Teacher: Know Thyself – School Culture Shift is about the people

“Courage is contagious.

When a brave man takes a stand,

the spines of others are often stiffened.”

– Billy Graham

Think: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Star Wars, every good quest-adventure story has a team of contributors, each with a special skill set that contributes to the team’s successes. They fumble about lampooning the human experience on their way to epic saga-like success. We are often engaged by both their plight and how we can relate to them. A key character in these stories is the hero, or champion.

 

If you are reading this blog post it is likely that you are the champion, my friend, and that you will keep on fighting until the end, since there’s no time for losers, cause you are the champion of the world…. but I digress.

 

Champions

Many champions feel more like an imposter than an expert or leader. Perhaps it is this feeling that drives champions to keep learning and growing toward mastery. The mastery for the future is not in a tool or workflow solution, it is found in innovativeness, in the champion’s ability to change.

A champion is someone that is instrumental in successfully guiding projects through the approval hurdles: displaying persistence, expressing strong conviction in the innovation, and involving key individuals.1 In our quest for innovativeness we can embrace this role for ourselves and/or find allies within these ranks. The adoption of an innovation by an organization is more likely if key individuals (champions) are willing to support the innovation.2

 

This willingness is extremely important. We can very easily take the role of bystander in our school community. The bystander effect3 is a scary aspect of the human experience that we must all work against. It explains to us that we may look at a problem as “not ours” or that “someone else will take care of it.” This is a paralyzing condition that actively works against positive change in our schools. Champions are just the people who believe in positive change.

Champions are the organizational mavericks, they exist within a system but are given autonomy to explore alternative, creative solutions. They can be transformational leaders, who harnesses support from other members of the organization.2 The impact of a champion on both the adoption and sustainability of an innovation is undeniable. Selecting individuals who display these particular champion behaviors can increase the probability that adoption of innovation occurs.1 A champion in the organizational adoption process is someone who possess the certain attributes and skills. Champions are credible experts and planners that can network well with colleagues since they are perceived as sensitive to colleagues needs by demonstrating an objective approach to finding meaningful solutions. An innovation champion must be tenacious, assertive, decisive and should instill passion and positive thinking in the innovation process.4

 

Adopters

You can take a personality test, a learning style inventory, or even a which-character-are-you quiz, but I would argue the power of meaningful self-perception. Perhaps a better title for this chapter would be “Who do you think you are?” It is extremely important that we recognize our strengths and weaknesses in our professional practice, such recognition can lead to real, positive growth. While you may take up the role of champion as a general way of perceiving your fit within your school system, we may find ourselves identifying with one adopter category or another when discussing emergent technology. We call these categories: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards.5 Adopter categories can be illustrated on a bell curve on the basis of innovativeness.

adopters.png

Read through the descriptions below with one type of emergent technology and see how you fit. For example if the topic was gaming in the classroom: who do you think you are?

 

Innovators: “Lets do this!”

video-game-controller.pngInnovators are interested in new ideas from outside of established local social system. Able to understand and apply complex technical knowledge. Innovators must be able to cope with a high degree of uncertainty about an innovation at the time of adoption. Innovators are risk takers, they learn from failure like a gamer.

 

Early Adopters: “Describe the value in it and how to do it and I am all in!”

Early adopterEarly Adopters are invested and respected in the local school community. They are cautious and want their efforts informed by research if not best practices. Early Adopters are not known for risk taking, but have a reputation for well-thought out execution of emergent technology. Change agents seek this group out a local voice missionary for speeding the adoption of innovation.

 

Early Majority: “Show me my colleagues using it and I will try it too.”

Early majorityThe Early Majority adopt just before the average person making them an important link in seeing the adoption process successfully take off. The Early Majority wants to employ best practices based on the experiences of Innovators and Early Adopters. They will make the necessary changes but do not want to go first.

 

Late Majority: “I am a team player, I will support this but I probably will not be the best at it.”

Late majorityThe Late Majority adopts just after the Early Majority. They adopt sometimes due to economic pressure, peer pressure, or both. The Late Majority must see the innovation as already being successful before they adopt. You might call the Late Majority our “team players” since they are willing to join the other adopters once they realize it is for the greater good. The Late Majority may not be super excited about technology of any particular kind but they make the change for the benefit of their school community.

 

Laggards: “I am not convinced this will benefit my classroom. I have done fine without it.”

LaggardturtleLaggards are near isolates in the school community. Their point of reference is past practice and past perceived successes. Laggards must be positively certain that a new idea will not fail before they can adopt. They are concerned about being blamed if the innovation fails to yield expected results.

 

A review of these adoption categories is relevant for several reasons, it will help us predict how our colleagues may feel about adopting emergent technology, and this review will help us understand how to find Early Adopters who often have respected Champions in their ranks. Further, these adoption categories help us to better understand the sphere of influence each adopter has. For example, an Innovator can inspire Early Adopters and potentially some Early Majority, but would be hard pressed to motivate a Laggard. Why? Innovators can be seen as people doing some pretty far out there stuff, beyond the skill set of later adopters. Innovators, by definition are risk takers, they accept failure in a ways that make some people uncomfortable. This is why Early Adopters often serve as more effective Champions, they make up a larger percentage of people and have a reputation for a more measured approach to adoption.

 

Derek Siver’s Ted Talk “The First Follower: Leadership Lessons from a Dancing Guy”6 illustrates the importance of Early Adopters in the Adoption process (If you have not seen this three-minute video, please check it out). Siver’s explains that a Leader (Innovator) has the guts to stand out and be ridiculed, but that does not start a movement. The First Follower (Early Adopter) who joins the Leader validates the movement (Adoption) and makes it appear less risky for others to follow. These Late Adopters model their behaviors of after the First Follower, not the Leader. The movement gains momentum and then we see a real shift in cultural adoption. In this account, we must understand that the Leader treats the First Follower as an equal, as a co-leader.

 

Additional key roles include opinion leaders who have informal influence and change agents who positively influence innovation decisions. Change agents work to develop a need for change on the part of the client, establish an information-exchange relationship, diagnose the client problem, develop an action plan, implement, and shift the client from reliance on the change agent to self-reliance.5,7

 

Decision Making

If you are a decision maker for a school or organization there are multiple types you might consider which affect the adoption of innovation process. These types might even be considered steps toward adopting innovation: (1) Optional innovation-decisions, (2) Collective innovation-decisions, and (3) Authority innovation-decisions.

Optional innovation-decisions: The choice to adopt or reject an innovation is made by an individual independent of the decisions by other members of a system. The individual’s decision can be influenced by the norms of the system and by communication through interpersonal networks.5 An example of this may be a teacher from a school choosing to go paperless at their school while their colleagues continue to teach with paper.

Collective innovation-decisions: The choice to adopt or reject an innovation is made by consensus among the members of a system.5 An example of this may be like the above-mentioned person, except at a department level choosing to go paperless.

 

Authority innovation-decision: The choices to adopt or reject an innovation is made by a relatively few individuals in a system who possess power, high social status, or technical expertise.5 An example of this may be where upper-level leadership has decided their school community will go paperless so they will no longer purchase printers, ink or service photocopiers.

 

As a leader, if you were to allow your Innovators and Early Adopter, the flexibility to make optional innovation-decisions. Their successes may naturally lead the Early and Late Majority joining them in a collective innovation-decision. Finally, it may take the authoritative approach to move the Laggards forward in the desired adoption.

 

If perhaps you were to approach this same list of categories with topics like Virtual and Augmented Reality, the Maker Movement, Coding, and/or Robotics… you may find yourself in a different adopter category. The Maker Movement’s Innovator may also be the Robotic’s Laggard, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all learn and grow at different speeds and in different ways. Identifying the value of emergent technology within the context of our classroom needs and content is the first step toward becoming a change-agent in our professional communities. The level of perceived relevance in our classroom will likely inform our adoption category and approach with any innovation. Once a specific innovation becomes a seamless part of our classroom we have reached the pinnacle of innovative adoption.

 

Image Credit: Chris Stein, a superstar Teacher, and illustrator Extraordinaire!

Source Notes

  1. Howell, J., Shea, C., & Higgins, C. (2005). Champions of product innovations: Defining, developing, and validating a measure of champion behavior. Journal of Business Venturing, 20(5), 641-661. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com.libezproxy2.syr.edu/science/article/pii/S088390260400075 8#
  2. Greenhalgh, T., Robert, G., Macfarlane, F., Bate, P., & Kyriakidou, O. (2004). Diffusion Of Innovations In Service Organizations: Systematic Review And Recommendations. The Milbank Quarterly, 82(4), 581-629. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0887-378X.2004.00325.x/full
  3. Darley, J. M. & Latané, B. (1968). “Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 8: 377–383. doi:10.1037/h0025589. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9c2f/63826605843d83fd08f56fbf75790cf74614.pdf. Accessed 17 Apr. 2018.
  4. Daily, Alisia (2014). “Social Innovation and Innovation Champions: An Analysis of Public and Private Processes.” Diss. Virginia Commonwealth U, 2014. Abstract. VCU Scholars Compass, n.d. Web. <https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=4460&context=etd>.
  5. Rogers, E.M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.
  6. Sivers, D.  “Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy | Derek Sivers.” https://sivers.org/dancingguy. Accessed 17 Apr. 2018.
  7. Clarke, R. (1999, Sept). Roger Clarke’s innovation diffusion theory. Retrieved from http://www.rogerclarke.com/SOS/InnDiff.html

 

WanderlustEDU – The Journey to Transform School Culture Starts with Teachers

“It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top.”

― Robert M. Pirsig

 

As teachers we exist in a constant state of change… I call this state innovativeness. Like a hero in an epic tale trying to maintain our innovativeness, we must first learn to frame our efforts as that of a journey with ups and down, trial and error, reward and disappointment. Wanderlust is described as a strong longing, or desire, to travel. It is this desire I hope to relate to you as necessary to have a fulfilling career.  A musician once said “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” I would argue that destinations in the form of goals are relevant and important as they provide us with compass-like guidance. Senseless, meaningless, directionless wandering is not what we will explore. We must focus on the waypoints in life, not just the endpoints… the process over the product.

 

In our professional (and personal) lives, we can frame our thinking around four attributes, that if identified and fostered, will lead to a successful journey: Knowledge, Skills, Environment, and Motivation.1 Knowledge is what we know through training and experience. Skills are gained along the way through a state of constant change, packing and repacking, like gear in a backpack, updated to suite our needs. Environment describes conditions in which we exist and embark. Motivation is both our waypoints and endpoints (destination) and what drives us to continue. If we do not take care to nurture a successful journey by addressing these attributes, we will have an experience rife with anxiety, frustration, a feeling of being trapped, and/or apathy. Here we will explore the the journey of the educator and learner as a journey that each of us take and that each of us must learn to embrace in order to be truly successful.

MESK success

Knowledge: “Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar

 

As educators we develop our knowledge is several ways. We study our content areas with the intent of being the sage-on-the-stage, that is, the one who knows the answers. We are trained in educational pedagogy which is gleaned from psychology meant to understand the mind of our student and how to best meet their needs as a guide-on-the-side.
Sage vs guide

Yet, perhaps the most powerful form of knowledge is that which we gain through experience, this knowledge can, at times, appear to contradict our training. Tpack2circlesExperience-based knowledge teaches us to be both sage-on-the-stage and guide-on-the-side at various times, all while keeping our finger on the pulse of the classroom to inform our next move. Teacher Experience (TX) can be found at the intersection of our Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Content Knowledge (CK).2

In this intersection TX becomes relatively stable with some shifting due to adjusting of content standards and the implementation of new pedagogy-based strategies. TX is part of our knowledge growth as teachers.

 

Knowledge is naturally experiential and with that understanding I would ask that you consider the gamers mentality. We may not all be gamers or enjoy video games, but we all can learn so much from going and doing, from failing, and from success. And at each failure we should change our method, doing the same thing over and over again, even if well intentioned, is just plain insanity. The difference between a master and beginner is that the master has failed more times than a beginner has even tried.

 

Skills: If I got an F the first time I tried to ride a bike, I wonder if I’d try again.

 

Like a quest game, skills are gained along our journey. Skill acquisition is an iterative process, like knowledge, experiential application of skills will lead to mastery, here our mantra must me: out with the old, in with the new. Skills are directly related to emergent technology in our classrooms. Think about the most advanced piece of technology you use each day is the lowest piece of technology our students will use! Technology causes a real disruption in our TX, it forces us to exist in a state of constant change, a state of innovativeness.

Adopting Technological Knowledge (TK) causes a great disruption in our relatively stable TX.3 Technology is the great disrupter. Keeping a balanced TX with a rapidly shifting TK is the very nature of Innovativeness. In the midst of Tpack3circlesthis, it can be intimidating to try to apply every new skill we learn. I think of the earliest explorers of the earth, that were told the earth was round. Scientist and cartographers explained that the earth was round and demonstrated it with stunning visual aids. These great thinkers gave direction and contributed to the planning of brave explorers, but not many of them went along to test their theory, to prove their point. So is the educator’s journey, we are told new innovations or best practices will work, but it’s up to us to bravely go forth and apply what we learn.

 

Gaming provides us with an excellent example of gaining and applying new skills. This form of growth is highly disruptive to our modus operandi, we must stretch our comfort zone to increase our skills.

 

Games (and simulations) are an important way to create meaningful, experiential knowledge for students. Games allow us to fail, the allow us to see the beoregon-trail.pngnefit in learning new skills through experience. A fail-forward mentality is a skill set necessary for our students. For our learners to master grit, a sense of stick-to-itiveness in adversity, they should must observe it modeled by adults who attempt new things with a certain degree of risk (in failure… not safety).

 

Games can capture the attention of our students, are relevant to their world, appeal as an appropriate challenge that students feel confident they can approach and offer frequent feedback leading to student satisfaction. When employing gaming in the classroom, it is the job of the educator to relate and connect the activities to the required content. Admittedly, there have been times in my own classroom where I got caught up in the student excitement over gameplay and let the content-learning take care of itself… which is seldom does. We must regularly accept that failure in implementing these types of activities is a very real possibility… so Why do I bother? The positive student reaction to gaming experiences in the classroom is both powerful and transformative. If you are thinking of taking on a little more advanced gameplay like the example discussed here, I highly suggest user testing. Start a club or find some kids in a study hall and have them work out the kinks for you, they will love it, and you will have meaningful data to inform a full class rollout.

Remember Oregon Trail? dysentery, cholera, broken wagon tongue… good times right? Even the 1980s Oregon Trail (OT) Game excites students. If you are not familiar with Oregon Trail: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

Oregon Trail

In my classroom, I use OT v5 (2001), but clearly of my own experience as a student with OT (I loved hunting on the MECC (1985) version and was not concerned with all that extra stuff: history facts), I redesigned this single-user experience into a multi-user experience, so that we are all focused on one adventure and we all can talk about the common shared experience. The teachable moments are numerous! Collaboration, Interdependence, Consequences, Critical Thinking…. monumental attributes for Social Studies Class can be gleaned from thoughtful gaming adoption and shared failure!

 

It’s so important for educators to embrace the gamer mentality and that we must innovate to support our student. But to innovate means to accept the possibility of failure, believe it or not, it is a good thing for students to see adults fail and to problem solve. Telling students to be resilient, to persevere, to struggle through difficulties is good, demonstrating it is better.

 

Environment: “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. – Albert Einstein

 

Environment are the conditions in which we exist and embark. The impact the environment has on an epic adventure is undeniable. In our classrooms, is that impact positive? Does your environment inspire? Have you ever sat in the back of your classroom and thought of yourself as a learner in that space? Think of your classroom from the standpoint of your students, what is their user experience (UX)? I have found that much of my classroom setup was designed for me (sage-on-the-stage) not for my students. My classroom UX was not working.

 

Maybe you just need some gamer cheat codes for your learning space, so you can #hackyourclassroom.

 

Setting out to prepare an environment conducive to learning is a daunting. We have limitations in space and money, but we can creatively look for solutions within our environments. This takes time and like building a road for our journey, it is a continual process of growth.

 

Many teachers can relate to a special class activity where we rearranged our seats to best facilitate a special lesson. I once changed the layout of my traditional seventh-grade social studies classroom to mimic a courtroom. We were learning about the Puritans in New England and I wanted to simulate the Puritan court. I was struck by how engaged the students were by simply entering the room and seeing a different setup. The thought that students could enter the room in be excited simply by seeing a different atmosphere was something I didn’t really think was going to happen. For the remainder of class, students were given jobs such as witnesses, defendants, magistrates, and bailiff. Student-centered tasks included writing the court notes on the board, standing and giving testimonies, and three magistrates passed verdicts (all guilty) complete with “appropriate” punishments. Each class a student was banished to the hallway for heresy. I loved the look on their faces as they were sent to the hall all in fun. This was a purposefully designed UX, but what about everyday class? Sometimes UX solutions are simple, accidental even.

 

Most classroom chairs and desks are not nailed to the floor. I highly suggest moving them around to try find a match for you and your students in a given lesson, there is no ideal classroom layout for all instructional activities.4, 5
Seating layout

The concept of hacking your classroom or developing inspiring spaces is something that teachers have been doing for many years. We find ourselves with a limited space: four walls usually one with windows and 25 to 30 desks. And we ask ourselves what am I supposed to do with this? Yet with a little ingenuity, sometimes with student input, we can create a space that inspires students instantly and we can leverage their excitement for the remainder of the class. When we first went 1:1 with Chromebooks in my school. I reorganized my classroom in the shape of a box, with desks facing out, so that I could stand in the middle and see/manage all the screens in the room.

U shape scene

I changed my room simply for classroom management sake. What I found was I had uncovered a huge projection screen… the floor.

 

ClassroomsceneThis accidental discovery led to the mounting of a short-throw projector to an old computer cart so that I could project onto the floor. My new 7’x12’ “screen” allows for gaming and lectures in a new, engaging way, all born out of trying something different in my environment.

 

Motivation: The Reciprocal Nature of Inspiration, Inspiring Other Will Inspire You

 

Have you ever attended a conference that excited you? Have you ever had a speaker move you? Have you ever had fun playing with a new “toy”?

 

Motivation can be categorized two ways: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of each of us and includes: salary, tenure, retirement, and healthcare. Intrinsic motivation comes from inside of us, this is the stuff that keeps us, that drives us to accel for extended period of time. One or both can define our destination, but I would argue that the intrinsic motivation is the one that matters, the one that gives us a rich life experience.

 

It may seem a bit reckless to abandon our extrinsic focus, but maybe a little reckless abandon is just what we need to refocus our journey. What motivates you intrinsically? When you think to yourself: Why am I doing this? What is the image that pops into your brain? Think about that, tweet out your motivation, let’s backchannel with #wanderlustEDU and #whyiteach.

Backchannel.png

Backchannel –  the practice of using devices to maintain an online conversation alongside the primary group activity or live spoken remarks.

 

We all started out our careers with a plan or focus to make a real difference in our various learning contexts. But as many of us learned, things do not quite work out as planned.

Yourplan

I had always viewed my tenure in public education as temporary believing that I would end up being a teacher leader at the small private school I attended as a child. After a decade of preparing and planning I was offered the position I had dreamed of, yet two weeks later it was taken away and given to another… a true heartbreak. I believe heartbreak is part of the human condition, if you have not experienced it, don’t worry, you will, and the rest of us are rooting for you.

 

So what did I learn in this part of my journey? Quit, give up on teaching? No and I don’t think you would either. I knew that I had literally, approached every school opening as potentially my last and every school year closing as my last. This was a real gift. I had nothing to lose each year, I devoted my energies and time into my students then and there, in that moment, with no concern about the next year, or about maintaining a long career by making people happy. I had no plans for a pension-retirement and I had not planned to rely on a stable teacher salary. I did not realize at the time what a liberating experience this had been. I have come to refer to this teaching approach as teaching with Reckless Abandon. I know, I know, it sounds like some crazy unrealistic approach to teaching, but let me define it for you with the tenants I have come to understand as teaching with Reckless Abandon:

  1. Teach each day like it is your last (Embrace the Here and Now)
  2. Seek forgiveness, not permission (Whose rules are these anyway?)

This is a re-framing of our destination to 365 waypoints a year rather than one big retirement. Be your best today, teach for now!

 

If you are alone on your quest for innovativeness, you are doing it wrong. You need to find your tribe, grow your world-wide Professional Learning Network (PLN), and communicate with your local Professional Learning Community (PLC).

 

 

Image Credit: Chris Stein, a superstar Teacher, and illustrator Extraordinaire!

Source Notes

  1. Harless, J.H. (1973). An analysis of front-end analysis. Improving Human Performance: A Research Quarterly, 4, 229-244.
  2. Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1–22.
  3. Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108, 1017–1054.
  4.  “Classroom layout – what does the research say … – Teacher magazine.” 16 Mar. 2017, https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/classroom-layout-what-does-the-research-say. Accessed 7 Jun. 2018.
  5. “What does your classroom layout say… – TES Teach with … – Facebook.” 15 Aug. 2016, https://www.facebook.com/TESTeachBlendspace/videos/857262131070472/. Accessed 7 Jun. 2018.

Innovativeness is the Pedagogy for the Future #edtech #wanderlustEDU

The journey of the educator is much like a quest. We strive to successfully gather the necessary skills and knowledge loading our brains and backpacks (teacher toolkit) with what we think will best benefit our students. But like any journey our supplies and frame of thinking need to be constantly refreshed, a state of constant change (innovativeness). Our supplies might be a new instructional strategy or program, but often the newest thing is perceived as a form of technology.

What is it about technology that compels us to believe it is a necessary component for a well-rounded education? We inventory how much of it we have, how many times it is used, and ask ourselves if we need more of it? Maybe we should stop and ask ourselves exactly what is it that we are talking about.

Perhaps you are feeling a little overwhelmed about trying to keep up with the latest technology and the newest thing for your classroom or school? Did you know that the pencil, the original 1:1 device, took nearly 100 years to be widely adopted in education?
Pencil
It seemed that with each new decade, the 20th century brought some new thing for the classroom.

History of Educational Technology Tools

But the critical eye would notice that much of these tools would remain, overlapped in purpose, for a long time. Much of our instructional practices today have been informed by these tools, rather than good pedagogy informing how to use these tools. We must allow technology to amplify good instructional practice, rather than tell us what good practice is. Overtime cost of new technology have been reduced leading to an increase in accessibility, but accessibility does not equate to need.

To accept that incorporating emergent technology into our students’ educational experience is indeed a major step for successfully preparing for our future. But beyond that, the struggle comes between deployment and employment of new technology. To deploy is to distribute, but to employ infers activity in which one engages.

We use the word technology in the most simple sense to mean a tool used by mankind to achieve certain goals. Yet, the modern dictionary focuses on a different aspect of the word, pointing out that technology transcends a physical object and infers application, capability, and methods of accomplishing a task, in short, new technology might be thought of as a better workflow.

Educational institutions at every level struggle with the effective and efficient uses of new devices, new strategies, new workflows. Schools easily assess the quantity of instructional hardware but often express concern that the devices are just not being used. We must move past the 20th-century bravado which pointed to the quantity of computers we possessed and grow to foster learning communities where technology is simply the workflow we use to produce powerful learning experiences and the platform we employ to provide our learners with voice. Yes, we still boast about quantity, we have just changed our language and now say “we are a 1:1 school.”

Our concerns about how, when, and why instructional technologies are being used are merely symptoms of a greater problem, we need to foster a culture that embraces innovativeness. The word innovation refers to something new or to aRotary to Smartphone change made to an existing invention (product, idea, or field), like the invention of the telephone led to the innovation of the smartphone. Can we begin to think about schools as inventions in need of innovation? We must frame our thinking around our school culture, as a collective understanding about where we are and where we need to be.

A school culture that embraces innovativeness is a group of people who chose to frame their thinking around change. Recognizing the need to dynamically approach innovation, in the form of tools and interventions, and realizing they will never arrive at a place where they can rest on the laurels of past successes. The idea of innovativeness is both exciting and scary: cutting-edge applications of emergent technology, embracing failure as a necessary component of the learning process, trying new things and falling in love with the process… but this mindset becomes an expectation, the way we now operate is, no cruise control, no this-is-the-way-we-have-always-done-it, we now are always changing.

So why choose this path? Why choose a state of constant change… the way of innovativeness? The path has been chosen for us. In the case of emergent technology, we cannot assume a static approach to teaching and learning is productive, we must consider technology to be dynamically changing, and thus triggers consequent changes in how we function. It is difficult to confront, but we know that our high-tech smartphones and tablets are the lowest form of technology our students will ever know. Simply integrating new technology will not change our practice, adopting a positive approach to innovation will lead to a paradigm shift. Innovativeness is the pedagogy for the future.

 

Image Credit: Chris Stein, a superstar Teacher, and illustrator Extraordinaire!

Using 360º videos on Youtube? Check out Youtube’s Heatmap Analytics! #VR

I have uploaded a few VR videos on my Youtube channel… pretty modest stuff really, but I wonder where people are looking when they engage in my VR content. Youtube’s Heatmap Analytics show me exactly where people are looking as they engage in my VR videos.

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This can be used to inform how I shoot video and orient the final product for my viewers.

For more on this check out: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/7407544?hl=en