Share any thinking, new design steps, progress, challenges, and/or successes you have experienced during this course. How have you evolved as an innovative thinker?
I have learned a lot about design in this course, how it applies to my teaching and to my Capstone. For example, recently I have been doing one pagers with my students. A one pager is (AVID based) like a poster that depicts something that you want to teach or represent using drawings and text. The feedback I have been giving the students on their one pagers is based on design and not information. This course has opened my eyes to the fact that every student is putting down about the same information (in their one pagers), because they are all pulling the same information from the same source. The difference in their one pagers is the design of them. Below are some of design concepts that I have learned from this course, that I am applying to my teaching and to the creation of my Capstone.
1.) LESS IS MORE: I've taught students that to capture the audience they should put as much information onto their posters (one pagers) with the least amount of text. I've taught them that the audience will turn away from a poster loaded with text, but will stay connected to a poster that has stimulating visuals aided with simple one word or short phrased text.
2.) Connecting Visuals with Text: I have taught the students that all the visual images and colors should connect with the main topic. In addition, I have taught that the text should be located next to the visuals to serve as an aide/support. I have realized (based on the students' one pagers) that students have been engrained to present a topic via information with visuals as an aide/support. It has been difficult for many students to transform their thinking from informational to design, but they are starting to conceptualize the importance of design plus information.
3.) Looking through the Audiences Eyes: I have taught the students to create the one pagers as if they were teaching someone the key ideas and main details of the main topic. I've told them to imagine that someone will come up to their one pager and either be connected or disconnected based off of the design.
I've told the students that the design has to be simple, appealing, informative, and creative. I have steered away from evaluating solely the information of student's one pagers and I am now grading them on the simplicity, appeal, and creativity of their design. Even their information is being graded differently. Instead of grading content and conventions I am grading the ability to pack the most amount of information with the least amount of text. Focusing on design instead of information has flipped my evaluation process.
There are other areas of design that I've learned from this course that I am exploring but I am not teaching to my second graders such as the positioning hierarchy of visuals and web based applications used to enhance a project.
I feel that this course and the other courses have helped to me to progress with my Capstone and my teaching. I am thrilled to be learning technical tools that I can use in my teaching and in my personal free time. For instance, I look forward to learning more about WeVideo so I can teach my students and so that I can create innovative videos outside of school. These courses have given me the confidence to explore on my own and it has also opened my eyes to the amazing different web based applications that exist to make learning captivating, stimulating, cutting edge, and applicable to real life situations.
The main challenge that I find with the courses that I have taken for this master's program is the time to complete the projects/assignments. It is in the nature of every good teacher, which applies to everyone connected to this Cohort, to do your best effort and learn as much as you can. We are all working professionals and despite our desire to soak as much knowledge as we can from this program we realize there must be time for family, friends, work, relaxation, eating,e.t.c.
The most distinctive success that I have experienced during this course and the other ones that I have completed is that I am trying technologically, innovative products to inspire personal hobbies and to inspire my teaching. I am excited to be on a never ending path of technological exploration and I am fortunate to be able to inspire others to jump aboard.
Someone once told me that the important things learned in life glue to you in small but powerful quantities. That's how I feel about this course and this master's program. Despite, the bounty of things I have learned, down the road I will only remember and apply a cart load of them, which is parallel to how we learn in life. For example, you may read a great book that changes your life, but for the rest of your life you may only remember a few details from the book that not only stood out but that you apply to your idealogical life.
Life is too short, and there is too much information, to be bogged down with the burden of trying to know everything. Let the mind soak in the information holistically, being influenced and driven by your interests but being mindful that with concentration nuggets of life changing ideas may pop out of even the most mundane sources of information (Dervin).
How have I evolved as an innovative thinker?
One way I have evolved as an innovative thinker is to question design. Prior to this course, I would have looked at the question "How have you evolved as an innovative thinker?" and answered it without ever questioning the design. Now, I question the design of everything, it's purpose, motivation, inspiration, and creativity.
The question, "How have you evolved as an innovative thinker"?, implies that the person responding to the question is already an innovative thinker. The person who designed this question (Curtis) intentionally created an open ended question that at the same time instills confidence in the writer knowing that they were innovative thinkers before the program.
To summarize the evolution of my innovative thinking, I have evolved from left brain to right brain, from informational to design, from rote to spontaneous, from linear to unpredictable, from sequential to holistic, from understanding the speech of people to interpreting emotions and nonverbal expressions, from decoding to inferencing, from accurate to innovative.