“Students will be inspired learners who are empowered to be innovative in order to increase self-directed learning.” This was the aspiration of Dayton Junior/High School’s teachers and administrations that came out of the Hacktivation Nation.  

Hacktivation Nation is a workshop that was attended by teachers and administrators from Dayton this past July. The training was hosted by the Stanford Design School (d.school) with the goal of helping educators learn the skills of hacking towards deeper learning. Dayton teachers are working collaboratively with students to help create deeper meaning and purpose behind their learning while inspiring them to continue to learn. Through this idea, the educators from Dayton came up with their aspiration of “inspired learners who are empowered to be innovative.”

Teachers from Dayton working together though an activity at Stanford d.school

From this aspiration, Dayton was able to choose the “big idea” of portfolio development,  which is one way to move toward toward their aspiration. Through portfolios, students would develop projects that were personal to them, which would help drive their learning, as well as provide evidence of their knowledge and skills that they can take with them after they graduate and enter the workforce. As result, this “big idea” would not only help inspire students to be innovative and self-directed learners but also better prepare them for the digital economy they are about to enter.

“It was really awesome to be at Stanford d.school with experts in the field and be validated for the work we’ve been doing.” said principal Jami Fluke. Much of what was learned at Hacktivation Nation is already being implemented in Dayton schools, further highlighting Dayton’s success that it has had in reimagining education.

The Hacktivation Nation experience was truly a unique one that has become an essential step in preparing teachers to rethink how we are educating and preparing our students for the future. It also highlights that failure is essential to learning and not something to be afraid of. The experience provided a framework that enables educators to seek out and understand new ways to strive for deeper meaning behind learning and grow with their students.