By Carie Page & Lisa Altman, Knowledge Sharing Team, KIPP Foundation
At KIPP, sharing has long been part of our culture. In our schools, teachers huddle to share lesson plans and innovative ideas. In regional and school offices, staff and leaders brainstorm strategies to make each school year better.
Three years ago, the KIPP Foundation launched the first of two innovative virtual platforms to formally capture and spread that sharing across our 125 schools throughout the country. On KIPP Share powered by Better Lesson, more than 3,000 KIPP teachers and staff share lesson plans, worksheets, and curricular materials. On KIPP Share Main Office (which formally launched last year), more than 800 KIPP leaders and staff participate in virtual conversations, share templates and resources, or seek out colleagues to ask questions and gather advice.
In short – both KIPP Share platforms facilitate sharing across our network with Better Lesson focused on teacher collaboration and the sharing of materials for the classroom and Main Office focused on support staff and leadership collaboration.
Creating and supporting simple, systematic sharing tools is the one way we can ensure that we are centralizing and preserving our best ideas, rather than starting from scratch. Our teachers and leaders tell us that sharing helps them save time, promotes innovation, and seeds new ideas. (On our fall survey, for instance, three-fourths of KIPP Share Better Lesson users said that they’ve found a resource or idea on the platform that has improved their teaching.)
With all this sharing happening every day, we began to wonder: what would happen if we focused the collective might of our schools and regions on sharing resources related to the big challenges that we all face?
With these questions in mind, we are hosting our annual March Madness campaign to harness the collective wisdom of our network around topics like the Common Core, character development, the college match, and leadership development.
More than just another sharing competition, we see this year’s March Madness as a unique opportunity to see what happens when we organize our teachers and staff around specific topics and ideas. We’re hoping it spurs some to consider new resources that they might create to answer the call. For others, it’s a chance to share what they already have with peers that may need it.
The contest officially launched on March 4th. What will we uncover? Follow our efforts by following the KIPP Share account on Twitter
We all know that we’re smarter together than apart. We’re excited to discover just how powerful we can be together.
Are you a KIPP teacher or a member of our leadership and support staff? You can join!
For Big KIPPsters, here’s how it works:
The contest kicks off on March 4 and ends March 31.
On both KIPP Share Better Lesson (for teachers) and Main Office (for everyone else), we’ve identified key topic areas to drive participation. On Better Lesson, for instance, we’re looking for materials related to the Common Core State Standards and the instructional shifts, Character Development, and Data-Driven Instruction and Decision Making.
Anyone who uploads a topical resource will win a new KIPP Share T-shirt. Schools and regions can also earn a cool KIPP poster that recognizes your culture of sharing. (For schools, 50 percent of staff must upload to Better Lesson. For regions, staff must contribute to four of six Main Office rooms.)
Want to learn more? Get a detailed overview by logging in to either network or watching quick screen casts about the competition. Teachers, you can watch a screen cast about Better Lesson. Everyone else, here’s a screen cast about Main Office.
To learn more about sharing at KIPP, click here >