Friday, November 16, 2018

#DEN18: It's Over Already? (Part 6)

It's hard to believe - but just like *that*, the Google Innovator Academy is over. Those three days flew by! At the same time, it feels like we've been together for a month with all of the work and bonding that has gone on. It's a pretty special experience!

I'm not quite sure what to say about it all. Hopefully I will come back after some time to reflect with insights & thoughts to wrap up the whole experience, but for today, these scattered thoughts are what my tired brain can come up with.

I appreciate how our hosts & leaders went to extra lengths to make this special. We felt valued, and there was a little bit of an air of magic, thinking, "What's next?" That intrigue, along with the fact that we were well taken care of, created an environment where we could learn & think creatively! I wonder how typical teacher PD could be re-imagined to look more like this?

I love being in a group that is not afraid to ask the hard questions. So often, we settle for what feels realistic, rather than dreaming. We also have a tendency to try to keep things comfortable, so pushing back on an idea or digging deeper doesn't happen as often as it should. But why? Why not dream big & dig in? I've been in a culture where it is normal & encouraged the past three days. How can we transfer that back home & develop that culture in our own contexts?

Being out of my "normal" context & focusing on an entirely different project has inspired me to go back and use some similar processes to solve some everyday problems back home. I had a lightbulb moment just before graduation yesterday - one of the issues I hear about the most from my teachers is the schedule, but could I apply a design thinking process with a group of them to collectively think outside the box and come up with a schedule that best fits everyone's needs? Why not? The wheels in my mind are turning about how to bring bits and pieces of what I've experienced back home and pass it onto my teachers!

I'll probably say more about this later, but there have been two parallel journeys going on the past few days - the journey of my project & the journey of me. As promised, the Innovator Academy was a roller coaster ride with highs and lows and twists and turns! And I felt all of that. Because that's the process of innovation.

Thanks, everyone, who has followed along on my blog! This trip will continue with lots of touristy fun over the next several days, and hopefully some sleep and time to process as well :-). #DEN18, an experience I won't forget!

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