Sunday, February 7, 2016

#Crush, Professional Development Book

As my series for the whole month of February, I'm writing about things, people and places I have a #Crush on.  I decided that when writing these post, I would have to include books.  I can't just choose one book so I have them separated into groups.  Today, Professional Development. WAIT!! Don't stop reading. You're going to want to hear about this one.

A couple of years ago I went to a TIES conference (the best educational technology conference in MN).  I happened to walk into a session that this man, George Couros was presenting.  He spoke about so many great ideas in such a short amount of time that my mouth was on the floor as he said his thank yous and walked out the door. This man has collected so many great ideas from lot's of educators and share them so freely with us.  I needed more. 

I sought Mr. Couros (@gcouros) out on Twitter.  At the time, I had an account on Twitter but was not a 'Twit' yet (wait, is that what they call people who use Twitter?)  Anyway, later at the New Orleans NAEA convention I was introduced to the importance of Twitter by Matt and Laura Grundler (more to come on them soon.) I seriously have to stop myself from 'liking', retweeting, and commenting on everything he has to say.  Following him has led me to follow many other great educators and twitter advocates such as his brother @courosa and educational leaders @burgessdave and wife @Burgess_Shelley, @jmattmiller, @PaulSolarz, @DonWettrick, @Thezenteacher, @STEM4ELL@Julnilsmith just to name a few.  Not to mention following the hashtag #InnovatorsMindset for amazing ideas and conversation.  He also sparked portions of the #ConnectEffect discussed in a previous post. 

This last TIES conference George was the keynote speaker.  I was not able to make it for his presentation this year but the reports from friends were tremendous. I'm one of his biggest fans for sure and now he has a book.  I have finished this once and I'm starting it again.  This time, I'm putting his words into action.  When I find something thought provoking, or a challenge (because there are plenty of challenges in this book)... I'm going to write them down and take the dare. He talks about social media as a tool and creativity as a must. He starts by explaining what innovation and an innovator's mindset is.  He continues to lay the groundwork of creating many ways to support and create innovators in our school systems. I found that this book could be used easily on many levels.  One was was as a teacher to students the other as a leader of teachers.  I found myself saying out loud often, Yes, Exactly.  Other times I found my mind questioning and challenging his words.  I believe this would be encouraged and maybe intended by Couros. It has led me to join Twitter Chats talking about the book. To get more, more ideas, and more perspectives.  A book that can make you seek more, is a book worth reading.

OK... so that's my (mostly) academic book #Crush.  I would encourage you to give The Innovator's Mindset a read.

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