The Challenges of Scaling Up

Dynabook and SmartGraphs answer the questions: What are the major challenges in scaling up, and how do you plan to meet them?

Date/Time: 
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 1:45pm to 3:45pm
PI-organized Discussion

The goal of the session is to help attendees understand challenges of scaling up and to inform their design of scaling-up strategies for their own projects. The session has four parts: an introduction in which key challenges are identified, two parts in which Dynabook and SmartGraphs describe strategies for meeting challenges, and a part for audience to interactaction. To successfully scale up, organizations need to concisely identify the “value proposition” that appeals to users, which requires an understanding of need, approach, benefits, and competition. Discussions will focus on the value proposition, especially on user needs addressed by the project, benefits of the innovation compared with competing approaches, and compatibility with the environment in which it will be used. Other challenges include generating revenue (if a continuing revenue stream is needed), finding channels to promote the innovation, identifying partners with whom to work, and making sure the project fits comfortably in its own organization (including the bureaucracy).

Dynabook is an interactive Web-based tool for teaching mathematics content and pedagogy to middle school teachers. Dynabook’s value proposition for Special Education preservice and inservice providers is this: When utilized in a well-designed university classroom activity system, Dynabook advances content knowledge, technology integration, and creative ideas for pedagogy, and provides participants an opportunity to take part in a non-intimidating learning environment that encourages social and cognitive engagement in issues surrounding middle school mathematics instruction for diverse learners.

SmartGraphs (www.concord.org/smartgraphs) offers free Web-based software and activities for STEM classrooms. The SmartGraphs value proposition for teachers is, “Graphs are central to STEM learning in algebra, physical science, and other STEM courses yet many students have difficulty understanding graphs and the concepts they represent. Free SmartGraphs activities help teachers teach students to understand graphs better than other software. SmartGraphs works with standard curricula, in typical schools—and there’s nothing to install.”