“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and again to hang a question mark on the things you take for granted.”
This. This quote is one of my new very favorite quotes ever! This is where innovation lives. In the question marks.
Too often in education, we talk about innovation as if it is something that we’ve created and something that can be owned. We talk about innovation in steps and processes and we make it into something it isn’t. And so when we talk about education reform, the conversation gets centered on the wrong things: rigor, standards, tests, Race to the Top!, No Child Left Behind!, technology, better teachers, more tests. Things that end up actually adding layers between us and what we fight for: students. But educational innovation doesn’t live in any of these.
Innovation is a shift in mindset. It is hanging the question mark on things taken for granted.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. If it doesn’t exist or it can be done better, that is what you do. This mind-set can be a bit of a curse…once I get an idea in my head, it is like a broken record that plays over and over until I do something about it. My dad is prime example of this, he started Koostik with a styrofoam cup and an iPhone. Once the idea was there, it stayed until he saw it realized…in this case that means a growing company and product in Restoration Hardware and Red Envelope. He is awesome.
For me this process started as I dug through curriculum and worked to supplement it with technology tools. The idea was to “fill” the gaps with technology tools that would make the curriculum work better for students. As I went through publisher after publisher, I started realizing that the problem wasn’t a lack of technology (if you have read this blog for any amount of time...