Showing posts with label Innovator's Mindset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Innovator's Mindset. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018

Forging a Learning Environment in the Classroom

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see a presentation on the innovative workspace and culture of a company with a location in Des Moines. Pillar Technology utilizes a model that emphasizes collaboration and constant learning in an open work environment where employees are accountable to each other for their tasks. The Forge philosophy seems to create a productive work environment where employees feel valued and, as a result, perform very well in their jobs.

Beam Telepresence
Robot
Greg Orton, a Software Craftsman for Pillar Technology, led a presentation discussing the culture and work environment at The Forge. Greg emphasized the use of pair programming where employees collaborate on projects rather than working in isolation. This practice helps reduce mistakes, allows several voices to discuss solutions, and creates opportunities to learn from each other. After showing us pictures of their workspace and discussing some of the practices that contribute to the work environment, Greg utilized a Beam telepresence robot to give us a virtual tour of The Forge. It was amazing to see not only the workspace itself, but also the possibilities of a telepresence robot.

The video below includes a discussion of the philosophy behind The Forge and the work culture it creates, not just in Des Moines, but in all of Pillar Technology's locations. See OfficeLovin's "A Tour of The Forge by Pillar Technology in Des Moines" to see images of the innovative workspace in Des Moines.

The purpose of Greg's presentation was for educators to see a new type of workspace that our students may spend their careers in and for us to consider how we can apply some of these same ideas to our schools today. This session left me with many ideas and led me to think about how we can integrate some of these same concepts into our schools.

I have toured schools such as Iowa BIG and Waukee APEX that utilize some of the same ideas as Pillar Technology and I've read about High Tech High's innovative educational practices, but hearing about The Forge got me thinking about how these practices could be applied to existing schools and classrooms.

A lot has been made in recent years of classroom design and how teachers or schools can use new types of furniture to create a more flexible learning environment. I think many of these products could be valuable in classrooms and I would like to see some of these furnishings in schools, but the reality is that most schools and teachers are not going to rush out and buy new furniture for classrooms, nor do I think this is necessary. After listening to Greg's presentation and talking to other educators after the session, I began thinking about how The Forge is really more about culture than workspace. Workspace definitely contributes to the culture, but as we seek to establish this culture in our classrooms, mindset is just as important as the physical space.

There are many examples of educators and schools that have established great learning environments without expensive remodels or furnishings. I think one of the biggest things educators can do to establish this type of culture is emphasize the 4 C's in their lesson design. By focusing on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity we can create a classroom culture that places importance on learning and makes students feel like a valued part of the educational process. This environment emphasizes the importance of continual learning, allows students to explore topics that interest them (within the curriculum), promotes collaboration, and allows for creative expression of learning.

"4Cs 21st Century Skill" by rujroad kaewurai Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC-BY2.0). Accessed 16 February 2018. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rujroadk/24741951640

There are many small steps every teacher can take to begin establishing this type of culture in their classroom. Something as simple as getting desks out of straight rows and into groupings can help promote increased collaboration. As a culture of collaboration develops, students will feel accountability to their classmates and their learning rather than simply compliance (or in some cases, a lack of compliance) to the teacher. The trust that develops will help students feel empowered to share their own ideas and creative expressions. Students will feel like they have more control over their learning and, as a result, will begin to seek out additional learning both within and outside the required curriculum.

Many of the thoughts I expressed above naturally integrate with the inquiry arc. By creating an environment of inquiry, we allow students to experience deeper learning. Inquiry-based learning emphasizes facts in context and as evidence rather than what students often perceive as a list of disjointed things to memorize with no larger purpose or application. When students have the opportunity to discover content rather than a teacher providing them with essential concepts, they feel empowered and place greater value on learning.

Paska, L. (2016, November). SBS in Social Studies. Presented at Teaching the Social and Behavioral Sciences:
Past Present and Future. Available http://nas.edu/SBS-in-K-12-Education-Seminar.

As good as all of this sounds, it can be difficult to implement. Many of us have an established paradigm that school is led by teachers who impart their students with knowledge. It is important to recognize that inquiry-based learning does not devalue the knowledge and experience of teachers, but it does require a different mindset. The gradual release of responsibility model is a useful strategy as teachers work to instill the skills needed for lifelong learning. Teachers will spend less time on whole-class instruction and lectures that give students information. Instead, educators need to spend time working with small groups and individual students to help them discover content and apply the skills necessary for learning. Educators now become a guide who coaches students through the learning process.

Gradual Release of Responsibility (Pearson and Gallagher, 1993)

I believe the culture of a classroom has a bigger impact on student learning than any other variable. I think by creating a culture where students value learning, work collaboratively, and are allowed to express their own ideas, we can not only better achieve our curricular learning goals, but also prepare students for an unknown future.

What steps have you taken to promote a classroom culture where students feel valued, accountable, and emphasize learning?



Friday, December 9, 2016

#IMMOOC 4: Open Up and Say . . . Culture!

I’ve fallen way behind in #IMMOOC, but I still intend to finish. Although this MOOC ended over a month ago, I plan to finish the last two parts of it and to share my reflections as I conclude this wonderful learning experience.

As I read Part III of The Innovator’s Mindset, I was once again struck by how many things resonated with me. I feel like every time I read a new portion of this book I’m flooded with thoughts about the possibilities of school and ideas for how we can improve the learning experiences of children and adults. Many of these ideas are not new, yet hearing them in this context, paired with new thoughts, creates an inspiring action plan for innovating our learning experiences. Part III of The Innovator’s Mindset focuses on leading in a way that unleashes people’s talents. As leaders we need to recognize the strengths of those we serve and determine how we can create experiences that allow people to utilize their talents. By doing so we can lay a foundation for innovation that will permeate the culture of a building and have lasting effects on the lives of all involved. I like that, although written primarily for those leading adults in an educational setting, these ideas could also be applied to our work with students. Many of these same thoughts can help us establish an innovator’s mindset in the children we work with in schools and can help shape the culture of our classrooms.

Lay the Foundation for Innovation Sketchnote
Duckworth, Sylvia. 5 Ways to Lay the Foundation for Innovation. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

The sketchnote above by Sylvia Duckworth introduces the themes covered in Part III of The Innovator’s Mindset. Each of these topics left me with many aha’s of agreement and helped me see new ways of unleashing talent to promote innovation within our educational systems. Every chapter spoke to me in its own way, but I was especially struck by the possibilities of embracing an open culture. Much has been said about the isolating nature of teaching. We spend the majority of our time in a room with few, if any, other adults. This can feel very isolating, but, as George says in The Innovator’s Mindset, isolation is now a choice. In the past we could try to interact with the teacher next door or someone down the hall and occasionally we might even interact with a like-minded colleague in another building or meet someone at a conference that shared our views on educating children. Today we all have the capability (and even the responsibility) of connecting with other educators.

This is something I was not always good at when I was in the classroom (after 15 years as a high school history teacher, I left the classroom a little over two years ago to become an Instructional Technology Consultant). I initially resisted joining Twitter because I viewed it as one more thing I would have to check and I didn’t think I had time for that. I was also hesitant to blog or share things I was doing in my classroom because I didn’t feel my work was worthy of being compared to all the “experts” posting great ideas online. I often searched websites and blogs for lesson ideas, resources, and technology tips, but I was not actively connected.

In January of 2012 I joined Twitter to see what it was all about. I looked around for a while, but I did not tweet anything or follow anyone. After this brief flirtation, I abandoned Twitter for the next year and a half. Then in January 2013, I took what I perceived as a big leap, I began blogging (my first post was To Blog or Not to Blog . . .). I was not always the most comfortable sharing, but I decided it was important that I share some of the things I was doing in my classroom. I don’t know that many people ever saw anything I was writing, but I began to realize that writing about things I was doing in my classroom helped me to reflect and refine my practices. Then in August of 2013 I took one of the bigger steps I have taken to improve myself as an educator, I came back to Twitter and this time I stuck with it. I realized it was very inspiring to see things other teachers were doing in their classrooms and to interact with like-minded educators. I still did not always share a lot, but I certainly gained a lot. Over time I have increased what I share and I have become more connected.

Twitter has been one of the best sources of professional development I have encountered. In the beginning I did a lot of lurking before slowly interacting more with my growing PLN. Throughout my time on Twitter I have been very happy to find many like-minded educators who share my views on educating children. This has inspired me to become better at my job and encouraged me to take risks and try new things. I think this is one way we can nudge other educators to take risks, try new things, and become more innovative. The open culture established by Twitter and other social media tools allows us access to people and ideas from around the world. We have a responsibility to demonstrate to students how we can use these connections for the advantage of everyone involved. Our students live in a world with ever increasing online interactions and we must teach and model how to use this for the advantage of all.

Sharing GIF
Dee, Linda. Here Floof, Sharing Is Caring! Digital image. Imgur. N.p., 7 June 2016. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

I love the idea of school hashtags and teachers sharing one thing to this hashtag every day. This encourages sharing and competitive collaboration that will benefit everyone. It also provides an opening for more educators to become active on Twitter and to expand their PLNs while creating meaningful learning experiences for themselves and their students. The community created through this type of collaboration establishes a culture of learning that will reduce teachers' perceived vulnerability in sharing the great things happening in their classrooms.

As George Couros states in The Innovator’s Mindset, we must disrupt our routines and think differently to be innovative. Twitter and sharing through an open culture are a great step toward new, ever-changing routines that help us innovate in a way that pushes our learning toward the ultimate goal of better meeting the educational needs of our students. I took the leap toward sharing through a blog and connecting with educators on Twitter and I am definitely better for it. I strongly feel that being connected can help educators improve their craft more than almost any other thing they can do.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vision, Culture, & Conversations - #IMMOOC Week 3

I’ve had an amazing few weeks of learning that caused me to put a lot of thought into what school can be. In addition to reading Part II of The Innovator’s Mindset and viewing Episode 3 of the #IMMOOC YouTube Live Sessions, I also attended the Iowa Technology and Education Connection (ITEC) Conference last week. I always enjoy the opportunity to learn from presenters and participants at conferences. I found this year’s conference very inspiring as I attended many different sessions that made me think about how we can innovate to better meet the needs of our students. Presenters like George Couros (@gcouros), Pernille Ripp (@pernilleripp), Chad Kafka (@chadkafka), Robert Dillon (@ideaguy42), and more pushed my thinking and helped me dream about the possibilities of education. I was impressed as I learned more about Iowa BIG, a project-based high school built around the ideas of student passion, authentic projects, and connections to the community.
George Couros signed my copy of The Innovator's Mindset at ITEC
Throughout all of these learning opportunities, I kept coming back to the themes of vision and culture. I truly believe that vision and culture go hand in hand. A staff that has a shared vision in which they truly believe, will establish a culture of learning (for educators and students). This reinforces the importance of involving all stakeholders in establishing a vision. Everyone affected by the vision needs to have a say in its creation and should be able to explain how it translates into the classroom and learning.

This simple step of allowing voice (whether in creating a school-wide vision or one for your own classroom) can have a profound effect on the buy-in of all stakeholders. This can be one of the first steps in establishing a collaborative culture of learning. Inclusion of all stakeholders in this process helps to build trust and is the first step toward empowerment of learners. This allows for the development of a culture where learners (whether teachers or students) feel supported in taking risks and feel that their voice matters. Leaders must then continue to develop relationships and allow learners to meet their own needs through the procedures that are in place.

This week's #IMMOOC challenge was to make a meme related to this week's learning
As I read The Innovator’s Mindset, I was struck by the power of conversations. This theme was also prevalent in my sessions at ITEC and as I listened to Kaleb Rashad on the YouTube Live session.  I realize this may seem like common sense, but I kept coming back to the importance of meaningful conversations that involve teachers, students, parents, and community members about what all of us see as the purpose of school. George’s comparison of school vs. learning got me thinking that few people would disagree with his assessment of learning and that many would also not argue about the realities of  school. However, I think many people have not put a lot of thought into the disparity between the characteristics of school and those of learning. This leaves us to discuss how we can narrow the gap between the two. Educational leaders must promote these meaningful discussions that can be impactful for the educational process. Resources such as the characteristics of school vs. learning, the “what if” questions from chapter 7 of The Innovator's Mindset, and documentaries such as Most Likely to Succeed can provide excellent conversation starters to help us push the envelope of innovative educational practices.

Duckworth, Sylvia. "School vs Learning" 10 March 2015. Online Image. Flickr. 18 January 2015. <https://flic.kr/p/qRgiYR>
Beginning these conversations promotes a move toward a more unified vision of action that goes beyond a written vision statement. As more voices feel empowered to contribute to this discussion, culture will begin to shift and the focus will truly become about what is best for learners.  I certainly do not believe that discussions alone will create idyllic learning environments, however, I feel that a process that involves everyone in a discussion about schools will help establish a culture that puts learners first. This is essential for innovation in education, as I believe culture is the biggest determinant of success in schools.



Friday, October 7, 2016

Inspired to Innovate - #IMMOOC Week 2

Week two of the Innovator’s Mindset MOOC (#IMMOOC) involves a study of Part I of The Innovator’s Mindset and a YouTube Live session featuring Shawn Clark and Brady Venables from Saluda County Schools in South Carolina (check out their blog, Classroom Confessional). As I read Part I and watched the YouTube Live session featuring Brady, Shawn, George, and Katie, I began dreaming about what school could look like.

I started thinking about how we can create a school system that gets kids excited about learning rather than dreading each day of school. I excitedly considered ways we can change the structure of learning to better meet the needs of our 21st century learners and prepare them for the world they will face, rather than the world our grandparents faced. I began thinking of examples like High Tech High, Iowa BIG, and ideas such as those from the documentary Most Likely to Succeed. Thinking like this gets me excited about the possibilities of education, but the excitement then fades as I consider the realities of our educational system and its place within our larger society.

The pragmatist in me recognizes the realities of our data-driven system that emphasizes test scores in measuring the successfulness of schools and teachers. As George Couros states in The Innovator’s Mindset, “we have taken the most human profession, teaching, and have reduced it to simply letters and numbers.” I see teachers that are struggling to keep up in the current system and thus unlikely to try new ideas. I see administrators pressured by outside voices that want schools to do more and more for students while maintaining our 19th century paradigm of how school should look. I see parents and community members who want what’s best for their kids, but are stuck viewing education through their own experiences and thus view more school (more and longer days) and more homework as more rigorous. Too many people in our society are stuck in the factory model of education that no longer applies to our students. There is no need in today’s world to drill students on facts. I agree that a certain level of factual knowledge is important to be culturally literate and creates a base upon which further learning can build, but the days of school being about learning facts are gone. Our students have a machine in their pocket that can produce more facts, faster than we could’ve conceived during our days in school.

As I dream about the possibilities of education and then crash back to reality, I finally settle somewhere in between. This week’s activities helped me to more fully develop some of the thoughts that have kept me involved with education despite my rollercoaster of emotions. I enjoyed the emphasis on innovating within the box. As I read about this concept, I realized this is something I have done throughout my time in education. I have never been involved in a school that truly went outside the box, yet innovation can take many forms and doesn’t have to involve blowing up the existing structure (even if we would like to do this at times). As we work within the tightly constructed box that is our educational system, we must continually ask the why. I agree with this week’s reading that the why of education is to develop learners and leaders that will create a better present and future. As long as we keep our focus on this goal, we can innovate within the bounds that exist in our educational realities. This means we all need to focus on the creation of a new and better way of reaching the students we serve. We must improve upon existing practices to allow us to meet the needs of our students. Working toward this end will allow us to grow in our profession, our methods, and our own personal learning, while adapting our practices to better meet the needs of those we serve.

Pezibear. "Untitled." 14 December 2014. Online Image. Pixabay. 7 October 2016. <https://pixabay.com/photo-746931/>
Katie Martin reinforced this idea by stating, “It is becoming increasingly clear that we don’t necessarily need to transform the role of teachers, rather create a culture that inspires and empowers teachers to innovate in the pursuit of providing optimal learning experiences for their students.” George uses this quote in The Innovator’s Mindset to reinforce the point that innovation does not require transformation. We must simply change the way we look at things. Innovation can come from invention (creating something new) or iteration (changing something that already exists), but it requires us to open our thinking to new possibilities.

The biggest change that needs to happen is putting students, rather than teachers, at the center of the classroom. For too long we have existed in a teacher-centered model of education, but we want students to do the learning. This brings me to another theme that continually popped up throughout Part I of The Innovator’s Mindset and in this week’s YouTube Live session; empathy. Educators must put themselves in the shoes of their students. Consider what it is like to be a student in your school or your classroom. How would the methods, routine, and culture of the school feel to a student? And, more importantly, how can you improve this?

To create a learner-centered classroom and to promote empathy in our views of school, The Innovator’s Mindset suggests the following critical questions to help us create new and better learning opportunities for our students:
  1. Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom? 
  2. What is best for this student? 
  3. What is this student's passion? 
  4. What are some ways we can create a true learning community? 
  5. How did this work for our students? 
As illustrated above, innovation does not have to involve expensive technology, we don’t have to scrap our existing system and start from scratch, it does not have to be something no one has ever done, we simply need to look at things from a new perspective and apply it to the needs of our students. This is what the innovator’s mindset is all about, a mindset that allows us to look for new ways of working toward our why - developing learners and leaders that will create a better present and future. As long as we are always asking ourselves, what’s best for students, and working to achieve this end (even within limitations that are outside of our control), then we are being innovative.

This seems like a simple proposition, but it will not always be easy. People do not like change, even when they know deep down that it is for the best. Others will question our adaptations of the existing system. Students may even want to go back to the old methods. We have trained students to be “academically compliant.” They often enjoy the simplicity of not having to think too deeply and of there always being a correct answer that can be found from a textbook or a lecture. However, is this what is best for them? If we truly think we are right, then we must stick to our philosophy and not allow a few naysayers to derail our efforts to improve the educational experiences of our students.

Those who promote change and embody the ideas of the innovator’s mindset exhibit the following characteristics as illustrated by Sylvia Duckworth.


Duckworth, Sylvia. "8 Characteristics of the Innovator's Mindset." 10 March 2015. Online Image. Flickr. 5 October 2016. <https://flic.kr/p/rh9vco>
As George states, “When forward-thinking schools encourage today’s learners to become creators and leaders, I believe they, in turn, will create a better world.” So ask yourself every day, how can I improve the learning experience for my students in order to develop learners and leaders that will create a better present and future. By following through with this thinking, you are innovating and making a difference in the lives of our young people.

I want to thank Brady, Sean, Katie, and George for helping to push my thinking while at the same time keeping me grounded. I love the opportunity to dream while recognizing how to adjust these dreams to the current realities of our educational system.



Monday, October 3, 2016

#IMMOOC: Introduction: Moving Minds to the Opportunity Of Change

After a few hectic weeks of work, life with kids, and a move to a new house, I’m finally getting started with The Innovator’s Mindset MOOC (#IMMOOC). As I blogged about last week, I’ve followed George Couros for a while now and I’ve had his book (The Innovator’s Mindset) on my list of books to read, so I was excited to hear that he and Katie Martin are facilitating a MOOC based on The Innovator’s Mindset.

Teach Like a Pirate - Dave Burgess Speaking. Digital image. 
Teach Like a Pirate: Dave Burgess. Dave Burgess, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.
Each week #IMMOOC will feature a YouTube Live Hangout with a special guest speaker followed by conversation and questions with George and Katie. As I play catch up with #IMMOOC, I watched the recording of the first week’s YouTube Live session featuring Dave Burgess (@burgessdave). I first learned of Dave Burgess in 2009 when I attended a session he facilitated at the NCSS Conference. “Outrageous Teaching: U.S. History Edition” was unlike any conference session I had ever attended. Dave entered the room dressed in pirate regalia and proceeded to teach/entertain the audience with magic, props (including a woman’s bra - #tlap fans will recognize this as the taboo or mystery bag hook), and audience involvement. Dave’s energy and passion were infectious and very inspiring. I left this session feeling like I had to find a way to increase the engagement of my students. I became even more intrigued a few years later when I learned that Dave was publishing a book, Teach Like a Pirate, and he was developing his own consulting and publishing company. Dave’s company has gone on to publish excellent educational books, such as The Innovator’s Mindset.

Dave’s portion of this week’s YouTube Live Hangout focused on doing whatever it takes to engage and teach kids. As educators we need to embrace our purpose as life changers who raise human potential. To achieve this end, we must be willing to think outside the box to engage students and create buzz for learning (and perhaps be innovative, hmm . . . does this relate to The Innovator’s Mindset??). Listening to Dave is inspiring and his energy is infectious, but as strange as it sounds, messages like Dave’s and George’s can be disheartening. We, as educators, listen to and read these amazing messages, then go back to our schools and see change perceived as an obstacle rather than an opportunity. Dave addressed this reality and offered reassurances that change does not happen all at once and cannot be a top-down directive, but rather must be a grass-roots initiative that starts with a few committed individuals. I loved Dave’s analogy that effective change is like a snowball, you must start small and as momentum gains, it will grow. This is a great message; we need to focus on those who want change and ignore the negativity from others. This builds a base of support for trying new things and as others see the effectiveness of these ideas, momentum will grow and the push for change will gain energy. Dave closed his portion of the Hangout by encouraging educators to share their journey. He stated that we have a moral imperative to let others know how we are engaging in innovative practices. This helps the snowball gain momentum and can help educators all around the world.

George and Katie followed Dave with a fast-paced discussion of topics related to the Introduction of The Innovator’s Mindset. Much of the conversation focused on adjusting our educational practices to the current realities of the “real world” that schools so often use to try and justify outdated methods. The “real world” involves skills and achievement over aptitude and includes learning environments that are comfortable and collaborative (picture Starbucks), rather than a factory model of teacher-centered learning. We need to teach students to value learning rather than jumping through hoops to achieve a grade. This also means that we need to not only acknowledge, but incorporate “real world” tools such as Google, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

As I watched this Hangout and read the Introduction to The Innovator’s Mindset, I was continually struck with some of the same ideas. Change can open up a whole new world for us and our students, but change is difficult. Many of my thoughts on this topic can be illustrated by the “Be More Dog” video from O2 that was referenced in the Introduction of The Innovator’s Mindset. Sometimes we fall into the trap of teaching like teachers have always taught, but by making the decision to try something different we can open up a new world of possibilities. Although this sounds good, it is not such an easy proposition. This involves changing our paradigm of school and maybe even of what we consider innovative.


If we continue to view the purpose of school as the acquisition of knowledge, then change will not occur. We must ask ourselves what do we care about in schools? This question determines the course we take as educators. I loved the phrase in The Innovator’s Mindset that we need to inspire students to be better people because of their experiences in school. This is what I see as the purpose of education! This can take many different forms, but it ultimately comes back to always doing what is best for kids, even if it does not look like our experiences in school (which it shouldn’t, the world has changed, so should school). In order to make education relevant to our students we must embrace change and the opportunities that are available in today’s connected world. Find a way to inspire your students and to spark their curiosity for learning, wondering, exploring, and becoming leaders. As George states, “If students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.”

Hogan, Aaron (@aaron_hogan). "'If students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.' #InnovatorsMindset via @gcouros." 12 January 2016. Tweet.

We must also consider that innovation is incremental. We do not have to scrap everything and start anew. Most educators are innovating on a daily basis, they just don’t view it that way. Every time you try something new to reach a student, you are innovating. Every time you try to connect students to a new resource, you are innovating. Now we all need to build on our existing innovations and keep pushing ourselves one step further and move from your point A to your point B. Start small by taking one or two measured risks in your classroom and build from there.

With this thought, I want to encourage teachers everywhere to be more dog. Don’t act the way teachers always have, do what you think is best, be adventurous, embrace change, and open up a new world for yourself and your students. As you seek the bone to motivate your students, connect with other dogs and spread your ideas, not just for adjacent possible, but for adjacent powerful! Start the snowball rolling!



Monday, September 26, 2016

I’m a MOOCing with #IMMOOC

Campbell, Heather (seriousgiggles). "Have you read The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros? . . . " Instagram, 4 June 2016, https://www.instagram.com/p/BGQlqhqsTO5/.

“Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.” This simple sentence can have profound effects if taken to heart. Humans often fear change. We like the comfortable and the predictable, but if we are willing to embrace change and view it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, then we can promote positive change that will benefit ourselves, our students, our schools, and our entire society.

As our world continues to change and evolve, we as educators must adapt. Our students are raised in a connected world with access to previously inconceivable amounts of information. In this reality, the acquisition of knowledge is no longer as important as the ability to process this information, to apply it to new and different situations, and to discern not only what is reliable, but also what is applicable. For many educators this requires a paradigm shift. Many of us attended schools where increasing factual knowledge was one of the primary goals. However, if we approach our students’ education with this goal, we have failed them.

 The Innovator's Mindset Book Cover. Digital image. The Principal of Change
George Couros, 25 Oct. 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. 
This is one of the tenants of George Couros’ recent book The Innovator’s Mindset. I have followed George on Twitter (@gcouros) for a while now, which was one reason I wanted to hear him speak at ISTE in the summer of 2015 (my reflection of this conference includes many references to George). I agree with many things George says and The Innovator’s Mindset has been on my list of books to read for a while now. For all of these reasons, I was excited when I recently learned that George and Katie Martin (@KatieMTLC) are facilitating a MOOC based around The Innovator’s Mindset. I recently took part in my first MOOC and I’m excited to be a part of The Innovator’s Mindset MOOC (#IMMOOC) to learn from George, Katie, and all of the other participants.

I’ve been in the process of moving recently, so I’m a little late getting started with #IMMOOC, but I’m excited to get started and to learn about promoting a mindset that not only allows for, but embraces change.