"Cogitating On Innovation"
The above image was designed by Allyson Byerly at http://prettylikedeer.blogspot.com/.
I haven't logged on the Web in a little while, that is blog, i.e. connect to an epic opportunity found in the global dialogue unfolding all day, everyday on the Internet. I've been reading Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal lately. Well, more like having it read to me while I drive around in my car. Audiobooks are great, aren't they? Rhetorical questions kind of make me feel funny. Nonetheless, McGonigal talks about how Halo 3 is epic. I haven't played it, but it sounds that way. Countless players worldwide are joining forces to kill malevolent aliens to save the world. If that's epic, which I think it is, I know what else is:
Students and teachers following their passion is epic. Learning, growing, and expanding one's mental map is epic.
This is happening in Loveland, Colorado in an InnovationsLab in the Thompson School District. It's all very excited. Click here for an update for what all is going on in the Lab.
Who am I in this context? I'm asking this question to myself for the first time in a way. I have a tendency to want to say, "I know who I am!" I've been with myself this long, but am also aware of how inter-subjectivity can complicate my "I" saying "I." After all, I am a produced body...true story. But, the produced body saying, "I" still cries "I;" the cry comes from somewhere else like a cry in the wilderness. Alas, "I" digress.
I rattled off the above acrostic fairly quickly and see a pause between "Ordinary" and "Visions." If I were to speak the ten words as a sentence, I'd say it like this: I notice nothing ordinary; visions always trace inside open nuances. This is how I am ruminating about the InnovationLab inside this moment. I will have a much more active presence in the Lab come fall and likely more to add, that is when I am working as a student teacher and writing igniter. The Lab will be a pre-k-12 and some teachers will be students. The model, as written in past posts, is fairly straightforward. We "notice, dream, connect, do" and not necessarily in this order. Ellipses can say a lot, can they not? Especially ones that end a sentence and leave the reader to finish the sentence...
I asked another rhetorical question, didn't I?
What to do? We held a conversation about tacit knowledge, which I think was immensely worthwhile. How do we know what we know? How do we know who we are? To whom are we becoming? Again, I digress. However, let us get back to the "noticing nothing ordinary." To me this is the discovery that happens between the "notice" and the "dream." I think between the stations are discovery stations. The jump between noticing something in the world and receiving a vision of its manifestation is no light matter. (It's as epic as riding a dragon).
The ability to communicate a vision to another person is where the connection begins. Every time we share a brilliant idea with another person we are sharing in the epic narrative of being a human being with other human beings on the same planet. Sounds a wee bit idealistic, and it is, as well as dreamer-laden. I plea guilty to such charges.
Someone asked me today, "What came first the chicken or the egg?" I said, I think the idea for both came first. Some architect, human or Other, already nominally knew the name for a chicken and a name for an egg to be able to ask the question. Right?
Ideas exist. Ideas are real. The InnovationsLab gives students and teachers a place for ideas to breathe. Someone also asked me to put what is being done in the Lab in one or two sentences. I said OK. I said students are encouraged to find their passion and construct their own learning journey to learn more about matters related to this passion. I think I might be paraphrasing and changing what I said. (Friends: Help me out with this.) I may even be different now, than I was then, and that poses some challenges "I" may have touched on.
What would you say if someone asked you to put what "learning" means to you in one or two sentences? We'd love to hear your thoughts.