Replied to How to Innovate: Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission – Joel Speranza (Joel Speranza)

A few years ago now, I decided I wanted to trying doing a kind “flipped learning thing with videos”. I didn’t really tell anyone about it, maybe because I was a bit shy about the whole thing. But I filmed a few videos, I uploaded them to youtube and shared them to my students. The impact was immediate. Students loved, parents loved and my bosses loved it!

Another great share Joel, thank you. This is an interesting to compare with Adrian Camm’sPermission to Innovate‘. Maybe what you are offering is an informal permission to innovate?

I still wonder how this fits with wider school change? In particular, I am reminded of Dave Cormier’s concern over the champion of change and the focus on the complicated over the complex.

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That is a really interesting point Joel and may explain why blogging can wane as circumstances change.
Replied to When you Assume you make an ASS out of u and ME (But sometimes it’s really useful for doing Maths and stuff) – Joel Speranza (Joel Speranza)

Because, if you ASSUME things without thinking about it, you’ll make an ASS out of U and ME. But if you ASSUME and you DO think about it… well that’s just good maths.

This reminds me in part of a bit out of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Black Swan:

We love the tangible, the confirmation, the palpable, the real, the visible, the concrete, the known, the seen, the vivid, the visual, the social, the embedded, the emotionally laden, the salient, the stereotypical, the moving, the theatrical, the romanced, the cosmetic, the official, the scholarly-sounding verbiage (b******t), the pompous Gaussian economist, the mathematicized crap, the pomp, the Académie Française, Harvard Business School, the Nobel Prize, dark business suits with white shirts and Ferragamo ties, the moving discourse, and the lurid. Most of all we favor the narrated. Alas, we are not manufactured, in our current edition of the human race, to understand abstract matters—we need context. Randomness and uncertainty are abstractions. We respect what has happened, ignoring what could have happened. In other words, we are naturally shallow and superficial—and we do not know it.(Page 132)

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Sometimes I feel I should clean up my RSS feeds, removing those blogs that have gone dorment, but then one of them comes to life again like @JoelBSperanza. Then I think that is why I do not clean up my feeds
Bookmarked What Marathons and School Have in Common: repeated choices. – Joel Speranza (Joel Speranza)

A student hasn’t been applying themselves in class. They and their parents come to the parent teacher interview. The student, in that moment makes a choice:

“I’m going to work really hard in class, do all my homework and start studying early for my exam. I’m going to be a model student”.

The student feels good, they have a plan. The parents are appeased, the student has chosen to turn it around. The teacher rolls their eyes. You’ve heard this before.

This student isn’t lying to you. In that moment this student really wants to turn it around. But what they don’t realise is that turning it around doesn’t take one choice. It takes many choices. Made over a long period of time.

Joel Speranza explains how larger choices are in fact a series of smaller choices combined. He provides a number of strategies to support this:

  • Record their “big choice”, write it down somewhere. Even better, film them telling you about their big choice.
  • Discuss how many “little choices” they are going to have to make in service of their big choice.
  • Remind them of their little choices when they come into class each day. Or when they forget their homework that night. (I use a Microsoft form in my OneNote that students fill in each day with their intentions for the lesson)
  • Keep a running tally of the choices they make. You could do it for them or they could do it themselves. Seeing these choices build up over the term makes it easier to see the end goal.

This reminds me James Clear’s discussion of making and breaking habits.