Tag Archives: innovation

inspiring words from TIME

TIME’s most recent issue feature twitter as the cover story, never has there been a more appropriate time with respect to what i do.  aside from the run down of what twitter does and how it has impacted our culture there are some wise words that can be found near the end of the article, a succession of 3 paragraphs that had me puffing out my chest and renewed (in a sense) my faith in the innovation of our country.  here is the excerpt…

But what actually happened to American innovation during that period? We came up with America Online, Netscape, Amazon, Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, Craigslist, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, the iPod and iPhone, Xbox, Facebook and Twitter itself. Sure, we didn’t build the Prius or the Wii, but if you measure global innovation in terms of actual lifestyle-changing hit products and not just grad students, the U.S. has been lapping the field for the past 20 years.

in a time when we are constantly hearing about jobs being outsourced and the standing of US know-how being called in to question in light of the accomplishments in other parts of the world, it was nice to see that there is a different type of change being influenced by products and innovations right here at home.  the article is a good one, check it out.,8599,1902604-1,00.html

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Posted by on June 8, 2009 in Uncategorized


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handheld palooza

having wrestled with “gently used” equipment yesterday in an effort to download programs that we need for our big event next week, it had me thinking how quickly technology becomes outdated.  it seems like the window of relevance on so many items is getting shorter and shorter and it seems to be the desktop computer is simply going to be a thing of the past very, very soon.  if it’s not portable, it just seems to be a dinosaur.  perhaps if i had the pleasure of using the newest and shiniest yesterday i wouldn’t have that feeling.  personally, i find myself reaching for my iphone a lot quicker than i do flipping open my macbook because its just a quicker process.  i am not making a case to get rid of standard computers, perhaps i’m making a public acknowledgement that the age of the smart phone, in my estimation, has arrived in my life and i don’t look forward to ever going back.  how many times to make the comment about websites that should have a mobile version or iphone app?  its not about changing the way i live, its about finally having a tool that fits me.  i’m thinking about all the technology that we will be using and teaching next week and how much of it can be accessed and manipulated on a handheld smart phone.  lots.

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Posted by on June 5, 2009 in Uncategorized


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a great post on default settings

i read a great blog post here today that brought up some great points about default settings and how we are more prone to leave things the way they are rather than look for ways to make things better, or to ‘think like a hacker’ as he puts it in his post.  i think the weight of what has always been expected of us as educators tends to be too much to bear for many teachers to really take an innovative approach.  think about it, if you do exactly as you are told and students fail some would have no problem absolving them of guilt because they followed all the steps in the exact order they were told.  now if a teacher were to take an innovative route the results were less than perfect then the methods would be to blame.  it really is a shame, but fear has become a powerful demotivator in our profession at times.  three cheers for the teachers who go in and change those default settings in their classrooms to make it work for their students.

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Posted by on June 1, 2009 in Uncategorized


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off site

having now been to my first ‘end of the year’ off site meeting with my team i have a few opportunities unique to me.  in lencioni’s death by meeting the focus ends up being on the different types of meetings, off sites being one of them, and i feel like i can now have a greater understanding of what those meetings could/should be about.  if i had to characterize ours, i would have to say that innovation seemed to be the thread that ran throughout the two days.  several ideas were thrown around, but one in particular resonated with a passage in ‘tribes’ by seth godin, that i came across just the other night. (yes, i’m STILL reading it)

odds are that growth and success are now inextricably linked to breaking the old rules and setting your organization’s new rules loose in an industry too afraid of change

there are lots about this quote that give me pause, and i’ll start from the end.  is education an industry afraid of change?  let’s call that rhetorical on many fronts.  the beginning presupposes that the only way to grow and succeed in today’s world is the break rules that don’t seem to work.  is it?  that’s the only way?  inextricably, i like that word, but not in this context.  or maybe i do.  we can’t avoid the confrontation, at this point, of new solutions to new problems in a climate that doesn’t encourage that type of innovation that may just solves many of our woes.  it certainly makes it seem dire!

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Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Uncategorized


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an unlikely obstacle

I came across an interesting quote today that talked about the possibility of experience being an obstacle to change and innovation. This scares me because of how divisive this could be. I fear someone would take this as a way of separating the cultures of a school as opposed to using this for reflection. Having said that…there is a lot if truth to that statement. People who cling to the old ways and don’t look into ways to keep up with the change around them can play the role of anchor. It sounds like a commercial but we are not going to solve today’s or tomorrow’s problems relying solely on past experience.

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Posted by on May 28, 2009 in Uncategorized


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no snake oil here

its no easy task to craft the perfect argument and i feel like that might be what i’m gearing up for on june10th.  like everyone in my group, technology seems to be consuming us recently, but it’s not in the way you might guess.  in the face of so many reasons to not embrace the ease and innovation that technological tools can bring us,  i am finding it difficult to gear up for all the “yes, but” moments that our technology mini conference may bring.  on the one hand, why would someone sign up for a 2 day technology focused professional learning event just to show up and talk about why these things cannot be done but stranger things have been known to happen.  i’m trying to prep myself by running through all the possible barriers that might be brought to light but in this case the best defense may be a good offense.  in thinking about how we roll out these tools and the messages we send early, and often, we might be able to head some of this off at the pass.  doesn’t it stand to reason that if we can highlight the invaluable aspects of these tools and really build the desire to make them a part of the classroom then our job may be done?  that is why i believe that so much hinges on the “wow” factor.  what is going to be done in our breakout sessions in the first ten minutes (brain rules anyone?) that is going to give you not only the right to be heard but also hook the audience and allow them to see the concrete possibilities for their classrooms and also the limit possibilities that exist when these tools are used appropriately?  the countdown is officially on, and one way or another my questions are going to be answered in a short 21 days.  i have no magic answers, or special catch phrases that are guaranteed to work and win the crowds over, we’re just going to have to bank on their vision and ability to see what can be done.

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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Uncategorized


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