I often come back to The Innovator’s Mindset book by George Couros which I have read a couple of times now because so many ideas in it really resonate. Today was definitely one of those days. In particular, I thought of three of the characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset: Resilient, Risk-taker, Networked which gave me a more positive frame for dealing with the big tech news I have been dealt this week!
Just last week, I learned that Blab, a platform I had just learned and experimented with shut down. Because I was fairly new to the platform, I wasn’t overly upset at the news, and given the fact that they were not very diligent or responsive to my negative situation a few weeks ago, I am not going to say I am heartbroken. Nonetheless, it was a really great platform for connected debates, book clubs and panel discussions. I will need to go back to my blog posts and delete them and there are teachers who took the time to experiment with the platform because I got excited about it, when they could have gone to the beach instead!
Then yesterday, I learned from someone in my Edumatch Voxer group that Google Hangouts on Air, a platform which I have spent much time using and teaching others about is shutting down after September 21st. After my initial panic and shock, I realized that it is simply moving to YouTube Live and that it really isn’t that big a deal, but it still will mean going back to all of my tutorials, presentations, etc..to change the information and it will mean trying to find a suitable alternative platform for connecting students to experts, organizations, and other classes.
As I shared this information to my PLN, I said, “Need to relearn” to which my friend Leigh Cassell added:
And it’s so true. Putting yourself out there to learn how to integrate technology in meaningful ways means being a Risk-taker; but it’s often a calculated risk with the goal of doing what’s best for kids. And it provides the opportunity to really put ourselves in the shoes of our students who are constantly learning new things.
For the rest of the day, on both Voxer and Twitter, people were sharing ideas, alternatives, and resources to help each other through this change. Being Networked allows me to get support and help when I need it and to offer support and help to others.
Teachers and Administrators who try to bring in technology to meet their learning goals have to be Resilient. Platforms and tools change so quickly that teachers who are trying new things for the sake of differentiation and student learning are risking that the tool they teach their students may not be available in six months. Do we let that fear stop us from finding the best tool to suit our purpose? Or do we deal with this flexibly and thus model this mindset for kids?
The only constant nowadays really is change. We can either complain about it and let it be an excuse NOT to innovate or move forward, or we can be can embrace an Innovator’s Mindset look at it as a great way to really experience what being a learner means.