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EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

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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