Thursday, July 9, 2015

Innovation - Hot Topic! What do you think?

The light bulb is sizzling!

I am reading two books currently that are igniting my interest:

  • In his book, Pure Genius, Don Wettrick suggests keeping "an Innovation Idea Journal handy. [because] you never know when inspiration will hit" (38).
  • In her book, inGenius, Tina Seelig inspires, stating "With enhanced creativity, instead of problems, you see potential, instead of obstacles, you see opportunities, and instead of challenges, you see a chance to create breakthrough solutions." 
So...I am wondering:
  • What inspires you, whether as a teacher, student, parent, or person to get new ideas?
  • How do you record them and follow up on them?
  • How can a teacher embrace this attitude and transfer it to a student or classroom filled with students?
I'm curious what you think about these questions. Join the conversation!


  1. I'm always looking out for innovative ideas in two different realms: (a) as a teacher I "design curriculum", so I'm always looking for new ideas. I follow a handful of teacher and non-teacher sites/blogs/twitters/etc, daydream by myself, ask my own students, and talk to my non-teacher friends who are in professional fields related to my classroom. (b) But then also the #1 learning goal in my actual classroom is "Design & Innovation", in terms of product design & engineering, so I'm always trying to instill an innovative mindset in my students. I try to get them to understand that every product in the world was a reaction to some problem, and that there's always new problems to be fixed, or old ones that we realize we never fixed all that well.

    As far as recording them....I'm all over the place. Of course I have my students write design reports at the end of a project, and various brainstorming stages in between. But sometimes I'll have a light-bulb-moment waiting in the lobby at the dentist or whatever, and I'll just email myself a few thoughts, and check back up on them later! Sometimes I get home to 8 emails from myself, and I think hmmm, maybe not what email was originally designed for...

    1. HI Nick,
      Thanks for your thoughtful post. I know that for recording information, I also tend to use what is closest at hand. I have heard of Google Keep, but have not tried it out. I'm wondering if that would be a good place to stash ideas.

      I enjoy hearing about your classroom and the focus on Innovation with Engineering. I like how you bring the real world into the classroom through your personal connections. also!

  2. (woops google has me signed in on my other username, it's me Nick @

  3. Judy, I'll be honest and say that I get ideas at the oddest times - often when driving or in the shower (basically times where I can't record them down somewhere). I do keep a folder on my computer of ideas and a folder in my GMail called research collaborations. But I rarely get back to anything in those. To be perfectly truthful, the actual things I adopt are generally things that colleagues turn me on to, and we just play with them for a bit.

    As an aside, is this your discussion entry? I ask because you identified your links and list entry in your entry titles.

    1. Michael, I agree that the connections we get come at unplanned moments. Collaborating with others tends to inspire me as well. Your comment about "play" is key. When I have time to play with new ideas, they seem to come to life.

      Yes, this is my discussion entry. Thanks!

  4. I tend to get my best ideas at the last minute, which drives me crazy! I can't tell you how many times I'm in the middle of eating lunch when I get some crazy inspiration for a lesson that needs to start in 20 minutes. I've learned to just go with it and take inspiration wherever and whenever I can get it, even though I often wish I had more time to plan things out. :)

    1. Inspiration, innovation, and improvisation are all attributes of a great teacher. We need to model this for students. Being willing to try, fail, reflect, and succeed together beyond our wildest dreams are part of becoming a great teacher on a daily basis. Go For it!