Monday, March 9, 2020

Innovation You Can Do

Have you had a period of time where it doesn't matter how you look at it, time isn't your friend? That has been me the last month or so. So many GOOD things going on and if I had the ability to completely skip sleeping I would have done so! I chose the word "Intentional" for my word this year and I am struggling to be true to it. My blogging was one of the items that needed to be put on hold while I completed other projects.

One of my BIGGEST projects has been my Google Innovator project. I am nearing the 6 month point and I feel like it's a great time for an update. I am blessed to have 3 amazing educators working through my project with me. I have a great cohort and coach working with me. And my mentor is incredible.

I've kept my project on the quiet side, mostly because I am protective of it and like most people, I really worry about putting it out there. It kind of feels like I'm letting one of my "babies play in traffic" 😆 by sharing.

Deep breath ... here's the background. For my application to the Google Innovator Academy, I had to identify a problem I saw in education. I had to share my problem as a video. I am no video expert, but I am pretty proud of this video. I used the skills I had, and with the photo skills of my youngest daughter, and a few free pieces of tech (, the Noun Project, Bensound, Screencastify, and few others) to create it.

I was elated to find out in August I had been accepted to the #NYC19 Google Innovator cohort! At the academy, they put us through the Design Thinking process with the help of Les McBeth and other Innovators. Let me just say, those were 3 FULL days packed with thinking, re-thinking, and thinking some more! It was an amazing experience I will carry with me forever.

And my project was born ... "Innovation You Can Do".

Truly, the best part of my job is working with teachers and students. Therefor, my project focuses on creating a framework, a structure, that - I hope - anyone can use to take their idea from the "spark" to the "launch". I've had many teachers throw an idea out but then follow with they don't know where to start (I know that feeling!). That's where my project comes into the picture. My hope for "Innovation You Can Do" is it will walk the "Designer" (the one with the idea) through the process from "spark" to "launch". The "Collaborator" (the coach, the support person) acts as a second perspective, an additional resource, a friend, a listening ear, a question-er to the Designer in this process.

Currently, I am honored to be working with 3 amazing educators who were willing to bring their idea to life using "Innovation You Can Do".

At our first meeting, I give them a copy of "Innovation You Can Do" and we walk through the workbook. Each project is unique, so the first task to be completed is a "Needs Assessment". When we meet again, we go over the needs assessment and questions are asked to clarify as well as agreeing on a rough timeline. While it has the ability to flex, we are looking to pin down a "launch" date. At this point, each project takes a unique path. We decide what the next piece is that needs to be done and when to meet again. Once a date is decided, we lay out what each of us is responsible to do prior to the meeting.

I am excited to get these projects off the ground and solidify "Innovation You Can Do". It has already come a long way from what I initially put together and I see it taking shape. Innovation really IS possible ... and when you have someone walking the path with you, it is definitely achievable.

I know all I've shared is my idea, but my hope is that this is enough for you to picture it. I will be back to share the actual project.

After reading this, if you are willing, I'd love to know your thoughts and feedback on it. You can comment below, respond on Twitter (@kiefersj), or send me an email - .

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