Highlights from The Innovator’s Mindset Introduction and Part 1 #IMMOOC

I am participating in the IMMOOC and enjoy being part of this group of learners. I thought I would share some of my highlights so those of you who have not read the book yet can get a sense of what you are missing.

From the Introduction . . .

  • We forget that our responsibility isn’t solely to teach memorization or the mechanics of a task but to spark curiosity that empowers students to learn on their own.
  • We need to change what school looks like for our students so that we can create new, relevant opportunities for them— for their future and for today.
  • We need to develop a shared vision, align expectations, and provide pathways to ensure that all teachers have the resources to learn, create, and innovate to meet the needs of today’s learners.
  • Schools, more than any other organization, need to embrace a commitment to continuous learning.

Part 1: What Innovation Is and Isn’t

Chapter 1

  • The word “innovation” must be more than a buzzword in education- we will have to know what it is, what defines it, and what it looks like in practice.
  • Innovation as a way of thinking that creates something new and better.
  • Innovation is less about tools like computers, tablets, social media, and the Internet, and more about how we use those things.
  • A teacher, as a designer and facilitator, should continually evolve with resources, experiences, and the support of a community.
  • Establishing an innovative culture doesn’t require transformation. However, it does require leaders who will develop and sustain systems that support “optimal learning experiences” and who value the process of creating and refining ideas.
  • “Innovative teaching is constant evolution to make things better for student learning.”
  • The question that must be asked every day is. “What is best for this learner?”
  • Starting with empathy for those we serve is where innovative teaching and learning begin
  • Questioning what we do and why we do it is essential for innovation.
  • When we think differently about the things that we are used to seeing daily, we can create innovative learning opportunities- for our teaches and students.
  • Designing solutions with both the Individuals’ Interests and the end goal in mind is crucial for any innovation to be successful.

Chapter 2

  • Innovator’s mindset can be defined as the belief that the abilities, intelligence, and talents are developed so that they lead to the creation of new and better ideas.
  • We must focus on creating something with the knowledge that’s been acquired.
  • The world only cares about- and pays off on- what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it).
  • The Innovator’s Mindset- Belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are developed so that they lead to the creation of new and better ideas.
  • Our challenge as leaders is to think of new ways to do things so we can more forward.
  • We need to look at the realities of our situations and create something new. And it’s crucial that educators see this “inside of the box of innovation” modeled by administrators.
  • Having the freedom to to fail is important to innovation. But even more important to the process are the traits of resiliency.
  • As leaders, we need to develop a culture that focuses on doing whatever it takes to ensure that we are successful in serving all of our students.
  • The innovator’s mindset exemplified: Try, fail, and try something else until  you find or create a solution that works.
  • Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?
  • Consider your student’s learning experience from their point of view.
  • Do your students have opportunities to learn in ways that connect to their lives and make an impact on how they engage with others?
  • What is best for this student?
  • What is this student’s passion?
  • As educators, we can create better experiences for our students by tapping into their passions. To do so, we need to be intentional about learning more about our students and what they love.
  • What are some ways we can create a true learning community?
  • The experiences we create often make students dependent upon the teacher for learning.
  • By embracing the idea that everyone in the classroom is a teacher and a learner, we can create a community that learns from and teachers one another.
  • Regular feedback helps us reflect on how we are serving our current students.
  • If we are going to help our students thrive, we have to move past “the way we have always done it,” and create better learning experiences for our students than we had ourselves.
  • “Is there a better way to teach this lesson to meet the needs of these learners?”

Chapter 3

  • Great educators can work within the constraints of the system and still create innovative learning opportunities for their students.
  • Effective leadership in education is not about moving everyone from one standardized point to the next but moving individuals from their point “A” to their point “B.”
  • Making connections between the powerful ideas and information that’s being freely shared online allows educators to expand learning opportunities for their students.
  • 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.
  • Imagine how much deeper learning could be if “creation” was a non-negotiable in the learning for both us and our students.
  • When thinking about moving forward, focusing on the question, “What is best for these learners?” helps ensure you’re making the right decisions.
  • Questioning our efforts, progress, and processes is crucial to innovation.
  • Innovation is not about changing everything, sometimes you only need to change one thing.
  • I will learn from others to create better learning opportunities for others and myself.