Thursday, March 02, 2017

Embracing Change

This week I am leading a dozen members of my Educational Technology Leadership class into a new venture for most -- participating in a Global Conversation about Innovation through the second #IMMOOC around George Couros' book Innovator Mindset. 

Since I've never lead anyone into anything I was not willing to do myself, I, too, will be participating as a member of the second #immooc.

This week we were given several prompts to consider in our weekly blog post;  I immediately gravitated towards this one -- 
“Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.”  
How are you embracing change to spur innovation in your own context?
The problem was not what to write-- but how to narrow down what I would write about!

Let me start by describing my "own context"!

Four years ago I gave up my apartment and moved into a 1983 Blue Bird Bus.
Sometimes I blog about our journey at

I knew that I could not leave my lifelong career as a K12 educator, my community,  my friends and family, and my home all at once, so I decided to leave my job ‘inside k12 education’ a year earlier and become a free-lance educator where I would continue to work with K12 from a different context.

It was scary!

But since that day, I have spent more time in more schools having more impact than I could have possibly imagined.

Every once in a while I ask myself -- What am I doing?
Every once in a while I have to explain to someone who thinks I’m retired and wonders why I’m spending so much time ‘working’.

And honestly I’m still on a personal inquiry asking
“How can I as a  sole practitioner leverage my ability to be nimble and  partner with others who have more resources and position to make collective impact?”

Along with teaching a graduate course (sometimes two) each semester at University of Vermont and Marlboro College on various  educational technology topics, I am constantly looking around for projects that fuel my passion.   I borrowed the word ‘freelance’  from my two sons who are freelance musicians.  I learned from them that freelance creatives do some things for free and some things for free.  The challenge is to find the right balance!  And the reward is that you get to choose how you use your time to make a difference in the world!

At a time when some schools are trying to figure out how to include Passion Projects in their classrooms for one hour a week based on a similar practice in business called 20% Time --   I am fortunate enough to have found a 100% Time career as a free lance educator.

For example  this month I’ve decided that I would challenge myself to a personal 30 day blogging challenge  than I’m calling March is for Making - where for the next 30 days I will post a blog post that inspires educators to try maker-centered learning.

Another example happened two summers ago when I I asked myself

What if rural communities had a chance to discover materials, tools, and processes for including creating and making in their own schools or in their community?

Within two months  I traded in my Honda Fitt for  E.M.M.A. - a mobile studio for creating and making to do just that.

Probably the hardest thing for me is to answer the question "so what is it exactly you do?"

Because honestly,  sometimes I have trouble remembering which projects I’ve got going on, and it’s always changing!   I try to keep an RSS feed live on the right side of this blog and try to post regular updates on a blog for each of my projects.

...and hopefully at least one of those projects is doing something amazing for someone somewhere!

“Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.”
      ~ George Couros