Tools for Change

Use these resources to lead your team through a design journey that surfaces solutions for students furthest from opportunity in your school community. Work through each phase in order or choose a specific phase that best fits your team's needs.
To download the full toolkit, please visit the Appendix.
Phase 4

Start hacking

Small wins are integral to big change. Encourage your team to take action by utilizing “hacks” - small, scrappy experiments that move you closer to achieving your Equity Aspiration. Embracing a hack mindset allows you to take a bias to action and iterate your way forward.

Before you begin this phase, you should:

  • Align on a team Equity Aspiration
  • Capture key insights from shadowing students
It's easy to just move through day-by-day in survival mode. This process has helped me understand that school improvement can come from small hacks and have a big impact.
Josie Herrera
Principal in Shawnee, KS

Getting started

Start Hacking

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

Developing a hack mindset

An Introduction to the Hack Process

Get familiar with the hack process by designing solutions for everyday situations.

Hack Refresh

Practice team hacking with Mockups, a game that requires creative design solutions for fun, silly challenges.

Equitable Learning Practices

A collection of 19 research-based practices, supported by case studies from innovative schools.

Designing hacks for your context

Design Levers

A list of nine resources you can leverage to progress toward your Equity Aspiration.

Brainstorming Hacks

Generate a long list of hacks that are aligned to your Equity Aspiration.

Selecting an Equitable Learning Practice

School teams will decide on an Equitable Learning Practice to explore and hack towards.


Your team will have brainstormed and selected several hacks to put into action immediately. Each member of the design team will implement a hack they believe has the potential to help their Equity Aspiration become a reality.

At the end of this phase, you will have:

  • Hacks ready to implement

Join the conversation

Have a question or suggestion about this phase? Share it with the Facebook Group.

Share Your Thoughts

Help other educators learn from your team. Share your work on the Community Wall.

View The Wall

Next, understand the impact of your hacks

In the next phase, you will implement a hack, gather feedback, and observe its impact on students.