As schools reckon with a new wave of challenges, Ted Dintersmith launches online platform to empower educators to transcend the moment and prepare their students for life
What School Could Be provides innovative, community-generated resources and content to support student-led learning in our rapidly changing world
November 18, 2020 — Today filmmaker, author, and philanthropist Ted Dintersmith launched What School Could Be, a new online platform designed to equip educators with practical strategies and tools for creating empowering, relevant, student-led learning environments in schools and communities across America. The platform – which blossomed from the acclaimed film Most Likely To Succeed and is launching now to support teachers as they navigate today’s unprecedented challenges – was directly shaped by ideas, input, and inspiration from thousands of innovative educators over the past five years.
“What School Could Be draws on best practices in the field, capturing them with vibrant video-based resources,” said Ted Dintersmith. “We trust teachers to lead the way. We believe in small, confidence-building steps and offer this support in ways that make it easy to start, and lead to big transformational change.”
The platform and resources are an extension of Dintersmith’s 2018 acclaimed book of the same name which documents the author’s unprecedented 2015-16 tour to all 50 states to meet and learn from educators innovating in extraordinary ways in ordinary settings. Housed online, What School Could Be spotlights teacher-led and tested innovations – offered in short, easy-to-consume videos – that can help entire school communities take on bold, audacious new approaches to learning. Designed to meet educators at every level where they are, the platform features entry points and onramps that allow teachers to take small steps to incorporate approaches and innovations designed by their peers in their own classrooms.
“The What School Could Be platform is, hands down, the best resource I’ve seen for educators, parents, and community members who want to reimagine their schools,” noted Tony Wagner, author and education expert.
The heart of the platform is the Innovation Playlist – a series of short videos that walk educators through the process of implementing new teaching strategies. The playlist currently includes content in five thematic collections – Mobilize Your Community, Student-Driven Learning, Real-World Challenges, Authentic Assessments, and Caring & Connected Communities – as well as instructional guides, case studies from teachers, and a new documentary, also called The Innovation Playlist, that highlights how schools in Hawaii, a state that featured prominently in Dintersmith’s 50-state tour, are using the playlist to transform learning for their students.
The five collections in the Innovation Playlist centers are designed to achieve the following:
Mobilize communities to build support and enthusiasm among colleagues and districts around innovations that help students succeed.
Promote student-driven learning.
Address real world challenges teachers are facing as they navigate the pandemic and remote learning.
Adopt authentic, personalized assessments that give students agency in their learning, goals and outcomes.
Build a strong sense of community in classrooms and schools through Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
By empowering teachers to make small changes on a day-to-day basis – changes that thousands of educators value and many are already attempting to make – the platform aims to enable big, collective progress that ultimately transforms the learning experience for entire communities of students.
To learn more about What School Could Be and to see the Innovation Playlist film logo on to www.WhatSchoolCouldBe.org