ISS CHALLENGES Winner Jess Davis: IGNITE Day, Virtually

“What new practices should schools keep or implement as a result of our experience with online learning?” We recently posed this question to educators around the world through our innovation platform ISS CHALLENGES. The response was tremendous, and we’re excited to share the winning ideas with you.

IGNITE Day began at Riffa Views International School as a unique learning initiative; Jess Davis describes the potential of carrying IGNITE Day forward virtually.

IGNITE day – Virtually


IGNITE Day at RVIS is a unique learning experience designed to change the way we approach learning to prepare students for the future. Focusing on personalization of academics, personal identity and community partnerships, students embody the RIVS Mission: Ignite Passions, Personalize the Journey, Impact through Action.

Upon moving to Virtual School, the RVIS team found that IGNITE day might take on a different form.

This was an opportunity to:

  • Provide time for students to learn something new or spend time doing something they love.
  • Give students, parents & teachers a break from the regular schedule and traditional subjects.
  • Encourage students to explore interests that can’t be pursued during a regular school day.
  • Reduce screen time.

Therefore every Tuesday was deemed Virtual Ignite Day, a time to explore and share passions. Even teachers were encouraged to break from the routine and share something new they have learned with their students.

As we move into future planning, we are considering how to deepen Virtual IGNITE day and perhaps be more creative with how to support learning. Can this be an opportunity for a modular schedule in the secondary? Could students begin teaching other students? Could the offerings expand beyond the RVIS community?

Staying true to our mission and goal to “Lead the Future of Learning” we are excited to explore the future possibilities of IGNITE Day in a virtual, blended or on campus setting.

Why is this idea important?

During Virtual School, it is important to give students the opportunity to explore their passions, share their learning and to value unstructured, creative learning time.

What key tasks would need to be completed to get a prototype up and running?

To implement on a schoolwide, online scale, we would need to think “out of the box” in how to creativity support and value this type of learning. When we begin to plan for our various September start models, we will think about how we can incorporate ignite day into our VS. Perhaps looking at modular units of study or giving the Ss the option to study at home even when campus opens.

How easy would it be to grow this idea across multiple schools or contexts?

It would be easy in the sense, that this is a portable idea, however it would work best in a school where the culture has already implemented personal/passion projects and a context where Ss are used to leading their own learning. This is then more transferable to a virtual environment.

What might be the tangible outcome/s of your idea?

Students leading their own learning, finding and sharing their passions and learning the value of non- siloed education. Students excited about learning and given the space to explore and share.

Thank you to Jess for sharing this idea! Keep an eye out for other ISS Challenges winner spotlights, plus continue to share your own school initiatives and inspiration with #ISSedu.

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