Economics, yes, though I know this bothers people. But what I love is that the things I want for our students anyway, creativity and innovative problem solving, are what the economy wants too– what a win-win combination. Dan Pink’s book Whole New Mind first revealed this to me, and I am forever in his debt.But not just for economics.
Hate the phrase? Many do, I am not sure if I do. But hate the phrase or not, Obama and Friedman are right– We are in a battle (we always have been, and probably always will be), a battle fierce challenges to making the world a better place– and the only way we can possibly win this battle, and win a more positive future, is by identifying better ways of doing things– by innovation.
We know from Chick sent me hi that flow is the greatest source of happiness and fulfillment, and we know from him too that creativity and innovation is a terrific source of happiness.
But independent schools are often not innovativeJust show the quote
It was my own experience, visiting 21 schools in the fall of 2008, that the independent schools were far less innovative.
We can daunt ourselves if we think it only something that happens in the most expensive R&D labs–
It lies instead in the “adjacent possible.” SJ
What is exciting is how many great and accessible thinkers there are right now to inspire and inform us: including Dan Pink, the Heath brothers, Carol Dweck, and for me especially Steven Johnson and Chris Anderson of TED. However, we can’t teach it. We can only create cultures which make it more possible.
Some disagree. This essay in the American Scholar last year received a lot of attention, and has been much cited. Read the quote. I think he is so wrong– not to say that solitude is a bad thing, but to say that the answers can only be found within– I can’t begin to accept.
The sharing of ideas in general is often best done through direct speech—we’ve evolved over eons to subconsciously grasp the subtleties of a face-to-face conversation. In all these cases, for remote audiences video is the killer app. Don’t write me. Tell me. Show me.
I want to share with you 7 “existing parts” we have available to us in our schools by which we can better build good ideas. These 8 are not at all limiting; there are certainly many others. I should warn you that only a few are specifically technology related, but that is OK, because I think technologydirectors are, more than anyone else in our schools, our innovation directors generally, even if they lack that name. I am only going to offer a few specific suggestions, but I am going to ask you to consider for yourself applications, and then on my blog I am posting a set of slides of the implications.
We’ve made it a priority for our school in the way we think about and talk about ourselves, and I myself as Head of School make it job one.
Also a major theme of Christensen’s– to be more innovative we must plug into networks, help our teachers and students plug into networksSuzie Boss also writes about Looking for the crossroads and standing on shoulders
How many people have done the marshmallow challenge? It so fascinating.
On an ending note, I want to share a short video from a new course we are offering at St. Gregory, Design Build Te ch Innovation.
"Please stopwaiting for a map.We reward thosewho draw maps,not those whofollow them.“Seth Godin,Poke the Box Innovative Schools, Innovative Students Jonathan E. Martin Head of School, St. Gregory College Preparatory School (AZ) www.21k12blog.net
1.Associating2.Questioning3.Observing4.Experimenting5.NetworkingInnovation muststart at thetop, and must bea core value ofthe organization
Innovation is everyone’sjob. “the ThinkDifferent campaign atApple targeted Apple’semployees as much as itscustomers.” Steve Jobs explained:“The whole purpose ofthe Think Differentcampaign was that peoplehad forgotten what Applestood for, including itsemployees.”
Essential Ed. Elements 1.Hands on projects solving real problems 2.Collaboration: Working in Teams 3.Creating 4.Multi-disciplinary learning 5.Design Thinking 6.Trial and ErrorPlay Passion Purpose
Seven Strategies for Innovation1. Be opportunistic2.Take Time to Mess Around3.Learn to Fail4.Think in Metaphors5.Go to Extremes6.Look for Crossroads7.Stand on Other’s Shoulders*8.Provide the Time & Space9.Employ Design Thinking *TEDx
“Good Ideas are not conjured out of thin air–they are built of a collection of existing parts.” (SBJ)
Suggestions for Innovative Schools & Students 1. Highlight, Spotlight, Model, & EmbedLEAD 2. Provide the Time & Space 3. Network 4. CollaborateCONNECT 5. Inter and Multi Disciplinary LearningDESIGN 6. Mess about and Play 7. Fail, Prototype, and IterateDO 8. Learn by Doing: Project-Based Learning 9. Use Tech, especially Web 2.0 & Digital VideoMEASURE 10. Use Assessments Which Measure Innovation& REPORT 11. Post, Publish, Share
The Innovation DiplomaDeclare your intent, take a core course, accumulate credits, and complete a major project. Submit a Declaration of Intent freshman or sophomore year. Complete a core L/I course freshman or sophomore year. Leadership, Design/Build, or other courses to be named later. Meet quarterly with Program Director. Update on requirements, check progress. Brainstorm opportunities, give feedback. Earn 5 leadership credits between 9th and 12th grades. Serve in a leadership role in a school extracurricular and reflect on accomplishments. (Required for one unit). Use things you’d be already doing anyway, but choose to set goals and reflect upon them. Use Academic Experiences for Credit: Write a research paper on a L/I topic; pursue an extra-credit laboratory project on L/I; etc. (Maximum 2 units) Complete a “capstone project” junior or senior year. Complete a 20 hour project (can count toward Comm/Serve or be part of another involvement, such as student council) and write a 400 word reflection. This can be, but doesn’t have to be, done as part of the peer leadership program in 12th grade.
No medium in history has ever offeredsuch unlikely trails of connection in suchan accessible form… An onlinenewspaper, [compared to a dead-treepaper], is ten times more serendipitous.(SJB)
“Environmentsthat block orlimit newcombinations–by punishingexperimentationor by obscuringcertain branchesofpossibility, will, onaverage, generate and circulatefewerinnovations thanenvironmentsthat encourageexploration.”SJB
I use twitter to mine forteachablemoments, interestingactivities, and ways tobroaden my thinking aboutteaching and learning.If I have questions...there arepeople in my PLN who canhelp me. It has been a funand interesting experimentfor me.
“Decades of educational research havedemonstrated that unstructured groupdiscussion has the potential to teach studentsthe sort of group creativity that the neweconomy demands.” Keith Sawyer, quoted inJerald, Defining a 21st century education