I'm pretty pumped about beginning my second year as Director of Innovation & Technology at Gulliver. Having the experience of a full year's rhythm and pattern under my belt is definitely an advantage as I gear up and get ready to do cool and amazing things with my teammates and colleagues at this institution that never ceases to surprise me.
On our first day back, our entire faculty and staff will be treated to The Innovator's Mindset Mini Keynote-a-thon!
Ok, before I define what that is, I'll first share that our Head of Schools chose George Couros' The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity as the summer reading for our faculty and staff. Yes, staff too! Not only are members of our IT Support Staff reading it, I have set up weekly opportunities for book discussions throughout the summer. I am proud to report that within my departments (EdTech and IT) the language of innovation, mindsets, learning, talent, and creativity is being spoken. But enough about my awesome team.
Back to day 1
The Innovator's Mindset has 14 chapters. Each with their own theme and ideas that are all parts of a whole. As I thought of ways to take what I was doing in my department and scaling up to our entire faculty and staff (about 550), I thought of an idea I learned from another brilliant mind and friend, Carl Hooker. At the last several iPadpaloozas, Carl organized mini keynote-a-thons that were very well received. They are fast-paced, fun, bite-sized keynotes strung tightly together for an experience that leaves the audience exhilarated, inspired, and with tons of information. So with that format in mind, I sent out an email to everyone at Gulliver and asked if they'd be willing to participate in a "mini project" based on the book. The response was pretty overwhelming but I had to narrow it down to only 14. Since we are spread across four campuses, span PreK through 12th, and have more signature programs than I can wrap my head around, I wanted a good representation of all these areas and was able to get the baker's dozen +1.
Each presenter will speak on their chosen or assigned chapter for exactly two minutes. I asked that they provide me with two to four slides that will auto advance, evenly spaced, throughout their two minutes. They are to speak about how the book impacted them, share new ideas and insights they gained, and give solid examples of how the book will positively influence their future work at our school. When the two minutes are up, the next speaker will have only 10 seconds to go up, take the microphone from the previous speaker, and start their two minutes. During those 10 seconds, an intro slide with their name, position, chapter number, and title will be displayed (see the George Hart sample). Once their time starts, they are not to introduce themselves (the slide did that), or say "good morning," or anything else that may take up time. I told them, "just start talking. Think TED Talks."
There you have it... My idea on how to keep the summer reading conversation going into the school year.
I hope to be able to record the whole thing and share it later on. As for the 14 brave folks, here are their Twitter handles. Be sure to show them some PLN love!
@fsteel1977, @felixjacomino, @dduranraider, @EMScott76, @George_C_Hart, @InaArtzt, @MakerFunes, @JoubertAndres, @miamiEdGuru, @natalia_walchli, @MrTrottGPS, @GerlachEdS, @PattyTechTeam
UPDATE: The day has come and gone. The Mini Keynote-a-thon was a huge success! Not because I think so, but because of all the incredible feedback received by each of the speakers. Unfortunately, I did not ensure that someone would record it and so, it wasn't. Here are the slides and below are a few tweets:
Looks like I used a bit too much shoe shine on my head that morning! There were about 500 in attendance.