Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Innovator's Mindset and Seesaw

I had the pleasure of hearing George Couros speak at the 2015 NETA Conference. It was one of the BEST keynotes I have ever heard at any conference. So needless to say when his book The Innovator's Mindset was published by Dave Burgess Consulting in October, I knew I had to read it. Once I read it, I knew I wanted all of my teachers and administrators to read it. So I decided to hold our first ever district-wide book study.

The next decision was how to hold this book study. I knew that I wanted it to be an online book study. I had seen lots of groups using Twitter chats to discuss The Innovator's Mindset. I thought about creating a Google+ Community for our book study. I even thought about using Google Classroom. And then, an epiphany! Seesaw! I liked that Seesaw would give participants a lot of flexibility in how they would would reflect on each section. Participants could type their reflections or make a video or draw a picture or take a picture of a quote in the book and add audio. And Seesaw is so easy to use I thought anyone would be able to pick it up quickly with little to no training. I also liked that no matter what device a participant wanted to use, Seesaw would work.

I created a class in Seesaw for the book study. Since we are a GAFE district, I decided to use a Google sign in mode for this class. I created a folder for each section to follow our timeline. The Innovator's Mindset is already divided into four sections so I used that for our timeline. Our timeline is as follows:

June 6 - June 19 Innovation in Education Chapters 1-3
June 20 - July 3 Laying the Groundwork Chapters 4-7
July 4 - July 17 Unleashing Talent Chapters 8-12
July 18 - July 31 Concluding Thoughts Chapters 13-14

I also included a folder for introductions.

We are in the process now of getting people access to the Seesaw class. Because I am using a Google sign in, people need to use a code to gain access to the class. Due to security reasons, the code is only good for 15 minutes at a time. My plan was to send the code at a specific date and time. Unfortunately, no one was available at that date and time. So it has been interesting getting people the code and getting them to use it within 15 minutes! I could have done this differently. But for our situation when I wanted participants to use the device they were most comfortable with, this was the best option for sign in.

Our book study doesn't officially start for a couple of weeks so I won't know if using Seesaw was a good idea or a bad idea. But honestly, how could using Seesaw be a bad idea for anything!