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 thosewhodraw maps, notthose who followthem.“Seth Godin,Poke the Box Innovative Schools, Innovative Students Jonathan E. Martin Head of School, St. Gregory College Preparatory School (AZ) www.21k12blog.net
“Think about the path of evolution as thecontinual exploration of the adjacent possible.”(Where Good Ideas Come From, SBJ)
1. Leverage the Adjacent Possible2. Exploit Liquid Networks3. Cultivate Slow Hunches4. Seek Serendipity5. Embrace Error6. Employ Exaptation7. Play on Platforms
the answers to our dilemmas are not to be found on Twitter. They Solitude can only be found William within—without & DeresiewiczLeadership distractions, in solitude.
Twitter is a “coral reef”for nurturing creativity.Steven Johnson only_point_five
Video is the Killer App.Don’t write me. Tell me.Show me.Chris Anderson: Crowd Accelerated Innovation Ted Talk, 9:16-11:23
“You can track innovationonline by looking at themoment a community wasfirst able to share its talentsdigitally.”Chris Anderson, CrowdAccelerated Innovation.
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 solve a real problem 2.Collaboration: Working in Teams 3.Creating 4.Multi-disciplinary learning 5.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
“Good Ideas are not conjured out of thin air–they are built of a collection of existing parts.” (SBJ)
Suggestions for Innovative Schools and Innovative Students 1. Highlight, Spotlight, Model, & EmbedLEAD 2. Provide the Time & Space 3. Collect & Use the Data Which Matter 4. NetworkCONNECT 5. Collaborate 6. Inter and Multi Disciplinary Learning 7. Mess about and Play 8. Fail, Prototype, and IterateDO 9. Learn by Doing: Project-Based Learning 10. Use Tech, especially Web 2.0 & Digital Video
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.
I have opportunities to be creative in the classroom Percentage Strongly Agreeing 90 86 75STG 2009 STG 2010 All Schools (Averaged) Collect the right data
New Creativity Assessments Coming SoonGrant Wiggins: Educators sometimes saythat they shy from assessing creativethought for fear of inhibiting students, butthis is a grave error in my view
We regularly discuss questions with no clear answers 92 82 72 All Schools St. Gregory 09 St. Gregory 10
What Excites & Engages Me?All HSSSE students 65 60 55 28 Lecture Discussion and Group Projects Projects Involving Debate Technology
Authentically Measuring CriticalThinking & Effective Problem Solving CWRA/CLA median percentile, College Freshman Normed 97 67 50 All College Freshmen St. Gregory Freshmen St. Gregory Seniors
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