Measuring the Impact of Imagination, Exploration and Innovation

4th Grade Fun 127

In the last ten days I conversed with and learned from the likes of an impressive array of educators. I had meaningful discussions with fellow teachers, consultants and researchers such as: Dan Meyer, Alan November,Aaron Metz,Robert Appino, Keri Lee Beasley, Larry Rosen, Janet Abercrombie, Justin Hardman, Brian C.Smith and Courtney Lowe.

Alan November was especially inspiring. November led me to give my students”more structure…not less.”  He demanded that I continue challenged based learning approaches. He said,”The notion of intelligence is changing. Can we adapt? ” November reminded me that my students “need to know how to write the questions.” “The answers are already known.”

I was part of an intense discussion on the future of flipped classrooms and the worthiness of Google Docs for Reading and Writing Workshops.

Books and EdTech sites

Book titles such as, Quiet: The Power of Introverts and Moonwalking with Einstein were sent my way.  I evaluated websites such as WolframAlpha, Diigo, and CFG protocols. I imagined what education resources can now offer.

Below are a list of the more sites of note:

Digital Youth Network — Smart Communities,

Teatech | Teaching – Technology – Tea ~ a learning path

Educators – Start Teaching & Earning Money Today | HookBoard

Tip of the Iceberg » Workshops

Sue Waters Blog,

Maria Popova (brainpicker) on Twitter

Open Culture

Alan Levine Barks Here CogDogBlog

Educational Journal Articles

Below are some educational journal articles passed around:

Educational Leadership:Giving Students Ownership of Learning:Footprints in the Digital Age

Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? |Education | The Observer

How the Internet is Changing Education | PickTheBrain | Motivation and Self Improvement

Footprints in the Digital Age – ASCD

Moving Forward

So much of a teacher’s life is day to day; reaction to challenges and difficult conversations.  I am grateful for the opportunity to step out from the classroom and learn from the masters.

That said, I am proud to have helped produce a collaborative learning product as well. During last Wednesday and Thursday, with the help of Pam Shakil of Transformations Systems Ltd. I had the pleasure of developing a measurement tool for my school’s strategic goals. This was time very well spent.

In the spirit of asking the right questions, below are some questions that we thought about:

  • How do teachers measure passion?
  • What is novel in a learner?
  • Can we teach passionate habits?
  • What would Ben Franklin, Feynman, Edison think of the innovators of today?
  • What will an exemplary learner look like in 2017?
  • Can we triangulate data that is valid, reliable and is not corruptible? If so, how?
  • How can you find key performance indicators in life long learner? How can you get valid, large sample size data of alumni?
  • Am I a good teacher or am a good at teaching students that are good at “playing school?”
  • How do we move forward?
  • What is academic excellence in 2017?
  • Can we create new measurement tools?
  • Can we really create knowledge? Can we measure courage in education?
  • How do we approach divergent thinking?
  • Am I able to continue as a teacher in a brick and mortar school if I know I can reach more people online?
  • Can I create knowledge?
  • What is the nature of creativity?
  • Can we create a rubric that measures imagination, passion and innovativeness (apparently, this is a word) ?

We spoke of purpose, contribution, compromise, diversity, leadership, gratitude, integrity, ethics, confidence, adaptability, courage, support systems, choice, moral strength, uncertainty, perseverance and resiliency.

Now it is time to spend the weekend contemplating all that I have acquired and to plan ways to introduce my ten-year old students to their future.

3 thoughts on “Measuring the Impact of Imagination, Exploration and Innovation

  1. Dear Mr. Mernin,
    Thank you for the inspiring questions. Indeed, we all “need to know how to write the questions.” I think asking good questions is just as important (if not more so than) finding good answers. I believe if my children love asking questions, they will want to find answers, where as if my children are only interested in finding answers, they will stop the process of discovering once answers appear. Thank you for being an constant inspiration to Anthony and myself.

    • Miranda,

      That is very kind of you. The work that the measurement team put in was pretty meaningful. Your boy will reap the benefits in the coming years. Remember us when he graduates!

      Take care and thanks again.


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