Sunday, December 20, 2020

Innovation You Can Do

Have you had an idea of something to do or try but you are stumped with how to go about moving forward? I've been there so many times and I've seen so many educators in the same boat. Today, I want to share a framework for anyone who would like to move forward with an idea but aren't really sure where or how to start.

First, a little background. I was honored to attend the Google Innovator Academy in October of 2019. The goal of the academy is to produce a project that helps others. I focused on the idea that teachers have many ideas of ways to improve education but we struggle with execution. Time, energy, and direction are the hurdles. And often, it's overwhelming to try to tackle anything more while teaching full-time.

BUT I truly believe we, teachers, hold the keys to improving education.

With that in mind, my Innovator project is a framework to help you through the process of starting with an idea, to growing and changing and enhancing the idea, to ultimately what the designer sees as a "launch". No two projects are alike or will take the same path, so the framework is meant to guide the designer, rather than dictate a specific path. Ideally, the designer will team up with someone else to work on their idea. Having someone to lean on, ask questions of, bounce ideas off of, and to support can make a huge difference. Too many ideas are sidelined because the designer becomes stuck or lost or overwhelmed.

I'm grateful to three colleagues who've utilized my framework to further an idea they've had. One of these has gone through to a launch, the other two have been put on hold due to COVID. That's another piece to this - the projects won't be lost. We decided to put them on pause and we can pick it back up when we are ready and have the appropriate time and energy to put into it.

The one project that has gone through to launch has inspired me to spiral off of it to start work on a similar project that I will also use with the framework.

I am sharing the framework with you today. I've called it "Innovation You Can Do." This framework can be used both 100% digitally OR it can be printed on paper. Of the 3 projects I've been part of, all have preferred it on paper. We wanted to jot our notes during our meetings as well as in between our meetings.

Would you like your own copy of this workbook? Here's a link to the template versionHands down, I feel the "Idea Investigation" page is the foundation. I hope if you see it having potential use for you that you DO use it. I do plan on doing a few solo projects where the "Idea Investigation" is the only piece I will use. I know this page will force me to go through the process of solidifying my idea by turning it over and thinking it through.

I'd love feedback - whether you use this framework or not. Is there something I can improve? Do you have an idea or a project you want to use it with? Feel free! Let me know if I can help or be part of it. 

Do you have a comment about this framework? Feel free to leave it below ⤵

Or Tweet at me @kiefersj 

Or connect with me on Facebook - Sarah Kiefer

So many ideas have value ... but if you don't give them the space to grow, you'll never know!

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