There is no end. This week CIC MOOC has formally ended and yet the group and the project that we started continues. The project Promoting Creativity in the K-12 Classroom headed up by Cathleen Nardi and teammates Melissa Goodwin, Tracee Vetting Wolf , Strawberry Olive and myself plans to continue ahead with full steam. In addition, I have started another MOOC –The Future of Story Telling which easily blends into getting our project’s story told. What we gain from a successful cMOOC environment has no formal ending, and each cMOOCs can be a bridge to another.
The project created for the CIC MOOC focuses on helping teachers and school districts change the way they do professional development. Historically, PD has been seen as an isolated event done on staff development days or off campus. It is our belief that PD for teachers should be ongoing and integrate social media platforms that connect teachers to a global network of educators so that the synergy and creativity that takes place there in PD spills over into the classroom. Therefore, lessons learned in PD become lessons extended into the classroom and in the long run teachers’ lives become much easier because of connectivity. In a recent blog post by Tom Whitby, he points out that with the dawn the internet, social media and self-directed learning, PD for teachers can be transformed. However, he notes a few formidable barriers:
1. Resistance to gaining digital literacy (Ironic! Do you see this when you look around?)
2. Being programmed to the model of Control, Compliance and Permission for PD (How many of your colleagues are all about following the rules?)
3. I would like to add a third that was tweeted at #edchat this week by Cathleen Nardi.
Like many promoters of change in the world, we did meet resistance with our project which Cathleen Nardi talks about in her blog. So while thinking about this resistance this morning, I was grateful for a tweet from Eric Sheninger who posted George Couros’ recent insights on getting others to embrace change.
His three points/ ideas are these:
1. Show them how your idea will save them time in the long run.
2. Show them how your idea is different and not just more of the same.
3. Show them that an investment in time on something different on the front end equals a saving in the long run and that can equal BETTER in the end!
In addition, as we think about moving this project forward in spite of resistance and by embracing strategies for change, the first chapter of Story MOOC helped me focus on a key point. Christina Maria Schollerer of Story MOOC talks about Robert McKee‘s theory of the importance of good story design. Of particular interest is the idea of the “inciting incident” which is when an idea or event comes along either by choice or accident or both and life is thrown into imbalance. The protagonist wants to regain balance and does everything possible to restore life’s balance. A well designed story has a hook, a hold, and a payoff of the audience’s interest.
It seems that getting others to embrace the change that we promote with our project also involves the protagonists (educators, students, particpants and other collaborators), a hook, a hold and a payoff. I believe that the hook is there and our challenge is to maintain the hold which will lead to enormous payoff for countless educators and children all over the world.
So as I think about CIC: Promoting Creativity in the K-12 Classroom and Story MOOC, I made a visual list of some of the multiple and ongoing inciting incidents(some by choice/some by accident) and character traits that have kept this group together and push our project forward. Here are just a few for which our team gets a huge star!