Design Thinking for Educators

Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education.

Classrooms and schools across the world are facing design challenges every single day, from teacher feedback systems to daily schedules. Wherever they fall on the spectrum of scale—the challenges educators are confronted with are real, complex, and varied. And as such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches. Design Thinking is one of them.

Get the toolkit, here.

Smithsonian Education

Prepare, Plan, Teach

Smithsonian Education offers teaching materials, links to online resources and access to everything the world’s largest museum complex has to offer. For more information, visit smithsonianeducation.org.

 

Nobis Project

The Nobis Project is a non-profit organization that supports youth, educational and community leaders in building skills to analyze issues that impact our society and take actions towards initiating positive change. The Nobis Project creates life-long learners who are empowered to improve lives and communities, locally and abroad.

For educators, schools and administrators the Project provides programs designed to enhance their ability to nurture critical thinking in students and provide them with the skills, tools, and knowledge to be active and positive contributors in their communities, locally and abroad. Nobis Project believes in empowering youth through the process of participating in social action.

Learn more: www.nobisproject.org.

 

Limitless Horizons – Ixil

Embark on an exciting summer travel and immersion opportunity that combines learning, service, and exploration with Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI), which focuses on the education of Mayan indigenous youth in Guatemala. This is a unique opportunity to observe classrooms, engage in dialogue with teachers and school directors, and learn first-hand about the educational experiences of youth — all in the beautiful, remote community of Chajul, Guatemala. You can work with our students and teachers, improve our school and library buildings, play soccer or Uno with youth, hike the beautiful mountains of the Ixil region, learn to make tortillas from local women, hear from an ex-guerrilla from the Guatemalan civil war, take a boat tour of Lake Atitlan, visit a sacred Mayan site, shop at the world famous market of Chichicastenango, and much more.

LHI serves Mayan youth and their families through a youth development program and runs a community library serving 1,500 members. Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Trip Leader Katie Morrow has led more than 30 trips in Central and South America over the past nine years. Trips are customized to your group’s interests and range from $900 to $1500 per person (covering all in-country costs) for 7-14 days. Visit http://limitlesshorizonsixil.org/visit-chajul/ for more information.

Farmer’s Insurance: Thank a Million Teachers

Farmers Insurance wants to thank teachers all across the country and have a genuinely positive impact on the lives of teachers and their students. Every educator that has been thanked on ThankAMillionTeachers.com is eligible to apply for a grant. The winners must use the money to purchase school supplies through AdoptAClassroom.org or have the funds applied toward a professional certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Maximum award: a $2,500 grant. Eligibility: current K through 12 teachers in the United States who have submitted a qualified proposal on www.thankamillionteachers.com.

Deadline: October 31, 2014.

NG Xpeditions

National Geographic Xpeditions is home to the U.S. National Geography Standards—and to thousands of ideas, tools, and interactive adventures that bring them to life. Learn more: www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions.

Holbrook Travel

As pioneers in the world of educational travel since 1974, Holbrook Travel knows that to travel is to learn. From professional development for educators to customizable academic expeditions for students, all of our programs are enhanced through a blend of expert lectures, authentic cultural exchange, informal discussions, adventure, and exciting hands-on activities. Curiosity, community, and self-reflection are encouraged during in-depth explorations of biodiversity and ecology, cultures and traditions, and conservation and sustainability issues. Travel has the ability to take simple lessons and transform them into moments so powerful they can define a worldview forever. Find out more about Holbrook Travel at www.holbrooktravel.com.

GEEO

Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that runs summer professional development travel programs designed for teachers. Educators have the option to earn graduate school credit and professional development credit while seeing the world. The trips are 8 to 24 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. GEEO provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators and administrators, as well as retired educators. Educators are also permitted to bring along a non-educator guest.

Detailed information about each trip, including itineraries, costs, travel dates, and more can be found at www.geeo.org.