Richland School District Two

Columbia, South Carolina, 2013-2016

NoTosh Team

Ewan McIntosh, David Bill

Building and developing education through creative innovation

The Innovation Incubator

Richland School District Two was determined to create improved educational outcomes for their students. Instead of just buying in some ‘big business’ education technology, Richland’s tech team wanted to stimulate teacher-led innovation: great ideas by teachers, for their own communities. NoTosh designed the entire content and structure of a ground-breaking R2 Innovates programme and we supported its implementation throughout the district, involving some 40 educational sites and 27,000 students.

With an ultimate objective to build and develop education in the area, the ‘innovation incubator’ concept was conceived as a means of sharing challenges and finding solutions in a collective and equitable way, across the various different schools in the district. Over a two-day launch event, we introduced NoTosh Design Thinking to over 50 educators, splitting them into a number of teams to explore potential opportunities from ideation to feedback and assessment. As a result, 14 of those teams were given the opportunity to take their ideas forward.

The Spanish Family Outreach Programme, Si Se Puede, is a particularly successful idea. The team behind this initiative wanted to find ways to reach out to minority groups in the community and created a student interpreter facility to encourage Spanish pupils to attend schools more regularly and also to become fully qualified interpreters themselves, real-life skills that can be put to good use outside the classroom.

R2 Innovates continues to go from strength to strength. Only a few small changes have been made and fewer teams are now required to offer in-district mentoring as the programme becomes embedded in the curriculum. With NoTosh providing a helping hand when required, R2 Innovates is being rolled out in other school districts in Columbia and a permanent innovation hub has been established in the city, which everyone can access.

“The programme was a huge learning curve with the implementation of NoTosh Design Thinking making a big impact to the way we approach decision-making and student development in our education system.”

Donna Teuber, Director of Technology, Integration and Innovation, Richland School District Two
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