Week 5: How do you tackle a wicked problem?


This week, we were asked to come up with solutions for Rethinking Education in the 21st century. Our think tank came up with many solutions, but we focused on a few of the more actionable possibilities.

We started by asking ourselves lots of “Why” and “What If” questions and narrowed them down to the following actionable “How” questions:

  • How can we rethink education to ensure that it is individualized and responsive to the needs of each student while maintaining standards for rigor and effectively utilizes 21st century technological tools?
  • How can we structure education for teachers to provide ample productive opportunities for collaboration to meet the needs of all students (e.g. lesson studies, curriculum planning, activity coordination and evaluation)?

From there, our think tank came up with a few solutions that we thought could help Rethink Education in a positive way.  Here are our solutions:

  • Instruction should be flipped or blended to allow for self-paced learning.
  • Instruction should incorporate technologies to enhance individualized learning and collaborative projects.
  • Instruction should utilize Inquiry Based Learning to ensure that content blends with student interest and research.
  • Students are assessed on a variety of measures some of which are student-directed while others are teacher-directed.
  • States will streamline and coordinate standards/curricula/techniques to facilitate interdistrict collaboration among teachers and schools.
  • Teachers will have established/guaranteed time for self-directed collaboration (horizontally and vertically) within the school, district, and interdistrict.


We then crafted a survey to gather data and opinions about our proposed solutions. This survey was created as a component of an assignment that is part of our graduate programs in educational technology at Michigan State University. We also hope that the results will inform discussions and planning for technology integration in the work we do together and with students.

We would really appreciate your participation!  Your answers will be collected anonymously — please do not give your name or any other personally identifiable information.

We will analyze this data and submit them for evaluation to our professors at MSU. We will share our analyses with you once they are complete.

Again, we hope that you will decide to participate, as it will help us gather important data for our future work.

If you choose to participate, please complete this survey no later than Friday, June 23, 2017. Thank you very much for your time and insights!



Nelson, PJ. (2009, May 2). Problems [Man with sinking ice shack]. Retrieved June 16, 2017, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjnelson/3492701267/in/photolist-6jD1pn-9f2cAa-or2mP7-bptJY-aUZJT8-7zdBeB-6ooTwe-e667qi-oxGzLs-e5dhi6-dtiZwU-iewWj-RH7MJD-VE5cRr-nyA42b-7Hv2kh-5DZNMq-83xsd7-Myr8m3-bhFWvk-5Zy7nz-4XZHzT-bF5xMB-Tojn55-92UnNh-92Rfua-83um1P-83um7B-bnEDeD-cKfd1-Tx2m45-5Zy7nD-TojmPf-bWRpks-6eXn3Y-p1DKAL-q6hJUo-V8smrP-7ueuDu-gPNHdx-s7rLkE-3Ak69-X4iEn-ubpjw7-W4kvt-5vjdLj-SH5PE5-bSHvg-chXnx-AwVoKK


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