Wave of Innovation

This week is finals week, and I presented to our college board of trustees about my experience with professional development that I did this summer. It was called the Innovations Academy (IA), and this presentation was part of my commitment to help see this become a permanent offering on campus. As usual, I didn’t say what I planned to say, and what I did say was not as eloquent as what I planned to say. Geez. Luckily the history, art, and math teachers who followed me were amazing. As we spoke, one board member took out a calculator for a quick calculation about the cost of the training and what that amounts to per student. Genius! Note to self: remember that calculation.

Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the return on investment that institutions get when there is an innovation that works for faculty. Ideas spread. Practice changes. Students learn. I can cite research, examine statics, write papers, and present my ideas, but it really comes down to what I see in the classroom from my students. As a result of my work with the IA, I tried a lot of new things. Some worked really well, and others fell flat. I was constantly trying to keep up with the course creation, and I was always behind on grading. This quarter is going to go down in the books as one of the most demanding and rewarding.

Today, I read this lovely short post by Diego Rodriguez. He says:
In doing, there is knowing. Doing is the resolution of knowing. We learn via our mistakes, and we can make many more valuable mistakes when we take action. Innovating is about doing, not talking.

What are you doing today to get started?

Turns out, I’m not doing much today to get started. It’s about finishing the grading. I’ve got some big plans for spring break. Spring quarter and beyond–all very exciting.

Returning the etmooc topic, I can honestly say that this MOOC experience has been worth the time. I’ll follow these conspirators wherever they go next. Will there be such a thing as an ETMOOC groupie?

The first thing I thought about when I saw the topic on Digital Citizenship for this week was my experience going to a town hall meeting in Bellingham about the future of Galbraith Mountain. There were emails and postings about the major changes happening to this area where I love to mountain bike. By clicking on the various posts and educating myself about the situation, I felt pretty connected. Luckily, several hundred people felt the same way, and although our mountain is still not safe from logging, it was nice to see those “Likes” on Facebook and all of those posts mean something when it counted. People showed up. And on my birthday, March 12, the city council voted for “9,000 acres around Lake Whatcom [to] be converted into a county park for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.”

Did my email help? Maybe. Will I remember the two council members who voted no the next time there is an election? You betcha. Thanks to other digital citizens, I was able to articulate why I live here, and why this land should be preserved for future generations. Not only is this lake a beautiful daily sight for me, it’s also our town’s drinking water source. How did I feel when I read the paper about the positive decision? See photo to the right.

Next up: Summary of Learning. I’m drafting my answers in my head while I walk the dogs tomorrow. 

I’m going to complete this assignment before I take a few days off the computer to get to know my snowboard, mountain bike, and road bike again. There’s a lovely winter storm hanging around the Cascades right now. I’m pretty sure I smell wax wafting from the garage. It’s the first day of spring, but winter is still glorious in the hills! 

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/03/13/2917844/in-5-2-vote-county-council-approves.html?fb_action_ids=439561009451574&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582#storylink=cpy