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Music to Our Ears

I recently posted about the collaboration Megan Peschke and I have created a shared Flipgrid grid between her kindergartners and my high school physics students. We conducted introductions which took on a life of their own. We have moved on from hellos to address to science content. My students are currently in a unit on sound and waves. Flipgrid was a great way to share learning during our energy unit. So, my students are sharing their learning with me and the kindergartners. The one major online interactive hub for exploring sound that is easily accessible across devices and different age levels is Chrome Music Lab. If you are not familiar with it. It is a free set of interactive labs created by Google exploring different aspects of sound.  This exploration and sharing took place over a couple of different activities. In our physics class, these activities were part of a series of applications of concepts students had learned during flipped interactive lectures conducted in Pear Deck.…

Innovate, Lose, Grow


One of the great stories of Innovation shared in Innovator's Mindset is that of Blockbuster and Netflix. A part of the story that I’d like to reflect on is the failure of Netflix. Most of us didn’t know about it because we didn’t have a personal interest in Netflix, yet. The graph below is taken from a series that Derek Bennington did at Chief Innovator.  As you can see Netflix was not an instant success. They lost money for years before they began to grow.




In a meeting four years ago, our assistant superintendent for teaching and learning Dr. Dana Monogue began by drawing a curve on the board similar to this:
She noted that the gains in our district had flatlined. Yes we were one of the highest performing district in the state now, but we weren’t preparing learners for tomorrow.  She put forth the challenge that we needed to change our model before we lost touch with the workplace of tomorrow and saw negative gains.
She next drew a second curve that represented a shift in practice, an attempt to innovate.

As you can see by this graph and the Netflix graph, they begin with loses. That day Dr. Monogue told us something I had never heard an administrator say before.  She communicated that our test scores might go down at first, but that’s ok. She let us know that she believed that short term losses are what long term success is built upon. Innovation requires a commitment to your goal and sticking to it.
It is one of those moments that I cling to as an educator.  It told me that my administration trusted me to be an agent of change, my failures didn’t define me, and they knew learning was more than just a score.  They understood that to innovate one must lose before growing.

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Here’s the video compilation of the GIFs.