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Innovation Teams

Updated: May 18, 2023

Innovation Teams or I-Teams are special Communities of Practice that organize around topics of common interest and design their own exploration/projects to support authentic learning and leadership. Share the work of your team and find support in a network of likeminded educators – so many possibilities for creativity and collaboration!


Communities of Practice for Authentic Learning and Leadership

I-Teams . . . A Great Way to Collaborate and Innovate! Join now! As an outgrowth of the Summer Institute 2022, we are launched Innovation Teams (I-Teams) – groups of education colleagues who share a concern or passion for something and want to pursue it further.

These are the current I-Teams and launch dates: (1) This Place is Going to the Dogs! (2) Get Out! Go Learn! (3) Keeping It Real with Authentic Learning (4) Thinking Through Third (Grade) (5) Passions With a Purpose (6) Surprise and Delight (7) Reimagining Middle School and High School (8) Leading for Innovation

A complete description of all I-Teams and their launch dates can be found here.

Please consider joining an I-Team, and feel free to share this information with other interested colleagues. We’re also open to additional I-Teams that can begin at any time. Contact Ellen Erlanger,, 614.226.2115

I-Teams are open to all, regardless of whether you attended the Summer Institute or not. CEUs will be available to I-Team participants.

The Stages of an I-Team’s Work

Investigationidentifying areas of focus; building participant engagement .

Beginning at the Summer Institute, we’ll encourage teams to form around a variety of topics related to authentic learning and leadership. You can help organize/convene a team, or you can join one organized by others. Survey data and post-Institute Zoom meetings will help us identify potential areas of interest, and we’ll keep everyone posted on emerging topics. Sign your I-Team up here for support and ideas.

Planning/Preparationproviding a framework for implementation; helping teams get started

In early October, we will provide a recommended timeline, sample tasks/projects, suggested resources, and other assistance to help Innovation Teams get rolling. However, we promise that groups will be participant-driven and can make modifications in the structure to better meet their own needs. During this phase, each team will explore what they want to learn and accomplish together, what practices they might pilot and share, what “success” would look like, and what support they may need.

Actionenhancing school programs and professional practice

Throughout the school year, each team will collaboratively move its work forward through activities like design thinking, problem solving, sharing information, discussing developments, designing and documenting pilot projects/practices, and/or conducting site visits. Members will meet periodically (online or in person) to build relationships and reflect on progress. Tell us about your progress and/or reach out for support at

Reflectionattaching meaning to professional experiences; sharing perspectives with others

We will schedule periodic Zoom check-ins for team leaders and interested others. This will be a chance to share interim progress and “next steps” across teams and topics. We will also create space on our website for I-Teams to share artifacts, observations, and insights throughout the year.

Demonstration/Celebrationmaking learning visible; sharing results and impact

In the spring, we’ll invite teams to a culminating session focusing on significant highlights and “lessons learned” (a sharing protocol will be provided later). This will be a great opportunity for I-Teams to learn from and support each other – a process that we hope will continue at the next Summer Institute and beyond!


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