A comprehensive membership-based service supporting project-based learning.
Design a product/service that is positioned at the intersection of Social and Service. Service design is the discipline of integrating systems of interaction with customers—via physical, information, and human systems—to create value and differentiate providers. Social is all about people building high-value information structures, connecting through communities and sharing information and influence.
What happens when service meets social?
To begin identifying the opportunity space for our new service, we conducted a trend analysis in four major areas: Technology/Science, Economic/Political, Culture/Social and Legal/Regulatory. Looking at one, three and five years ahead, we chronologically mapped out the major trends to occur in those areas.
To see where could position our new service, we looked at four different markets: Food, Health, Education and Environment.
To further explore some of these markets and the people in it, we conducted touchstone tours at Giant Eagle with a store manager, at Barnes and Noble with a graduate student, at home with an elementary school student and at an elementary school with a teacher.
After preliminary research of the possible markets, we realized that the common theme in all was learning. Containing intrinsic social and service components where we could make a difference, we defined our opportunity space as:
- influence parent–teacher involvement in children’s learning
- increase teacher–to–teacher method sharing to facilitate learning
- explore the role of digital technology as a learning tool in education
- address the rising costs of learning and education
- address low attendance, problematic behavior and high drop-out rates
- improve literacy rates in both developed and developing countries
- increase assistance from school and community in children's learning
Traditional instructional methods in K-8 education are not preparing children to solve today’s and tomorrow’s complex problems.
Because classroom learning is focused on short term retention as measured by standardized tests, students are not taught to collaborate and apply knowledge and skills to complex problems.
However, to solve the complex problems of the 21st century, children will need to learn 21st-century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and the use of technology.
According to creativity experts, many schools are well on their way of educating children out of their creative capacities.
Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching method that uses classroom projects to foster comprehensive learning where students use technology and inquiry to engage with issues and questions revelant to their lives.
PBL therefore leads to sustained long-term transferable knowledge and skill development needed to solve complex problems.
So the question becomes:
How can we help facilitate PBL implementation in schools?
To begin brainstorming ideas, we created a concept map with our stakeholders and desired actions as the axes with possible solution ideas plotted on the matrix.
We interviewed multiple PBL and education experts, including representatives from Citizen Schools, Cyert Center for Early Education, Buck Institute for Education and Matrix Learning.
We held multiple collage sessions with educators and asked them to tell us through a collage what would an ideal online community look like and what features it would have. After 35 minutes of collaging, we asked each educator to explain the collage to us and recorded their responses.
Raising Hands is a comprehensive and interactive membership-based service offered through a partnership between a publisher and a research institute that collaborates with school districts to introduce and sustain Project-Based Learning in K-12 schools.
How does it work?