Friday, October 24, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 298

We can't just allow people to fail. We have to make them want to. #QuoteADay #Day298 #edchat #edu #ASCDL2L #FailForward #Innovate

This morning, we did something a little bit different during our monthly Curriculum Council session.  We took a visit down to Fox Meadow Elementary in Scarsdale, where we had the opportunity to learn from leaders in the district about the creation of their Center for Innovation, and how the Center, in turn, led to explorations by teachers, students, and the community into a variety of other initiatives that have helped to continue to propel Scarsdale in the right direction.

While the Center has led to many positive changes for the district, we were focused on viewing Fox Meadow's MakerSpace, and engaging in collaborative talk about how this has changed elementary education throughout the district.

Fox Meadow turned an old library closet into a Maker room, and it was amazing to see all the great things that students and staff are Making throughout the school that began, both literally and figuratively, in that room.

You can learn more about the Center here, and can peruse info about their MakerSpace here.

The morning was filled with great information, but I would like to speak to two points that had a tremendous impact on me:

1.  It isn't enough to fail and learn from it.  Instead, we have to actually want to fail, and by extension, see the merit of it.  Our colleagues from Scarsdale understood that as important as failure is, it isn't as helpful to us until we actually want to fail.  While we can learn from any failure, we tend to learn most when we seek failure out, and embrace it.

2.  Action by itself is never as powerful as action that follows information gathering.  Our colleagues spoke of their elements of innovation, two being fostering an environment for change and sparking creative thinking.  If you don't collect data and fact find, then you'll never know how you need to build capacity.  And, without an environment that is ready to change and the thinking to go along with it, an innovation is doomed, before it even gets started.

Thanks to our colleagues in Scarsdale Public Schools for the tremendous learning opportunity provided to our PLN.

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