Welcome to Innovative Teaching for Social Impact!
an open online course and learning community hosted by TakingITGlobal

Course Overview
Social Innovation is “the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress” (Stanford Center for Social Innovation). In this course, educators learn how to plan and implement learning experiences that engage students in social innovation.

This experience is designed to provide just-in-time guidance, collaboration, and support for educators developing and facilitating social innovation projects with students. Themes for the course include 21st Century Skills, Global Citizenship Education, Student Voice and Choice, Leadership, Sustainable Development, Design Thinking, and the Integration of Digital Technology. 

The curriculum is aligned and anchored to the OECD Global Competence Framework and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It addresses the IB Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) Project and the ISTE Standards for Students and Educators.

The course comprises eight learning modules. Each module is framed around a series of essential questions and provides a selection of curated resources to help you explore those questions. As you engage in learning and thinking about the themes of the module, you are invited to communicate and collaborate with others in the learning community as an Investigator, Explorer, and/or Discoverer (see below). 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and understand how social innovation projects can help achieve learning goals for students (Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7).
  • Find inspiration in stories of social innovation (Modules 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).
  • Explore the mindsets and thinking processes behind successful social innovators (Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7).
  • Examine the role of engaging student voice and choice during the process of promoting shared leadership (Modules 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 & 8).
  • Reflect critically on how the process of change happens (Modules 2, 3, 6 & 7).
  • Examine the relationships between systems thinking, inquiry, design thinking, and social innovation (Modules 4, 5 & 8).Explore how to develop and implement effective solutions to social issues/problems using various tools and methods (Modules 2, 3, 6 & 7).
  • Identify the challenges that can arise during a social innovation project and strategies for overcoming them (Modules 2, 6, 7 & 8).
  • Implement innovative teaching practices and engage students as social entrepreneurs (Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8).

Navigating the Course
As you move through each module, you will read articles, watch videos, and explore additional resources selected to help you reflect on the essential question and to guide you in the design of your social innovation project.

To maximize your learning, be sure to capture your thinking throughout the course. As you encounter new ideas and get inspiration for your social innovation project, be sure to jot them down. You may wish to do this in a project notebook or using digital tool of your choice.

Your Personalized Learning Journey
You are welcome to begin the course at any time and progress through the modules at your own pace. You have the option to complete the course at one of three levels: Explorer, Investigator, or Discoverer. The general requirements for each level are as follows:

  • Explorer: Reflect on your learning.
    Explore the essential question of the module through the readings and videos. Reflect and respond to questions about what you learned. Respond to your colleagues' reflections.
  • Investigator: Extend your learning and reflect.
    Browse additional resources to learn more about the topic(s) in the module. Share ideas for your plan to implement what you've learned in your classroom or school. Respond to your colleagues' ideas.
  • Discoverer: Extend, apply, and reflect.
    Describe how you applied your learning from the module in your classroom or school context. Respond to your colleagues' descriptions.

*In modules 5 and 8, activities will focus on sharing and providing feedback on one another’s project plans and implementation.

Badges and Levels
You will earn a badge for each module you complete. There are badges for all three levels. There are also badges for engaging in discussions, sharing resources, and participating in the monthly webinars.

Completing the Module 1 Explorer  level unlocks the Module 1 Investigator level as well as Module 2. Completing the Module 1 Investigator level unlocks the Module 1 Discoverer level. Thus, you can choose to move forward or deepen your learning at any time, and you can always come back to complete the advanced levels later. (Note: Participants who completed the previous version of the course in 2016 or 2017 automatically begin the course at the Investigator level.)

Community of Practice / Collaboration
As a member of the learning community, you are welcome and encouraged to communicate and collaborate with colleagues frequently throughout the course. Course instructors are also available to support your learning journey. You will be invited to join us for monthly online meetups. We will also have two live, synchronous online events each year (in December and in May) for students to share their work with one another and receive feedback from peers, educators, and the broader community.