Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fanning the Flames of Innovation #IMMOOC

About 4 years ago, I started following George Couros on Twitter because his Tweets and blog posts resonated with me.  I was inspired by his thoughts, so I attended George Couros’s sessions at a few conferences and read his book The Innovator’s Mindset as soon as it was released.  I encouraged others to read the book which lead to book studies with #gfedchat over the summer and district administrators in May and again this fall.  In hopes to have more inspired by The Innovator’s Mindset, it was decided to bring George Couros to our district for 2 professional learning days on September 29th and 30th.  The inspiration George provided and learning that occurred on those two days just 2 weeks ago had a positive impact. Here are a few tweets from the day:
Based on the positivity from the day and feedback, I considered the professional learning day as either a spark or fuel for the flames for most educators.  But I wondered, how do we fan the flames of innovation as a collective group?  Or, the question George Couros poses: “How do we move from pockets of innovation to a culture of innovation?”  I have asked those questions of educators over the past two weeks.  While a definitive answer is elusive, I know there is enough momentum and interest to keep the conversation going.

So far, the conversation has continued via #gfedchat on Monday, October 3rd as we reflected on our learning, but looking ahead was the primary focus.  In fact, the number of #gfedchat participants has now risen to 138.  This is an excellent forum to keep the flames of innovation going. Many more teachers have opened a professional and/or classroom Twitter account and have started blogging.  The conversation also continued this past week with a discussion at the principals meetings and The Innovator’s Mindset book study will continue at future administrative meetings.  Additionally, plans are taking shape to offer professional learning opportunities from “Innovations in Learning” sessions and some variations to #gfedchat with a focus on “Innovations in Learning.”  Hopefully, more opportunities will materialize.

This past week, George Couros shared an infographic that was shared with him and fit in perfectly with my thoughts on fanning the flames and stoking the fire of innovation. “Lighting someone else’s candle won’t make yours any less bright.”  
This quote underscores the point; we all have a role in potentially being someone else’s spark and fanning the flames of innovation.  How are you stoking the fire of innovation in yourself and others?  Go ahead, throw another log on the fire of innovation.  Better yet, throw several logs on the fire and keep the fire stoked.  Our students will be the beneficiaries of the energy and warmth that is created.