The Innovative Educator: An eCourse for Change Agents in EDU

Learn how educators can disrupt the status quo without adding any money to their budget or time to their day.
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  • Lectures 29
  • Length 6.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2014 English

Course Description

The truth is, innovation is like your health. If you treat it like a fad diet, you'll get frustrated and exhausted. If you develop good habits, then you'll see results that will engage your students like you've never seen before. This class will uncover those habits, first introduced in this Huffington Post article, 5 Habits of Innovative Educators. The foundation of the course includes 6 high-quality video lectures from the instructor. However, the best part about this course is the curated content! Guest lectures from innovators in and outside of education, innovation case studies written by innovative educators, and TWO live Q&A sessions with innovation thought leaders.

Courtney has years of experience in teaching, and has a niche for creating highly engaging virtual content. She has previous experience in teaching innovative leadership at Rutgers University. The course will include videos, case studies, worksheets/resources and experiential exercises to engage the class in a variety of ways that help to develop the habits of innovative educators.

What are the requirements?

  • An open mind.
  • An interest in connecting with educators from all levels and disciplines in education.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • You will come up with and execute innovative ideas without needing more time in your day or money in your budget, plain and simple.
  • By the end of the course, you will be able to blend ideas from outside education together with your expertise as an educator to come up with innovative solutions in your work with students.
  • In this course, you will learn how to get the most useful feedback on your ideas and how to incorporate that feedback.
  • By the end of this course, you will learn how to use strategies like "rapid prototyping" in your work with students.
  • In this course, you will learn how to engage your curiosity and connect your experiences outside of work in order to come up with big ideas in your work with students.
  • By the end of this course, you will learn how to engage your many colleagues on campus/at school in the innovative process.

Who is the target audience?

  • Educators

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Innovation in Education: What is happening? What needs to happen?

This lecture is an overview of the course. It explains how the course is structured and what the participants will get out of the course.

The Five Habits of Innovative Educators
17 pages
The Innovation Urgency in Education
Empowering Disruptive Educators
4 pages
Q&A with Author and Speaker Liz Wiseman on Innovative Leadership
Section 2: Habit #1: IdeaBlending
How do people come up with super creative ideas, and how can I start doing that?
The Adjacent Possible Theory
Experiential Exercise: Brainzooming a New Product Name
1 page
Idea Blending Worksheet
1 page
Section 3: Habit #2: Getting Feedback on Your Ideas

Supplemental Materials

'Yes And' Improv Game: Part of getting great feedback on your ideas means being open to others building upon the original idea and perhaps taking in new and different directions. Build your team's ability to give this kind of feedback on ideas by playing the 'Yes And' improv game with them at your next training or team building. This could also be a great game to play with students if you have a lot of group projects for them to work on throughout the semester or year. Find instructions for the game in the supplemental materials of this section.

How to Make a Splash in Social Media, Alexis Ohanian: Watch this quick video case study (linked in your supplemental materials) on 'Mr. Splashy Pants' a social media sensation and great lesson for innovative educators. Use the following questions for reflection.

  • What can we learn about feedback from this case study?
  • What happened when Green Peace's idea didn't go as planned?
  • When you lose control of your original idea, how are you using the 'yes and principle' or other techniques to build upon it as opposed to killing it?
  • How might we be able to translate this lesson in the work we do with students?
Guest Lecture: Heather Shea Gasser on Building an Idea A-Team
Guest Lecture: Ben Owens on Seeking Feedback
Section 4: Habit #3: Failing Fast and Forward

After watching this lecture, check out the supplementary materials for another quick video about 'The Failure Club.'

Use the following questions to reflect on what you have watched.

  • What would your big scary goal be if you joined the Failure Club?
  • What barriers are standing in your way in terms of achieving a big scary goal like that?
  • Are these barriers perceived or real? What could you change to overcome those barriers and go for it?
  • Do you have a fear of failing? How does that fear influence your decisions about the future and your goals?
  • What perceptions do our students have about failure?
  • Could Philip's mission and ideas around the failure club be applied in your work with students? (If so share your ideas about this with other participants!)
Guest Lecture: Case Study Written By Lisa Endersby & Sean Eddington
5 pages
Guest Lecture: Amma Marfo on 'Kill Your GPS'
Guest Lecture: Michelle Kusel on Failing Fast and Forward
Section 5: Habit #4: Passionate Curiousity

After watching this video lecture from Courtney watch the video in the supplemental materials section and think about how an exercise like this might make you more passionately curious. Below are some questions about the TEDx video in your supplemental materials.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What would you try for 30 days?
  • Could you go a whole 30 days?
  • Why or why not?
  • What barriers (perceived or real) exist that are standing in the way of your passionate curiosity?
Guest Lecture: Mickey Fitch on Being Passionately Curious
Guest Lecture: Nathan Resnick on Being Passionately Curious
Rapid Fire Lecture: Why Innovative Educators Take Vacation Days

Passionate Curiosity: If you observe innovative educators in a conversation with a student or a colleague, you’ll see how they become hyper-focused and they ask lots of questions. They are constantly learning. This is also why they are idea blenders, because their curiosity leads them into a new web-design class or a subscription to an entrepreneurship online magazine. When faced with a problem, they don’t fumble, they investigate. They ask lots of questions… really thoughtful questions. This goes beyond a commitment to lifelong learning, it is a habit of always asking why, and then taking the initiative to answer that question. Often, this is why they also love technology. It is because technology presents them with a new puzzle to figure out.

As part of the 5 Habits of Innovative Educators eCourse, we have 3 live Q&A sessions that are open to the public in hopes of inspiring educators to think differently about the work we do with students. This particular session will focus on creativity and passionate curiosity. Want to join in? Tune in on June 30th and tweet your questions for our special guest Paul Jarvis using the hashtag #innovatED (ya see what we did there?).

Find out a little more about our special guest and our all-star interview host!

Special Guest: Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis is a web designer, best selling author & gentleman of adventure.

Paul’s clients include Yahoo, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, The Highline in New York City, Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo and Kris Carr.Paul’s writing appears in Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post, The Muse, Smashing Magazine, Communication Arts, The Next Web, Adobe’s 99u, GOOD Magazine and many other publications.He’s toured North America in the band Mojave, independently-published several books, and has worked as a freelance web designer for almost two decades.Paul currently lives in the woods on Vancouver Island with his wife Lisa and their two rats, Onha’ and Awe:ri. All four are happy vegans. He’s also got far more tattoos than you. Follow Paul on Twitter @pjvs.

With Host Amma Marfo

Many of you already know Amma Marfo and all her wonderfulness from following her on Twitter@AmmaMarfo.

Amma Marfo is the thoughtful yet incurably silly Assistant Director of Student Activities for Involvement and Assessment at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida.

In addition to her role at Emmanuel, Amma is an avid and prolific writer; she writes often for her own blog (“The Dedicated Amateur”), is a contributing editor to the Niche Movement Blog, and guest blogs in a variety of other places (IdeaBlend EDU, NASPA SLP-KC and TKC blogs, The Good Project). Her first book, THE I’S HAVE IT: Reflections on Introversion in Student Affairs, was released in January 2014.

Her research interests include ethical and moral development in college students, the role of social media in identity development and expression, and creating and sustaining “introvert-friendly practices” in student leadership programs. Her other interests include running, yoga, surfing, trivia, and gluten-free cooking/baking.

Section 6: Habit #5: Believing in Students

After watching this lecture from Courtney, be sure to watch this quick inspiring video from a long time educator with a very powerful message about believing in students. The video can be found in supplemental materials and below are some questions for reflection on the TEDx talk.

Reflect on the following questions:

  • Do you agree that education is amplified by our relationships with students?
  • How do you build relationships with students? How about the ones that are more difficult to connect with?
  • What do you think about Rita's message around apologizing to students when we make mistakes?
  • When is the last time you apologized to your students for making mistakes? If it's been a while, why is that? Are you not taking enough risks to make mistakes? Or, are you struggling with apologizing to students?
Stop Telling Kids They're Bad at Math
Guest Lecture: Case Study Written by Holly Niemiec
4 pages
Guest Lecture: Tim St. John on Giving Students a Seat at the Table
Guest Lecture: Krista Kohlmann and Henah Parikh on Believing in Students
Section 7: Recommended Reading and Resources
Q&A with the author of Disruption Revolution, David Passiak
Disruptive Revolution by David Passiak: Recommended Reading (free download)
Liz Wiseman: How The Best Leaders Inspire Their Team and Make Everyone Smarter

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Instructor Biography

Courtney OConnell, Education Thought Leader

Courtney O’Connell is a rising leader on the topic of innovation in education. Her TEDx talk “Go All In on Education” and her articles featured on the Huffington Post have provoked a national conversation on innovation in education. Courtney envisioned and served as the project manager for the Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference, a conference that was named Event of the Year by and featured in MeetingsNet Magazine. Courtney was acknowledged for her entrepreneurial approaches in education as a 99U Conference Fellow in 2013, and as an inductee into the American College Personnel Association’s prestigious honor society. She recently was hired to work along side best-selling author Erik Qualman as Director of Business Design. Courtney is determined to disrupt the current education system in hopes of making education a more engaging and meaningful experience for all students.

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