Transforming School Culture by Crowd-Sourcing Innovation with Eric Schneider, President and Co-Founder of InnovateK12
Play • 48 min

Innovation. One of the most important, yet overused buzzwords of the last decade. It might just hold the keys to school transformation and deeper student learning, but what do we really mean when we say the word? And how can schools build it into their culture in a way that's sustainable? In this episode I talk with Eric Schneider, President and Co-Founder of InnovateK12 about accessing the transformative power of innovation in districts, schools, and classrooms. Innovate K12 starts with the premise that the greatest sources of innovation are the stakeholders closest to students: teachers, administrative staff, custodians, bus drivers, principals - and students themselves. When these stakeholders are equally engaged through a crowd-sourcing process, you see the magic happen.

Connect with Eric and InnovateK12:


Twitter: @innovatek12 and @EricS_Innovates

Chapter Guide:
0.00 - Intro to the episode
1:54 - What is innovation and why should schools care?
6:25 - Eric's journey as a catalyst for innovation in districts
8:35 - The InnovateK12 toolkit: crowd-sourcing innovation, human-centered design, and lean startup methodology
14:15 - How students are transferring lean startup practice to the classroom
18:00 - How this innovative practice has led to school-wide mental health solutions
24:55 - The cultural impact: empowerment, problem-solving, and agility
28:33 - Leadership is the critical piece of the puzzle
36:38 - The role of external partners in school innovation
39:17 - How is innovation different from "shiny object syndrome"?
41:46 - The one thing schools and districts can do to get started
44:16 - Who are you giving an A to Eric?
45:46 - Get connected with Eric and Innovate K12

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Special thanks to Scott Holmes for our intro music. You can check out more from him at

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