Reflections & Questions from: #IMMOOC Season 2, Episode 2 – With Special Guest Sarah Thomas After listening to this week’s episode, my thoughts sorted themselves into three general areas. These led to one question for each area. I hope our answer is “YES!” to each of the questions. If not, we know where we need to grow.
Learn from anyone anywhere
I can’t believe I’ve actually listened to two one hour “podcasts” in two weeks. For me, that’s a new way of learning. I love that I was able to put in my blue tooth earbuds and listen to George, Katie, and Sarah from my phone while I made dinner. I had my laptop open so I could take notes when struck with a particular line or idea. When I sit back and think about it, this type of learning is amazing. Learning from 3 different people who were in 3 different places – awesome. Learning at a time that was convenient for me – even better. Getting to hear directly from experts – priceless.
This connection to experts and to people physically out of reach is now available to everyone with internet. Learning like this is not just for teachers and other professionals, but also for our students. Are we helping our students find new learning opportunities and ways to connect with experts?
Every person has a voice
One of my favorite moments from the podcast was when George said, “Everyone has something to say. Everyone.” This came as a part of discussion about introverts. I enjoyed hearing Sarah explain how she is an introvert (like me!), but she has found new ways to share. Katie continued by pointing out that technology creates opportunities for our introverted and/or quieter students. It gives ALL students voices in (and out) of the classroom.
Leveraging technology to help our students find their voices and to give them ways to make meaningful contributions to our classrooms, schools, and communities is so very powerful.
We HAVE to make these opportunities available to all of our students. Are we giving students ways to ask questions, ways to share ideas, ways to reflect and to grow?
Avoid Frivolous Innovations
Of course the focus of this MOOC is Innovation. As George says in his book, “The innovator’s mindset can be defined as the belief that the abilities, intelligence, and talents are developed so that they lead to the creation of new and better ideas” (p. 33). The discussions about innovation being something that is new AND something that makes learning better is important. Just doing something new for the sake of doing a new thing is not what all of this is about.
When Katie said, “If you don’t know your kids and what they need, the innovations are frivolous,” she helped remind us that innovation is meaningless without connections and relationships. George also talked about how time spent talking to a teacher is time he will get back tenfold because of the relationship he’s developing. This applies to everyone in our school buildings – students, teachers, administrators, etc.
New ideas might be “fun” or “interesting” to people who like to try new things (like many of us in #IMMOOC), but we all must remember that if they don’t connect with our students and improve learning, then we need to rethink them. Are we keeping our students and their goals in mind when trying new things? Do we take time to get to know our students and teachers as people?
Yes! Yes! Yes! Let’s keep at it!
Many, many great ideas in this week’s episode. Love the sharing that’s going on in the whole #IMMOOC and getting to see glimpses into the lives of so many great educators!