Innovate:  If we fail to model and teach innovation to our students we are destined to become a nation of followers who simply implement the powerful ideas of others.

 

Arguably the one characteristic that sets us apart as Americans is our ability to innovate, yet if we are not careful caretakers of this legacy we will lose our defining trait. High stakes testing, the elimination of Art, Music and Dance all nip at the heels of our innovative spirit. Let’s use the power of technology to nurture and grow this vital future focused skill.

Chapter 1

  • Consider a check-in that has a direct connection to the content of the meeting instead of a more “relational” or ice-breaker style.

  • Focus on doing a Check for Understanding at least three times today

  • Use Figure 1.1 to reflect on a recent conversation. Do a self-assessment of where you think that conversation lands on the grid.

Chapter 2

  • Hold a Twitter Takeover Day by a student or educator. Train them together and follow the guidelines provided in the Resources Section of the book to lead the Twitter Takeover.

  • Post one live video feed on social media from your school this week

  • Create an online Smore newsletter and share it out with your school community and realtors, businesses, and beyond.

Chapter 3

  • Spend time at a faculty meeting discussing the possibilities that follow a grant funding success by posing the hypothetical question, “What will we do with the $15,000 we’re awarded for our students, school, and community?”

  • Pose the same audacious question to your students and compare their answers to the suggestions generated by the professional staff.

  • Apply to fund a school project through Donors Choose

Chapter 4

  • Allow your staff to ask ‘why?”, and “what if…?”, questions. Imagine how you would design your school if you could start from scratch with your current students, staff and community.

  • Turn your mission statement into a mission question and see where your school can begin an innovation or change in practice.

  • Foster student leadership by having students lead a professional development session for teachers, lead student-led parent conferences, or solicit student feedback on your school. 

Chapter 5

  • Implement a Genius Hour event in your school. Consider making it part of your master schedule.

  • Host Hour of Code or Genius Hour in your school to promote digital learning.

  • Use Google Cardboard to create a Virtual Reality video to showcase a lesson or activity to your community.

Chapter 6

  • Design a place for creativity. Create a MakerSpace or Breakerspace in your school.

  • Design a new logo for your school or new initiative/focus for the year.

  • Work with students to code an app for your school.

Chapter 7

  • Start a school wide Blog where all members of the community can contribute to the conversation

  • Create a Remind Group that communicates in a different language using the Translate feature

  • Start a Genius Hour in your school - set aside time for innovation and creativity. Consider starting with a student-interest survey to establish a focus for the Genius Hour.

Chapter 8

  • Showcase a teacher/student on social media and feature the learning.

  • Host a book study using Voxer to share reflections, to learn, and grow together.

  • Host a Teacher Twitter Takeover Day to feature the day in the life of a teacher.

Chapter 9

  • Showcase your school through video and/or podcasting about the great work of your students and teachers.

  • Share Your Best Work - Create a blog to share your expertise and what you find is working great. Please share your blog with us so we can feature your work and learn from you.

  • Go Dumpster Diving! - No, we don’t mean actually dumpster diving but focus on being selfless and giving away to others.

Chapter 10

  • Lead Learner - Be sure to have a mindset of learning and consider yourself a Lead Learner for the school.

  • Host a questionstorming session with staff and students.

  • Join in on the #ShadowAStudent and learn about what it’s like to be a student for the day.