Sunrise over a rocky beach

The Teaching Toolset Project

Bending Tools to Practice 

A hackathon series facilitated by Storyteller in Residence Tom Haymes

The last year has served to underscore just how fragile some of our pedagogical approaches are. It has created a much more agile mindset when it comes to adapting both our pedagogical approaches and the tools we grasp for to implement them, but there is still much work to be done in imagining how we can apply our suite of tools to how we teach in a post-pandemic environment.

In the coming months ShapingEDU will engage in a series of connected 90-minute hackathons, which will explore, synchronous, asynchronous, and XR (extended reality) tools and compile a list of innovative ways that these can be applied to strategies for reaching learners. In the first of these highly interactive sessions, participants will connect tools with a set of learning strategies. The collaborative work from this session will become part of a freely available resource for educators and technologists.

If you can’t make it to the first session, we invite you to join us for the others. Each session stands on its own, and are designed to collectively build the final product. Storyteller in Residence Tom Haymes reflected on the series of hackathons:

Read: Through the Digital Looking Glass: Reflections on Toolset Hackathon So Far

Read: Designing Antifragile Learning Systems 

Building Communities of Thought – Synchronous Tools
May 18, 2021
9-10:30 a.m. PDT (Arizona time, GMT-7)

Building Communities of Practice - Asynchronous Tools
June 3, 2021
9-10:30 a.m. PDT (Arizona time, GMT-7)

Bending Communities of Learning – XR Tools
June 25, 2021
9-10:30 a.m. PDT (Arizona time, GMT-7)

Additional Resources + Materials:

Read:  The Importance of Thinking of Technology as Legos

Read: Learning and Innovation Tools in a Time of Crisis

Watch: ShapingEDU LIVE: The Teaching Toolset Triangle Project

We have developed many tools over the last 30 years of digital education. What we have not developed is a systematic way to connect them with how we teach. The Teaching Toolset Project is an effort to begin to construct a typology of tools that extend from the Physical to the Digital to, eventually, XR environments so that we can mindfully construct environments optimized for all kinds of learning no matter what the circumstances. As a first step, the ShapingEDU community will participate in shaping the measurement tool and well as providing an initial pool of data created by the survey instrument.

The spread of COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on our delivery of instruction and is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. If you lose access to a large swath of in-person tools, you really need to think carefully about how all of your tools work in order to maximize the impact of those tools you have left in the toolbox. The problem is that we take most of our tools for granted. They are part of systems of action that we have maintained and adapted over the years from older tools. We rarely reflect on the way these very tools shape our actions. COVID has smashed many of these assumptions, but even without the virus a reckoning with our expanded toolsets in both learning and innovation was way overdue.