Contact innovator

Darcy Bakkegard
We create tools to help educators turn their ideas to improve teaching and learning into ACTION.

The Educators' Lab

location_on Leesburg, United States
We believe the best way to solve challenges in education is to empower TEACHERS as changemakers, equip them with the tools necessary to innovate, and support them as they develop solutions. We created tools -like the Educator Canvas, the Startup Teacher Playbook, the TeacherHack- that help teachers utilize entrepreneurial thinking to IMPLEMENT their ideas to improve teaching and learning.
Mekca Wallace-Spurgin, Ed. D, Director of Technology, Centerville, IA
Like all teachers, I have problems to solve, but I struggle to come up with solutions. I am SO INSPIRED after working through the Educator Canvas! The canvas provided a guide to design an end product.

Mekca Wallace-Spurgin, Ed. D, Director of Technology, Centerville, IA


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
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Innovation Overview

Target Group
Updated on September 3rd, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Everyone is talking about the need to innovate in education but no one provides a HOW. Frustrated with training that inspired but didn't provide follow-through, we’ve taken methodologies from the social-startup space and adapted them for educators, so we can provide the HOW for teachers to make innovation happen.

How does your innovation work in practice?

We’ve created tools, workshops, and activities that take the best from design thinking and the lean methodology so we can help teachers quickly test possible solutions to problems, flesh out their ideas, and create a concrete plan of action to implement their ideas (all with keeping students at the center). For instance, our Educator Canvas provides a structured approach to problem-solving so teachers can use professional learning to:
-collaborate with colleagues to address challenges;
-find solutions to pain-points in the classroom;
-integrate technology to heighten student engagement.

After completing our workshops, teachers report feeling empowered, productive, and ready to face challenges, including teaching during a pandemic: "I'm glad I learned how to use the Educator Canvas and had time to "play" for training. Having a flexible mindset with the Canvas for support made the sudden transition to full-tilt online classes much smoother." -Steph Deitz,
6th Grade Teacher, Fargo, ND

How has it been spreading?

In the past two years, we worked with teachers and organizations (including PBS Education and Ashoka Youth Ventures) to workshop and improve our tools. Our initial TeacherHack evolved into the Educator Canvas and ultimately led to a publishing agreement to write The Startup Teacher Playbook.

Over the next two years, our goal is to empower teachers and work with organizations to inspire change in education. We will:
-Host an annual virtual Challenge to coach educators as they design solutions to practical problems;
-Facilitate Innovation/Changemaking workshops (in-person, in a train-the-trainer capacity, and via conferences);
-Collaborate with like-minded organizations to design better learning experiences for educators;
-Continue to provide FREE content to our Startup Teacher network.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Our free courses and tools are designed to support anyone anywhere. Visit to download the Educator Canvas and use our how-to video ( to get started. The Startup Teacher Playbook provides more tools, strategies, and support to personalize professional learning. For more information, contact or


Achievements & Awards

February 2021
Innovation page created on

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