Posts tagged Podcasts
What Does Success Look Like?
Matt and I are fast approaching our one year anniversary in this role.  When we started, last February, with the roughest of plans.  We were going to demonstrate how the Halton District School Board is building a shared culture of Innovation.  How we did that was left, for the most part, up to us.  No pressure.

We both really wanted to create our own Podcast, but some advice from Phil Davison and Cindy Cosentino led us to believe that it might be better to start with a Blog first.  So we dove in, blogging and then eventually launching our “Case For Innovation…” video series, followed by a few Calls to Action.  We’ve Shifted at The Barn, we’ve presented at conferences both inside and outside Halton, we’ve been vulnerable and silly.  In short, we’ve tried our best to put our own individual learning on display.



Matt and I have a lot of fun in this role.  We have a very fluid “to-do” list that gets pretty fuzzy around the edges.  With lots of balls in the air it’s sometimes tough to judge if we are making progress.  Most days we spend our afternoons together talking about what to post next, or perhaps we plan an upcoming visit to a classroom.  We worry about how to create more secondary conversations, both on and off the blog.

Matt turned to me the other day and asked, “If we keep doing this, what does success look like in three years?”

To say I was shook up would be an understatement, because I don’t know what our success might look like.  Many subscribers to our blog and lots of views on our videos would be nice, but that in an of itself doesn’t make us successful.  

We’ve learned that Innovation is a process that leads to improvements to a product, process or understanding.  

Given that definition of Innovation and that you are here reading this blog because (hopefully) you want to improve something in your practice, I’m curious what success might look like to you?  If you follow along with us for the next little while, what would your success criteria be?  How would you know if you shifted your practice?

In the end, my own personal success criteria is a moving target and I’m ok with that.  I want to Make School Different and in three years time I’ll be happy if I can look back and see that change.  I’d also be alright with us making a podcast or two.
Musings on Vintage Innovation
Matt and I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I’ve recently gotten into a podcast called Gen Pop - A Pop Culture Podcast and I really enjoy the podcasts created by Bald Move around the television and movies I like to consume.  Matt’s go to podcasts are 99% Invisible, a podcast about design and The Art of Education, which is a podcast about art education (of all things).

No judgement on this next statement please, but I’ve recently started playing Dungeons and Dragons with a small group of friends.  I enjoy playing board games and I try to use this passion as much as I can in my teaching.  Dungeons and Dragons was something I’ve always wanted to do in my youth but I could never find a group of others to play with.  Plus, when I was younger there was always a sort of stigma attached to certain types of games.  Now that I’m older...well, game on!

Jamie on the weekends...
So obviously I fell down the rabbit hole, as one does when they pick up a new hobby they enjoy.  I wanted to know as much as I could about D&D in as little as time as possible.  I came across another podcast, dedicated to D&D called Dragon Talk.  Now, I’m not about to dive into the ins and outs of the game.  Certainly this blog is not going to become...that.  However, listening to the most recent Dragon Talk on my drive in, I was confronted with a conversation about video rental stores and the following quote:

“My kids will probably never walk into a blockbuster and rent a video...but they still pick up a book every day”

I was struck by the relationship between this quote and the concept of vintage innovation that was discussed during the Innovator’s Mindset meetup.  No one rents videos anymore because technology has pushed us past the need to rent videos.  Or did society pull us beyond that need?  Either way, that particular technology is dying out.  But in a world where any book can be digitized and published on a screen, we still reach for the physical copy.

Being an innovative educator functions this way as well.  We need to be thoughtful enough to reach for the right tool at the right time.  Sometime that tool is digital, sometime its physical.  Sometimes it is a new strategy, sometimes it’s old.  Sometimes you want to binge watch your favourite TV show while eating raw cookie dough and sometimes you really just need a good book.