Who do we serve?

“You gotta serve somebody….”  Bob Dylan Who do we actually serve in our schools and who should we be serving?   What changes in our thinking when we apply the notion of customer service to the school environment? In their book Innovation:  Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want, Curtis Carlson and Wililam Wilmot raise three central questions about customer service that guides their innovation model:  “Who is your customer?  What is the customer value you provide and how do you measure it? What innovation best practices do […]

Your wild and precious life

When it’s over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. –When Death Comes by Mary Oliver Yesterday, while live blogging with Maura Moritz’s class at […]

Beginner’s mind

Garr Reynolds writes thought-provokingly on Presentation Zen about the concept of beginner’s mind and how we learn. Reynolds writes: The meaning of the beginner’s mind does not mean to retreat to the naiveté of a child. It is not about being simplistic or ignorant, it is about approaching life and its challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm. . . . The point is that we adults should maintain our curiosity and that sense that anything can be done, that sense that anything is possible. A sense […]

We’ve gotten Kudos!

   Bob Witowski at our campus has just received a coveted “Kudos from Drape” award from Darren Draper (who created the Pay Attention video, if you’re not familiar with his work) for Bob’s experiment using cell phones in his Algebra classroom.  We’re mixed in with some pretty good company getting this award, so big congratulations Bob, and thanks to Darren for the recognition!

The disconnect

A lot of posts among some of my online “acquaintances,” not to mention some issues at my own campus, have gotten me thinking about the disconnect between “the possible” and what’s permitted in schools. What particularly set me off today was a twitter post from a respected colleague who was gradually having all web 2.0 tools cordoned off from her students, so that many of the projects she was trying to do or was already involved with were rapidly becoming denied to her students.   (And […]

The ability to improvise

Warning–this is a somewhat esoteric post, but something that grabbed my interest and I wanted to share.   This morning, to rev myself up for a day of workshops, I was listening to some podcasts on the way to work and ran across an Accidental Creative podcast interview with Stephen Nachmanovitch, author of Freeplay: Improvisation in Life and Art. Nachmanovitch’s interview fascinated me because of the implications for schools of what he had to say about improvisation. He tells a story of  a labor strike, which involves workers […]

For our sons and daughters

 On Tuesday night, I attended a service for a family friend and one of our students, Jack Jenkins.   A family member read a poem that Jack had written in middle school, and one line resonated with me.   “I am an important person and I have something to contribute to this world.” As we talk about web 2.0, school change, or what each of us can do to create authentic learning experiences for our students,  this is what it is all about.   Hearing our students.  Hearing […]

An innovation conference for educators?

    Yesterday I wrote about the TED Talks, how inspiring they were, how the Encyclopedia of Life got jumpstarted there, and how I was thinking we should begin an innovation group at our campus. Then tonight, I read on think:lab that a group of education folks have been quietly planning a world wide “TED Talks” for educators, called Learning D.N.A (Design.in.Action).   To understand why I’m so excited about this, try watching a couple of the TED Talks videos, where world innovators come together to share and […]

How can schools possibly innovate?

I’m distressed.  I just finished reading this article in the New York Times, which is on the front page of today’s print edition—“Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops.” I’m trying to imagine a similar headline:  “Seeing no use for them, Google drops laptops”….or “Seeing no purpose for them, NyTimes drops laptops.” When are we going to get that laptops, internet, and technology are here to stay and becoming more and more part of our lives and our students’ lives? I was very disappointed in […]