I’ve started reading George Couros’s The Innovator’s Mindset for the IMMOOC, and I am reading it on the Kindle app. I prefer to read books offline, on paper, so I am wondering about the experience of highlighting and making notes in the Amazon cloud. If you know me, it is not worry about the digital. I’m all about that. But I still think the reading experience losing something when the book is on a screen.
I still prefer to thumb through sticky noted pages and highlighted sections. But I have been highlighting quotes and then adding notes to The Innovator’s Mindset. The same idea, but not the same. For me, anyway. I miss my paper sticky notes. But I do enjoy reading the collections of what others have highlighted and made notes about via their Kindle reading experience.
Here are some passages and lines and quotes that have started to jump out at me from George’s book, and I’ve included my notes as reflection points. Interestingly, I highlighted in the Kindle app (on my iPad) and then had to go into the Amazon/Kindle site of the book to make my notes. I must be missing something inside the app.
Quote: Buzzwords crowd the educational reform movement like buzzards circling a decaying carcass. Many have become enamored with—and lost to—a culture of clichés and a penchant for platitudes. Perhaps no word is a better example of this than innovation. Its frequent use and misuse has led to the loss of much of its power. However, a true spirit of innovation is exactly what our educational system needs to crush complacency, stomp the status quo, and forge a path into a future that is perpetually in flux.
My Note: The problem with buzzwords is that they lose their meaning. Think of how the word “optics” is now part of the political lexicon. It’s meaningless talk. So, digging into the term “innovation” here will be helpful, particularly if there are examples to back up how George defines it.
Quote: A tool that could change education for the better—a laptop, tablet, or interactive white board—too often ends up becoming the equivalent of a thousand-dollar pencil.
My Note: I am thinking of Interactive Whiteboards that become little more than large passive screens. Our school invested heavily in them and only a few through the building are using many of the interactive features. Some teachers don’t even turn them on. These are expensive pencils. The key is to figure out how to harness the possibilities for student interaction and student creativity.
Quote: We forget that if students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.
My Note: True. I wonder how best to determine that? I’m not suggesting we do a Standardized Curiosity Test (although I am sure Pearson would be all lined up for that contract). But I wonder how to gauge the growth of curiosity over an extended period of time.
Quote: … if we want “innovative students,” we will need “innovative educators.”
My Note: So true, and so difficult at times, and yet, if the school system/administrators set the stage, I bet a whole bunch of teachers are ready to take that step forward. If the message from above is — keep to the script — most teachers won’t vary all that much. They fear for their job. They worry about evaluations. Sending the message — take a chance — shifts everything. Maybe that’s how the audience of this book might be pivotal.
I have made my highlights and notes “public” on the Kindle system, if that interests you. (OK — not sure if that is the right link or not. Good luck).
Peace (bubbling up),