The Innovator’s Mindset

The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity

innovatorsThe last conference I participated in this year was Miami Device in November where I heardGeorge Couros keynote. This wasn’t the first time I heard him, but the first time I heard him mention the book I wrote with my students and our school! It was a very touching moment for me George has the ability of making the audience laugh and cry and dance as describe by many others after the conference. Just look for the #miamidevice to read more about it! I wrote about it here.

Book review

I want to share my thoughts about his book here. I have recently read Yong Zhao,  Never send a human to do a machine’s job and Will Richardson From master teachers to master learner and I have written about both in previous posts. My school of the future would have elements from all three books. If I could wish for something it would be that all school leaders, policy makers read these books. After reading and reflecting they should introduce this to their staff and members of their leader groups. I really believe that most of the conversations we have in Norway about school and change really are tiny steps that will not get us anywhere. We seem to be moving in circles. We need a bolder approach to change! Let’s start the revolution in 2016!

When reading books on my iPad, I can underline and later read my  “Shared Notes & Highlights” online at Amazon. (and those of others reading the same book.) I can see that @FelixJacomino who organized the great conference in Miami is doing the same. That way we can compare notes and learn from each other. Here are my quotes from the book!

Change is an opportunity to do something amazing. #InnovatorsMindset

Screen shot from conference in Miami
Screen shot from conference in Miami

If students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them. New Opportunities Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.—William Pollard. When forward-thinking schools encourage today’s learners to become creators and leaders, I believe they, in turn, will create a better world. We need to move beyond the idea that an education is something that is provided for us and toward the idea that an education is something that we create for ourselves.—Stephen Downes (2010). When I first started teaching, I remember thinking that students should learn the way I taught; they should adjust to me. I could not have been more wrong. A great teacher adjusts to the learner, not the other way around. Because each individual learns differently, it’s important to ask, “How does this student learn best?” and “What are some ways students can demonstrate their knowledge?”

Currently, the world’s educational systems are crazy about problem-based learning, but they’re obsessed with the wrong bit of it. While everyone looks at how we could help young people become better problem-solvers, we’re not thinking how we could create a generation of problem finders. My dream is that, by creating a culture of innovation in education and sharing our ideas with the world, organizations will look to schools for ideas to become innovative, not the other way around. Learning is creation, not consumption. Knowledge is not something a learner absorbs, but something a learner creates. Learning happens when a learner integrates new knowledge and skill into his or her existing structure of self. Learning is literally a matter of creating new meanings, new neural networks, and new patterns of electro/ chemical interactions within one’s total brain/body system. Aside from concerns expressed by colleagues, you may face pushback on new ideas from your students. As stated earlier, many students are so accustomed to school that projects that veer outside the traditional lines of education terrify them. School can  easily become a checklist for our students (complete homework, tests, rubrics, graduation requirements, etc.). The characteristics we look for in our teachers and our students—empathizing, problem finding and solving, risk-taking, networking, observing, creating, bouncing back, and reflecting—should be embodied in our work as well.

I share because the learning I create and the experiences I have help others. I share to push my own thinking and to make an impact on learners, both young and old, all over the world. I listen and learn from different perspectives because I know we are much better together than we could ever be alone. I can learn from anyone and any situation. I actively reflect on my learning because I know looking back is crucial to moving forward. Sometimes, empowering just one person is all it takes to push an entire group. one that realizes our students’ ability to connect with people, anytime and anywhere, creates many new opportunities for learning.

More to come!……




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