Start Up

So are you innovating?

That’s the question we seem to be getting a lot.  It’s all in good fun right now as everyone who stops by to visit us while we are working are just curious about what this “pilot project” is.  From the outside looking in, it probably looks like we aren’t doing much right now.  Innovation is hard.  On demand innovation is even harder!

We started last week with a very nebulous end goal; build a culture of sharing within the board while making it easier for teachers to connect with each other and generate conversations about innovative pedagogy.  Sounds easy, right?

We’ve spent our first week in conversation about how we might accomplish our goal, given our time constraints.  We had lots of great ideas, but lacked direction.  We obviously needed a clearer framework for this project.  

Thankfully, we were able to spend some time with Superintendent Newton, and two Instructional Program Leaders, Cindy Cosentino and Phil Davison.  Our meeting with Cindy and Phil was instrumental in hammering out the direction for this project.  We think that we can maintain a project that blogs about our thinking, conversations and observations.  At the same time, we hope to create videos that will engage those working in education to think deeper about what they do daily.  Finally, we’d like to start recording the conversations we have about pedagogy to eventually turn into a podcast.  Right now, we are planning for our first video, titled simply “The Case for Innovation” to be filmed, edited and produced soon.

Innovation is the central theme of what we are investigating this semester, so this seems like an obvious starting point for us.  We want to know what it means to be innovative in classrooms and schools.  What does it look like for teachers and students?  More importantly, WHY does it look like that?

The pieces are slowly coming together.  At the end of our meeting with Superintendent Newton, she asked “What do you need to make this thing work?”  She meant equipment.  She meant, ask for anything.

So we are learning about the tech needed to produce decent video and audio.  We’ve been testing microphones and different recording set ups.  We’ve discovered the Lightboard and are making plans to build one for ourselves.  The hardest thing so far has been the writing process.  A good video or podcast needs a good script.  We’ve been preparing to interview, formally, Cindy Cosentino.  She’s done some valuable work with Ministry of Education around Innovation for Education.  We hope she can help us better understand how we can drive the case for innovation in our schools, all with the hopes of SHIFTing practices in that direction.

Stay tuned, we are just getting started.