Back in April this year Finnish NGO, HundrED, competed alongside several dozen others at MIT Solve’s Solveathon, sponsored by Schools2030 donor the Jacobs Foundation.
Competitors were tasked to answer this question: How might we best collate, store and codify the many thousands of quality education innovations – developed by teachers, learners and school communities – that will emerge over the Schools2030 programme lifetime? The winning idea – Faved – is a teacher-to-teacher network that will not only store the many innovations from the programme but can grow to become a public good for educators and learners the world over.
“The platform, which we’ve named Faved, is a catalogue of pedagogical practices, small ideas that teachers come up with to teach more creatively,” explained Lasse Leponiemi, Executive Director of HundrED. “Teachers describe their ideas on the platform and give instructions. Other teachers can then try out an idea, leave comments, and post a rating.”
Since that moment of inception, the team at HundrED have spent many hours developing the platform, which is now ready for testing by an initial group of selected users before opening to the wider world (anticipated for June 2022).
Its features allow registered educators to explore a wealth of user-created content, which will have first met quality assurance standards to ensure it is accessible, inclusive, low-cost, engaging and aligns to the development of one or more core academic or social/emotional skills. A Faved user can then select their favourite categories (Digital Skills, Emotional Wellbeing, Assessment, Science etc) to explore other content or streamline their searches. Each practice also allows the teacher, school or community groups (such as youth centres) who created it to share the steps and materials needed to recreate the practice, alongside photos to help simplify understanding, particularly useful across language barriers. All of this can then be saved for offline use.
Clearly a huge amount of thought has gone into making a product which must not only be simple to use, but crucially needs to cross boundaries of culture, language and geography to allow teachers to truly take ownership of their work and expand knowledge and practice sharing.
“With Faved, teachers can take matters into their own hands and improve classroom outcomes using best practices that have been tried and tested around the world.”Lasse Leponiemi, Executive Director, HundrED
“Currently, so much of the institutional knowledge that even a single school has to offer isn’t being built on.” continued Lasse. “With Faved, teachers can take matters into their own hands and improve classroom outcomes using best practices that have been tried and tested around the world. That type of professional development – and recognition – can keep teachers motivated and increase retention.”
Schools2030’s core mandate is to improve holistic learning outcomes for many marginalised learners across the world, but the Faved platform moves the initiative beyond this. The approach – one that supports teachers to take their rightful place as experts in their field – has the potential to transform the knowledge society and the traditional view that research is a draconian, top-down process. Indeed, research, learning and the acquisition of knowledge are at their most effective when they make room for insights from every perspective. And now, with Faved, every member of a school community can make their voice heard across the world.
Lasse Leponiemi and members of the Schools2030 network will join a breakout discussion on 13th December at the RewirEd Summit to launch the Faved platform and discuss its importance in catalysing teacher-driven innovations to impact systems change.