who asked how you could find them, here you go:

Rachel Arbit — Senior Director of Programs, SHARP Literacy

Ben Dembroski — Open Lab Manager, MIAD

Kelly Ellis — CEO, Einstein Project

Jeff Hanson — Executive Director, Digital Bridge

Lisa Perkins — Re-Creation Station

Owen Raisch — Associate Director, Student Run Business Program, Marquette University

 

 

 

Collab Lab 15: Recap & Notes

How can we provide K12 students with opportunities to explore real world healthcare issues that have meaning for them?

We thought we’d try and find some. Last night we pulled educators from across the area together with healthcare researchers and professionals. We asked Brian King, a Collab Lab regular and former Director of Innovation for the Milwaukee Jewish Day School to facilitate.  Brian’s work with students to develop and launch student run projects with a social purpose help make him the right person to guide the group through what we wanted to accomplish. In short, to generate ideas for projects that:

  • are meaningful to students;
  • allow for the participation of students from multiple schools/districts;
  • allow teachers and students build connections to the broader community.

The thinking here is to get beyond programs that may link a single school or small group of students to a single organization.  Those connections can still happen through any of the project ideas that came out of the process.  We see a better chance to scale up the number of these connections with more open-ended projects that can grow and evolve as schools find their own ways to participate based on the interests of students, drawing in new community partners at the same time.

Participants started the evening with some Post-It Note brainstorming on the top five health related issues faced by school-age children. Three volunteers grouped these by topic.  We talked through each cluster, did a bit of rearranging and pulled out our blue dots for a vote on which topics were most important.

The result was three topics that would become the focus for the next stage of our work:

  • Stress/Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Obesity/Nutrition
Photo of Brian facilitating Collab Lab 15
Brian at work facilitating

Brian split the workshop participants into three groups to sketch out what a prototype program around each issue might look like.  The groups talked through our threshold considerations:

  • What aspects of your group’s issue would be most engaging for kids to explore?
  • Which aspects of this issue could kids realistically research or effect change?

And then addressed our guiding questions for their prototype:

  • Who are the students you would involve?
  • What goal(s) do you have for them?
  • What would they do?
  • Where/when would this happen?
  • Who are the partners you’d need to bring your project to life?

Here’s what we came up with…

Stress/Mental Health

Challenge: Screen Free for 24 hours

Recognizing that the use of social media can amplify the stress of school, this project challenges both students and staff to go screen free for 24 hours.  In preparation for the challenge, students/staff would lay down the ground rules for what counts as a screen, and develop plans to address tasks they currently use a screen to complete– how will we report attendance, how will students let their parents know they are ready to be picked up?

Both students and staff would document how they expect to react to a screen free day, the choices they made during the day when they otherwise may have used a screen, and a post challenge assessment of what it felt like.  The project will require the cooperation and support of student’s families. Media coverage could help spur participants to live up to the challenge and encourage other schools to participate.

 

Physical Health

Design & Build an Adventure Playground

This project would partner high school students with those in elementary grades to design and build playground that will encourage positive risk taking and problem solving.  Perhaps guided by a community planning organization, the high school students would work with a group of younger students to determine what the younger students would find engaging.

To complete the work, the project envisions connecting students to mentors who can help them with selecting a location, design, engineering, construction, marketing, and considerations for students with special needs.  The team also envisioned connecting the group to mentors who could help tie the project to curriculum goals and understand the impact of design decisions on the level and type of physical activity users of the playground were likely to engage in.

 

Obesity/Nutrition

Healthy Food Passport

The specifics of the program would vary by age group. but the goal is to have students research a culture or cuisine and then craft a healthy version of the selected dish. Bonus points if the students grow the ingredients.  Inspired by the notion that “Food is how culture talks”, the team envisions a food fair where families are invited to sample the dishes, and stories about the dish may be shared.

Through the project, the team aims for students to gain an understanding the food production process (e.g. where food comes from), help build family connections to the school and increase exposure to different fruits and vegetables.

 

Interested in helping move one of these projects forward?

If you’d like to get together with others to flesh out one of these projects in greater detail let us know.


Screen Free for 24 HoursDesign & Build an Adventure PlaygroundHealthy Food Passport


During the school dayA weekday eveningA Saturday morningA Saturday afternoonA Sunday morning


Thanks again to Brian King for facilitating, The Commons for providing the space, and to our featured participants for the experience and insight they brought to the discussion:

Christopher J Simenz, PhD, NSCA CSCS*D- Clinical Professor,
Department of Physical Therapy- Programs in Exercise Science, Marquette University

Jennifer Tarcin – Menomonee Falls High School Healthcare Academy Coordinator; Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital Healthcare Career Academy Faculty Liaison

Jonathan Wertz — Director of Clinical Risk Management, Medical College of Wisconsin

Kristina Kaljo, PhD — Assistant Professor and Co-Director for the Third-Year Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Student Clerkship, Medical College of Wisconsin

 

Collab Lab 14: Recap & Notes

We put together our November session with help from Susan Koen and Stacey Duchrow from Milwaukee 7’s Regional Talent Partnership.  In their work to help develop the talent pipeline for industry in southeastern Wisconsin, they see a number of systemic issues that get in the way of effective career based learning experiences for students.  We set up the session with the aim of mapping out factors which contribute to successful CBLE’s and identifying the key places where collaborative efforts might make a difference.

For this session, we split the attendees across 5 tables, where each participant shared their thoughts on key goals, and came together as a team to share those the felt were most important with the entire group.  These included:

  • Help students find their passion
  • Students/Mentors develop relationships that allow them to know each other as a person
  • Students Stay in School
  • Students are able to build 21st Century skills
  • Teachers are prepared and energized

We followed this with a second round of where participants shared their thoughts on key factors which help reach those goals or stand in the way.  Again, each table came to a consensus on on the key factors to share out with the larger group.  These include:

  • Students are prepared for CBLEs
  • Students have a voice in their learning
  • Students have access to a number of diverse experiences
  • Students have the resources (transportation, etc,) to accept CBLE opportuntities
  • An organization wide culture within schools shift supports CBLEs (as opposed to a focus on college preparedness)
  • Teachers have the resources they need to deliver on their end of CBLEs
  • Policies (state & district) support CBLEs
  • Leadership embraces 21st Century skills
  • The level of collective will (in support of CBLEs)
  • CBLE is part of general conciousness
  • Employers recognize the benefit of CBLEs
  • Teachers’s ability to connect curriculum to CBLEs
  • Schools/industry have a common understanding of what a partnership requires
  • All stakeholders have an equal voice
  • Employers have program in place to support CBLE
  • Teachers are prepared to be coaches
  • Schools/partners have dedicated resources to make CBLEs work

As we talked through each of these factors in turn, we built up a map that gave us a first draft how these factors influence each other, and thereby, the goals we have for CBLEs.  We ended the session by having the participants identify, by placing dot stickers on our map, the factors they felt were most important.  The key items for the group as a whole:

  • An organization wide culture within schools shift supports CBLEs (as opposed to a focus on college preparedness)
  • Schools/partners have dedicated resources to make CBLEs work
  • Schools/industry have a common understanding of what a partnership requires

Next Steps

We’ll be working with Milwaukee 7 to pull together follow on sessions to drill into each of the top three factors and from that, identify where collaborative efforts could make a difference. Interested in participating in one of these sessions?  Let us know:


During the school dayA weekday eveningA Saturday morningA Saturday afternoonA Sunday morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collab Lab 13: Recap & Notes

Problem Finding

Bring King joined us for Collab Lab 13 to walk us through an exercise to identify problems worth solving at attendees’ schools.  The idea was to give participants the feel for a process they could use with their students to identify challenges students could take on as authentic learning experiences.  Thanks also go out to David Howell (MSOE/Epiphany Consulting) who, with Brian, helped us pull together the process (below).

Our participants look to take the process back to their schools to see what their students might come up with.  We’re scheduling a follow up meeting at the beginning of December to re-group and share feedback from the process, see what problems students are willing to take on and, and share ideas about how to help the students dive into a problem solving exercise.  If you are interested in joining in, let us know:

 

The Process:

Step 1: Rapid Fire Problem Finding

  • Break into teams of 4 to 8 participants
  • On their own, each participant writes as many “problems at your school” as they can think of on note cards– one note card per problem
  • Collect all the note cards and put them into the bag o’ problems

Step 2: Mix and Redistribute the Cards

  • Shuffle the cards and distribute them equally between the teams
  • Each team categorizes and notes duplicates
  • Each team prepares a categorized list of problems to share with the entire group on a white board or large Post-it sheet.

Mixing the cards ensures that members are exposed to ideas from outside of their own team

Step 3: Large Group Sharing

  • Each team reports on the problems on their list
  • Teams share anything noteworthy about their process
  • The team may refine the categorization and list based on feedback from the group

Step 3a: Optional — Identify More Problems.

If the teams had a hard time coming up with an initial set of problems, prompt for additional ones to consider by asking

  • Are there categories of problems that are missing?
  • Are we missing the problems of any groups at the school (teachers, staff, administration, parents, students, neighbors) or subgroups of those (new students, minorities, impoverished students, etc.)?

Step 4: Drilling Down

In teams, but remaining all together in the room, consider the following questions:

  • Are there any problems on the wall that are actually dilemmas?
  • Are there any problems on the wall that aren’t actually problems?
  • Are there any problems on the wall that would benefit from re-articulation?
  • How might we “triage” these problems?
  • Is it realistic for you/your group to actually solve the problem?
  • Are there new problems to articulate based on your reading of all the problems?

Each team then drafts a revised list:

  • Based on the drill down questions, narrow to 3-4 issues and write them on a white board or large Post-it note.
  • Put a circled D or circled P next to each issue to identify it as a problem or dilemma
  • Record any problems/dilemmas that need further clarification before decision/asking
  • Each group shares their revised list

Middle School Math Work Group: October 9th Session– Recap & Notes

Causal Loop Diagram for middle school math performan
Our revised diagram highlighting key factors and adding a couple of new ones.

This was the first working session for a group of educators focused on middle school math that is part of a collaborative effort with Milwaukee Succeeds. We began our October 9th session with a silent discussion: using post-it notes to determine what is missing on the causal map, and dots to determine what three factors have the most impact on student learning.  Our goal in doing so is build a model that can help us chart a course to improved student performance.

Reflections

At the end of our first session we challenged the group with a reading assignment (Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding) and to experiment with meaningful discourse in their math classes.  The group took a bit of time to reflect on what worked, what was challenging, and ways to we get past that.

What stuck with you

  • Process is important (engaging in routines and creating common language)
  • Temptations to resist (not putting words into students mouths)
  • Mindset check, reminder on what really does help a student
  • Actually prod student confusion, and allow students that space

If you had a chance to experiment, were you able to? What worked and what didn’t work?

  • Peer-peer convos, non-verbal responses, but students have a hard time explaining what they really mean beyond the algorithm
  • Number talks: intentionally planning these talks
  • Multiple ways of talking about the numbers
  • Thought patterns, find out where the kids are at
  • Kids ping-pong off each other to see each other ideas and ways of thinking about things
  • Kids being so ingrained in rote-memorization, have a hard time getting out of that, and that there isn’t only one way of finding the answer to the math problem

Exercise in meaningful discourse

For the bulk of the evening, Kevin McLeod from UWM’s Department of Mathematical Sciences led the group through a discourse session on a single math problem appropriate for middle school students. This helped provide context for the higher level conversation which ran in parallel around the reasoning behind the process. The problem and his notes are available to download here.

 

Collab Lab 12 Recap & Notes

Middle School Math – What should we be trying?

Yesterday’s Collab Lab was a joint effort with Milwaukee Succeeds.  We pulled together a small group focused on middle school math– what factors lead to student success and what gets in the way.  We’ll reconvene the group in October as they work as a cohort to implement the strategies we discussed. Notes from our session are below.

If you’d like to participate in a Math cohort like this, please let us know:

A visual recap of the discussion from Collab Lab 12 on middle school math.

Contributing Factors

Strategies

High quality instruction*

  • Procedural vs. conceptual knowledge
  • Real world application
  • Productive struggle
  • Engaging/interactive content
  • Project based learning
  • Teacher approach
  • Facilitating math discourse/connections
  • Culturally responsive practices
  • Clear objectives
  • Small group instruction
  • Student-centered
  • Differentiation
  • Student goal setting

Committed leadership*

Teacher support (coaching/mentoring)

Culture of taking risks and experimentation

Parent engagement/advocacy/attitude

Curricula

Common Core State Standards

Cross-sector collaboration and best practice sharing

Math enrichment programs

  • Coding

Growth Mindset of principals, teachers, parents, and students

Role models mirror students

Increase discourse in math class

  • Begin math discourse in early grades
  • Track student responses to ensure equity
  • Provide wait time
  • Try “Bounce back”
  • Use “Turn and talk”
  • “I notice, I wonder” stems
  • Pose open ended questions
  • Setting up the physical space to promote discussion

Build committed leadership

  • Brookhill (One day PD to show quality instruction)
  • Schools That Can Milwaukee

Predict where students may struggle and set them up for success

Continued Learning for teachers:

 Hindering Factors

Student and/or teacher fixed mindset*

Teacher content knowledge

Math licensure

Communication/language barrier

ACEs

Curricula

  • Low quality
  • Lacks rigor
  • Frequent changes
  • Lacks cultural responsiveness

No K-12 math scope and sequence within schools, districts, and/or the city

Metrics can be misleading

  • Emphasis on certain metrics (standardized tests or STAR)
  • Alignment between curricula and assessments
  • Data not triangulated

Teacher evaluations

Prior school experiences of students

Student motivation

Challenges at home

Students living in poverty

Reliance on computer instruction

Prior school experiences of adults

Lack of resources in the classroom

  • Technology
  • Materials

Absence of early interventions

“Tracking” students

Key:

Items discussed by the group
Items that were noted but not discussed
* designates strong support around the factor

Collab Lab 11 Recap & Notes

We held our final Collab Lab for the 2016-17 school year on Thursday June 15th, where the topic for the evening was “Creating a culture of innovation in schools”.

We prompted the discussion with three questions:

  • What does a culture of innovation look like?
  • What stands in the way?
  • How can you create one anyway?

Our notes from the evening are below.  Thanks again to all who were able to join us.  It was a great group and a really interesting set of conversations!

Big Ideas

  • Innovation (continuous improvement) works in a system that instills a feeling of safety and encourages risk taking as a dedicated team.
  • Look for cross disciplinary problems that have meaning for students
  • Permission from the top for bottom up innovation
  • Autonomy allows bright spots which can then spread
  • Culture needs to come from school leadership
  • Use the right metrics
  • Start with what inspires the student

What does a culture of innovation look like?

  • Inquisitive
  • Focused risk taking
  • Failure is ok — fail forward
  • Collaboration
  • High engagement
  • interesting/fun
  • Student ownership of learning
  • Authentic
  • Healthy level of trust within the organization
  • Involvement
  • Empathetic
  • Public — welcomes feedback
  • There is a purpose and time for innovation
  • Innovation days — re-energizes staff
  • Hackathons — new products/committed block of time
  • Everyone drinks the Kool Aid
  • Encourage the design process
  • Inquirey
  • Opportunistic
  • Curiosity
  • What education means
  • Innovation is a value & aspiration, it does not equal effeciancy
  • One can innovate around people, process, technology
  • Leverage other resources, get kids involved
  • Cross domains
  • Power to the edge
  • Teams w/autonomy w/in safety construct
  • What is the smallest thing to start w/to start a feedback loop
  • Autonomy “fails” all the time– acknowledge failure, know it, work past it.
  • More difficult/important problems typically get less $$, time, resources
  • Teachers develop understanding about what’s happening in industry

 

What stands in the way

  • Taxpayer expectations
  • Teacher training
  • Uncertain ROI
  • Implementation Fidelity
  • Not everyone is innovative
  • It’s tough socially to be an innovator
  • Building (e.g. school) climate
  • Schools are structured to resist change
  • Mental models (of what school should look like)
  • Expectations of students, teachers
  • We train to technology rather problem solving/leadership
  • Are we selling it well?
  • Structure — no time to see what else is out there/what is possible
  • Scaling 35 x 5
  • It’s a big ledge to jump off of
  • Lack of courage to go off script
  • Lack “well functioning” partnerships w/industry
  • Those in charge of designing the system impact the level innovation capability
  • [Feeling that] “we’re looking good already”
  • Parents

 

How can you create one anyway?

  • Play to strengths
  • Give permission
  • Visit other rooms/schools
  • Use different metrics:
    • Engagement
    • 21st century skills
  • Focus on problems that matter to kids
  • Start with problems in school
  • Find a one off opportunity and then do it again
  • Show that it is valued by school/district leadership
  • Ask for something small at first
  • Transparency– get ahead of perception
  • Start as elective then tie into curriculum
  • Look for bright spots
  • Focus on interest in problems and who students need
  • Acknowledge self discovery
  • Leadership action
  • Organize PLCs
  • Align goals w/innovative initiatives
  • Focus on the real problem
  • Assemble the right people
  • Incentivise problem solving
  • Create a “Vision of the graduate”

 

Collab Lab 11: Creating a Culture of Innovation

Collab Lab 11: Creating a Culture of Innovation

How do you support the teachers at your school(s) that want to do great things?

There’s a recurring theme we’ve heard in our Collab Lab series this year — the innovative ideas teachers have to engage students in collaborative, authentic learning experiences are hard to get off the ground without support from school and district leadership.

So what are you doing to ensure that teachers at your school(s):

  • have the time, autonomy, and resources to experiment,
  • permission to fail and learn,
  • the flexibility to seize opportunities as they arise?

Come share ideas with your colleagues at public, private, and charter schools from across greater Milwaukee, as well as some folks outside of K12 who offer an interesting perspective on the topic.

Collab Lab 11 is aimed at school and district leadership who are wondering how to support the efforts of their teaching staff to best serve students.  We’ll bring along folks from the wider community that understand what it takes to build a culture of innovation and welcome back the strong voices of educators we’ve heard over the past several months.

Agenda

5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello

6:00 – 8:30 Let’s learn from each other

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!

 

Featured Participants

Among others, you’ll have a chance to talk with:

Jane Barr – Regional Vice President, North America Sales, Services & Solutions, Rockwell Automation

Jane provides leadership and strategic direction for the sales force in the North America Eastern region. She is responsible for developing and executing the business strategy positioning Rockwell Automation products and services to best support Rockwell’s customers in achieving their business objectives.

 

Jan Haven – Director, Department of Innovation, Milwaukee Public Schools
The Innovation Office directs the research, promotion, development and implementation of innovative educational programs and practices and manages the interface of the innovation function with other central service offices and schools. The office also works to build capacity of district and school staff through strategic partnerships.

 

Jason Montague – Senior Vice President, Baird
Jason is Senior Vice President for Baird, a privately held, employee-owned financial services firm (currently #4 on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work list!). Jason is responsible for multiple functions at Baird, including software development, architecture, and data management. Before joining Baird, he held leadership positions at Wells Fargo; MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates; and US Bank. Jason is on the board of a number of community groups, and helped found Milwaukee Agile, an industry group dedicated to growth in technology leadership. He has also been a very active proponent of Innovation in many forms, including Systems Thinking and Lean Startup.

 

Dave Neuman – Global Product Manager, Software Identification Solutions, Brady Corporation
For the past 20 years, Dave has been developing and promoting new technology solutions & services, building world-class software engineering & IT organizations, and coaching the next generation of technical leaders & agile practitioners.

Today, Dave is leading global product engineering teams at Brady Corporation in the development of new cloud products and mobile apps, driving commercialization and growth of software and solutions as a global product manager, and scouting emerging technologies that could help customers better identify and protect people, products, and places.

 

Tim Poppert – Assistant Director of Digital Innovation – Northwestern Mutual
Tim Poppert is a Wisconsin native and has spent over 15 years at Northwestern Mutual working in Application Development & Support, IT Architecture and Digital Innovation. In 2014, Tim was asked to help create and lead the strategy of digital innovation at Northwestern Mutual, which includes the implementation of the Digital Innovation team. In this role, Tim oversees, creates and maintains the vision for Digital Innovation and how to continuously foster a dynamic culture of innovation. He works to develop and maintain self-empowered teams to drive innovation, from design thinking to ideation to the execution of digital solution prototype’s and MVP’s.

 

And others to be announced…

Location

The CommonsThe Collab Lab will be held in the innovation space at Ward 4, 333 North Plankinton Avenue, Milwaukee, WI.  Space provided courtesy of The Commons.

 

Collab Lab 10 Recap

Building Resilience

Over the course of our Collab Labs this year, we’ve often heard that well crafted, collaborative, authentic learning experience provide students a safe place to fail and recover and through that, build resilience.  At Collab Lab 10, we focused on resilience directly, asking the following questions:

  • What do you see that worries you?
  • What drives that behavior?
  • What strategies do you use to overcome that?

Our discussions ranged from students dealing with trauma to those who’s main source of stress is continual pressure to perform at a high level.

Sheri Marlin from the Waters Foundation was able to join us again, and provided a couple of causal loop diagrams as part of our reflection at the end of the session:

  • Trust/Resilience : Increased levels of trust lead to increased resilience. Increased resilience leads to an increased ability to trust.
  • Environment/Resilience: A supportive environment leads to increased resilience. Increased resilience helps create a more supportive environment for others

As part of the wrap up, Lori Lange from Beloit Memorial High School shared the story of the laundry program she put together to develop the capacities of special ed students and help address a basic need of those that are economically disadvantaged.  It’s a great story of students working together to build resilience. You can read more here: https://beloitschools.org/loads-to-success/

Thanks to all of our participants for joining us for another great evening of discussion. Notes from our breakout groups are below.

Group 1

What do you see that worries you?

  • Wandering halls — unfocused
  • So focused on discipline that there is no self-discipline
  • Focus on trauma misses developing resilience
  • Adults losing their ability to be resilient in front of kids
  • Absence of consequences
  • Compassion fatigue
  • How to teach it?
  • Reactive — social norm is don’t worry until it is too late
  • Kids have to stay in resilience mode constantly
  • Trauma — complexity of trauma/lack of support systems
  • What do you “bounce back” to?
  • Facade of perfection (self told stories)

What drives (resilient) behavior?

  • Resilience is a muscle
  • Adapting
  • Knowing when to use strategies
  • Survival instinct
  • Past failure and recovery
  • Self talk – resilient people have a unique ability to control thoughts, beliefs and attitudes
  • Good support — relationships — trust
  • Mentoring — modeling — role models
  • Infant bonding
  • Coping vs resilience
    • peer pressure
    • fate?
    • social norms
    • unexpected change
  • Reading history
  • Perspective
  • Family stories (immigration)
  • Exposure — expectation — hope — dreaming
  • Knowing healthy ways to cope
  • Sense of constancy
  • Diet — sleep — routine
  • Purpose
  • Faith

What strategies do you use to overcome that?

  • Develop a common understanding of resilience
    • from ambiguous to concrete
  • Self discovery
  • Providing experiences — not teaching “it”
  • Pedagogy of confidence– building on students’ life stories
    • “Learning to Walk” — “trial and learn”
  • Design thinking
    • providing experience
    • healthy risk taking vs risk adverse
  • Catching kids being resilience — name it
  • Creating safe space — language
  • Trusting relationships — time/space
  • Community
    • multi-age interactions
  • Perspectives
    • avoid over managing
    • discovery
    • sharing experiences
  • Modeling mentoring
  • Re-teach coping strategies
  • Remove barriers to healthy coping strategies
  • Brave space vs safe space
  • Accountability/Voice

Group 2

What do you see that worries you?

  • Lack of understanding of level of stress
  • We don’t use failure as a teaching tool
    • “You didn’t fail, you are just not there yet!”
  • Life events – conflict at home/in community
  • Meet people’s basic needs (kids →families)
    • not happening
    • laundry program (in Beloit HS to meet that need)
  • No emergency room for mental health
  • Increased occurrence of trauma among youth
  • Rigidity of the classroom
  • Lack of connection/dependable suppport
  • Teacher burnout
  • Lack of purpose in life

What drives that (worrisome) behavior?

  • Institutional roadblocks
    • teachers can do it anyway with leadership support
  • Erosion of supports
  • Culture
    • preconceived notions
    • us vs them
    • political climate
  • Structural poverty
  • Violence as a taught behavior
  • Food desert
  • State pressure on school districts to perform
  • State testing!
  • Parent expectations
  • incarceration of minority men

What Strategies do you use to overcome that?

  • Bike program
  • Boundary program
  • Mental health clinic in the school (may cause problems at home)
  • Empowerment
    • resources access
    • break through co-dependency
  • Peer examples/role models
  • Student ownership of changing one’s circumstances
  • Separating by gender
    • break through stereotypes (STEM)
  • Trauma informed care at the school
    • reduce expulsion numbers
  • Teach children to rely on each other
  • Build context to relate to in “why” decisions
  • Accommodate different learning styles

Group 3

What do you see that worries you?

  • Lack of motivation (students, parents, teachers)
  • Unhealthy coping — cutting
  • Kindness is getting lost (cooperation/caring)
  • Inability to connect
  • Lack of history/common experience
  • Disconnect from culture
  • Frustration with how to reach kids
    • How to connect
  • Self validation vs validation from others
  • Inequity
  • Lack of caring for kids
  • Sense that no one cares/I am heard
  • Sadness/anxiety
  • Kids don’t move
  • Integration of social/emotional health
  • Relevance– lack experience/context

What drives that (worrisome) behavior?

  • Lack of skills/understanding
  • Parents are lost
  • Use of social media
  • Sitting all day for classes
  • Liability of going out on a limb
  • Teachers lack skills for trauma informed care
  • Teacher/students from different cultures
  • Empathy fatigue
  • Who can I ask for help
  • Teachers are forced to triage
  • Parents don’t value education
  • Too much stress in personal life
  • Survival — all I see is failure
  • Pressure for material goods
  • Divorce — parents are overworked
    • single moms working 2-3 jobs
  • Kids aren’t safe alone
  • Lack of opportunities to fail well
  • Low expectations
  • Parents in survival mode
  • Mismatch between teacher evaluations and what is important (to do for students)
  • Kids pushed through system
  • Grades
  • Fear of talking about emotions

What strategies do you use to overcome that?

  • Mindfulness
  • PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)
  • 4 days of instruction, 1 day job embed
  • Bring awareness of trauma
  • Awareness of different situations
  • Support from outside to take the load off of teachers
  • Understand why students struggle
  • Use research — let kids experience failure
  • Alternative evaluations
  • Exercise/physical activity
  • Community service
  • Policies adapt to community
  • Self care/set boundaries
    • start early
  • Care of others/empathy
  • Building community
  • Having system support