YOU GUYS. HE RECOGNIZED ME FROM TWITTER. @gcouros #InnovatorsMindset #VASCD17 #VASCD2017 pic.twitter.com/rWERT8ULl6— John Meehan (@MeehanDJO) December 1, 2017
I’d always prided myself on being a teacher driven by student engagement, but jumping with two feet into the full-blown world of the “Innovator’s Mindset” felt like a pretty big pedagogical shift. When I look back at the decision, it’s kinda like that scene in The Matrix where Neo is given the choice between taking the blue pill and the red pill. I’ll let Lawrence Fishburn’s character Morpheus explain:
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Here’s a quick recap of my trip down the rabbit hole to a fully gamified classroom (to be documented as stand-alone blog posts at a later date, no doubt):
- Read The Innovator’s Mindset. Hear smart people like @ToddWhitaker and @gcouros at education conferences echoing the same things again at again about the power of Twitter to connect like-minded educators from all around the world.
- Feel inspired. Check out other books and hashtags by Dave Burgess Consulting authors.
- Expand ever-growing network of like-minded educators on Twitter while adding smart people to my personal learning network (PLN) by connecting to conversations with the #InnovatorsMindset hashtag.
- Find more inspiration and creative ideas from the Twitter musings of other teacher-leaders using the same hashtag.
- Implement Twitter-inspired lessons in class. See incredible results. Repeat steps 2 through 5 and go deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.
An English teacher colleague just sent this to me — his kids used my Funko Pop! templates (https://t.co/PcsqXSSYmt) from PLAY LIKE A PIRATE to create action figures from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. You will see nothing better today. #PlayLAP #tlap #ditchbook #edchat #elachat #t2t pic.twitter.com/bQKt2OscGx
— Quinn Rollins (@jedikermit) December 11, 2017
You guessed it.
Having already seen the power of the #InnovatorsMindset community through Twitter, and compounding my curiosity with the crazy amount of student buy-in I was able to see come to life from this one-off “gamified” approach to what could easily have been a throw-away assignment, I started warming to the notion Dave Burgess Consulting crew might actually be onto something with this whole “Pirate” approach to education after all.
So I took the red pill.
Checked out a handful of videos from Matt Miller‘s nine day #DitchSummit over the winter break. Flipped through a copy of classroom gamification guru / education Mad Hatter Michael Matera‘s Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners while on a trans-Atlantic flight to Austria for the Christmas holiday. And found myself deep inside the Matrix of the gamified classroom.
Welcome to the rabbit hole.
Thanks, George. I owe you one.