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COVID-19 Reimagine Learning Challenge from Open IDEO

Craig Zelizer

May 18, 2020
In Partnership With

Crossposted from Open Ideo

Let’s find the possibilities within this moment, and reimagine the future of pre-K-12 learning in the post-pandemic world.

Collaborative ideas from those who are impacted most by school closures: parents/caregivers, students and educators. Help us imagine how we can reshape schools and learning post-COVID.


This Challenge offers an open and collaborative space to develop solutions, post inspiration, gather feedback, and find partners. 

The OpenIDEO team, which includes educators and students, will be in the Challenge to uncover opportunities to connect participants based upon their interests and needs. While the Challenge is currently a 3-week sprint, we believe this will be just the start.

After May 26, XQ high school students who have been adapting to school closures will be reviewing and selecting submissions, based on their alignment to the Principles of Impact and Scalability developed by HundrED. Three of the selected participants will be added to the Quality Education for all during COVID-19 Spotlight page.

In collaboration between IDEO and TED-Ed, we are also thrilled to offer a TED Masterclass trial to a select few participants.


Submit your ideas, big or small, detailed or half-baked! This 3-week sprint will be open until May 26, 2020.

We are working to build additional partnerships to support implementation. If you are interested in getting involved as a Challenge partner, please complete this form.

Join our webinar June 9 at 8am PDT.

Sign up to receive email updates about the Challenge.

Follow OpenIDEO on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and/or Facebook to receive weekly insights emerging from the Challenge.

For more info click here


The world is currently united in confronting the consequences of COVID-19. For 91% of students, parents, and educators around the world, a front-and-center challenge is how to adapt to learning from home.

Seemingly overnight students have had to adjust their definition of “classroom,” and parents have taken on a new responsibility in addition to finding or maintaining a job.

We feel this reality daily at IDEO. We’re trying, best we can, to share advice or offer support to suddenly stretched colleagues balancing business pressures with 1st graders seeking some post-lunch play time. Our Teachers Guild and Design For Learning studio are conversing daily with students and educators, revealing the need to both respond to the immediate concerns of educators and families, while also reimagining more equitable and resilient learning systems for the future.

All the ingenuity we see is inspiring. Communities are mobilizing to provide essential services in ways we might never have thought possible before this outbreak began. Educators and students, alike, are adapting on the fly to remote classrooms—sometimes upending decades-old models of learning over the course of a single video conference session.

The education system has long been ripe for this sort of radically imaginative thinking. And nobody knows this more than those who work within it. Many inequalities exposed by this crisis were already there when it started and are only deepening. Some of the biggest, most fundamental questions about how we teach and learn no longer have the luxury of being considered slowly. The urgency to evolve is suddenly here.

During this moment, we've been wondering...

What if technology brands provided connection services and equipment for schools in need? 
What if professional sports teams created and hosted virtual PE sessions for students, educators and families?
What if there was a nationally broadcast virtual Spelling Bee?
What if meal kit delivery services created special boxed meals for families in need?

In all of it, we see possibility. With deliberate action, many of the innovations we can imagine in this moment can lead us to a future that is more vibrant, equitable, and engaging for every student. One teacher’s experimental stopgap solution today might be the status quo of 2021. One school district’s hacked-together emergency plan could become common practice for entire nations.

That’s why we’re launching this challenge. We want to use IDEO’s power as a connector within the education system, and help great ideas reach the innovators and funders who can help them take hold. We want to spotlight the best examples of creativity and resourcefulness among educators and families, so every learning community has a chance to emerge from this better than it entered.

We’re inviting you to show us: What are you trying? What are your hopes for the future? And of course, what are you learning?

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