I am doing my best to take part in #IMMOOC : a world-wide digital book study based on The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. It is week 2.
This image is a summary of the 8 characteristics of an innovator that George Couros shares in his book. This week the book study community was challenged to reflect on how we embody the characteristics of an Innovator’s Mindset. While I’d like to think that I have little snippet’s of all of those characteristics, the ones that jump out for me recently are “risk-taker” and “resilient”.
While I do not consider myself wildly innovative, I would say that I’ve become more of a risk-taker. And I think that in order to be a risk-taker, one must be resilient. In my experience, those risks, no matter how well-prepared you think you are, often lead to some degree of failure. If it wasn’t for the resilience, one would never rise again to take another risk!
I am most comfortable taking risks in the area of technology in the classroom. When I look back over my career and technology, the lure of the possibilities that a new technology could bring to student engagement or learning always seems to out-weigh the potential road-blocks or failures. So, again and again, I’ve gone ahead and tried something new, usually prefaced with :”Ok, we’re trying something new and different today. We’re being pioneers. Hopefully this works.”
Sometimes a new tool works even better than expected (like Goosechase or QuizletLive) and the kids say things like, “Why can’t we do this all the time? How about tomorrow?” Sometimes there are glitches and unanticipated stumbling blocks (like Spiral.ac), but the response from students still might be, “Why can’t we do this all the time? How about tomorrow?” Sometimes things go totally disastrous (like anything to do with Office 365) and students wait somewhat patiently while I trouble shoot, and the student response is, “Why don’t you just give up.” And I might say, “This isn’t working today. Here is Plan B for today, we’ll try this another day!”
Thus goes the risk-taking and resilience cycle.