Creating and capturing your own great ideas

Image from Haiku Deck gallery.

Image from Haiku Deck gallery.

The book Creative Confidence from Tom and David Kelley is an excellent read and I thank David Culberhouse and Tyler Gayheart for the recommendation.

As the title implies, the main focus of the book is to convince yourself and others in your organization that you are a creative person. As I think about the term “creative,” it’s not about having fantastic ideas that never fail to impress. It means that you have the ability to create. Whether you are creating products or just ideas, be productive and go for quantity not quality. Some of these products will be remarkable, but most won’t. Don’t let that discourage your efforts. ABC = Always Be Creating.

In this line of thinking, the authors riff on Louis Pasteur’s words, “Chance favors the trained mind,” and remix it to “Chance favors people who do lots of experiments and then pay very close attention when something unexpected happens.”

We all have a lot of ideas, so what method do you have to capture them all? Some environments are more “epiphany-friendly” (term from the book) than others, so make sure you have the right method for that environment. Lots of ideas are formed in the shower because our bodies and minds are in a relaxed state and that is a time when a lot of good thinking happens. Have a notebook nearby to jot down those shower thoughts. Keep that same notebook near your bed to enable you to record what you dream about in the night or ponder on in between the time you awake and then get out of bed. I do a lot of my best thinking while driving to and from work. Of course this isn’t the place to actually write a note, but use your smart phone to record a voice memo. Aside from the native voice memo tool in your smart phone, the Voxer app has a notes feature that lets you record an audio file and then share it through text, email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Record all the ideas you have and don’t critique them as they are being formed. Kelley and Kelley say, “defer judgment long enough to let an idea evolve.” An idea that makes sense on Wednesday, may be ridiculous by Friday, but could be the answer to a related problem you have on Monday. It’s kind of like that jar of nuts and bolts you keep in your garage or junk drawer. You keep throwing odds and ends in the jar, never knowing what you’ll need or when, but are appreciative when you find exactly what you need when completing a project or making a repair.

Khan Academy’s lab school

I saw this job posting today for elementary teachers for a lab school from the Khan Academy crew. Some educators might lead you to think that the Khan approach is a terrible thread in educational reform. While I don’t think that YouTube videos will revolutionize the American education system, videos and other online resources might be the best (or only) sources of information for students (old and young) in rural parts of our country and in other parts of the world. What stands out to me about Khan and other similar online approaches is that there is an attempt to personalize education, and that is very hard to do in our typical schools and classrooms.

I’m curious to learn more about the Khan Lab School and the approach they will take for their students and staff. I see that they aren’t requiring a teaching license (I’m a little skeptical), but do want experience in project based learning (a very good thing). I love this expectation, “Experience with or a desire to teach in a setting that values giving up control and allowing students to make mistakes and gain maturity and self motivation through independence.”

Elementary Grades Teacher | Edtech Jobs | EdSurge.

Screenshot from the Khan job posting at EdSurge.

Screenshot from the Khan job posting at EdSurge.