Innovation Wall

What if every school had a wall where teachers/students/admins could write or draw examples of acts of innovation?

Photo of Carolyn Wendell
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What was my Inspiration?

When I visited Zappos one of the elements of their culture that stuck out to me the most was the Wall of Goals they had in one of their stairwells. The Wall of Goals, was a place for every employee to write what their personal or professional goal was right on the wall - not a white board wall, a real cement wall. Each employee was also given a personal coach to help them achieve this professional or personal goal. This ritual of Zappos has inspired me to think of this idea of the school "Innovation Wall."

So what's the idea?

What if every school had a wall, a physical space, that was open to write on freely - similar to Zappos. However this wall would be a place where students, teachers and administration could celebrate small acts of innovation that had happened in the school. For example a student draws a picture of a virtual classroom field trip the students took using Connected Classroom, and a teacher writes a description about how swapping out fixed desks for desks with wheels changed her entire lesson plan. Teachers could look at the wall for inspiration every day as they walked by it. Prospective students would walk by it on their tour and better understand what sorts of teaching practices were taking place here. Administrators could better understand the shifts that were taken place in classrooms.

Why is this important 

This is important because as we have seen being able to talk liberally about how routines are shifting and practice is shifting away from traditional means, will help teachers in schools feel less isolated and silo'ed and encourage them to embrace the change that we know will improve learning. No better way than for teachers to all share what they're doing and have a constant reminder that others are also embracing the change, by having it so present in their space. 

Could I make this scaleable?

Absolutely! What if every school in a district took a picture of their wall and created a scrap book for the district, or even better what about a digital scrapbook, pictures of all the walls together. We could post these pictures on social media with a catchy hashtag like "#innovationwall" Then this would encourage other schools and districts to post images of their walls. 


Join the conversation:

Photo of Margaret Powers

What if the whiteboard, and other interactive wall elements, took over an entire hallway? It's happening at Northfield Community MS:

It would be great to design and have a scalability handbook that could come in the kit discussed in the comments below (@Moss & my comment 8/6). It could show how a wall like this could be used in a classroom, then expand to a wall for the school, and eventually maybe take over a hallway ... then all hallways!?

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