How to become a teacher who innovates

Have you ever thought,

Have you ever thought, “I’m not one of those innovative, creative teachers?” Innovation is a skill. Build it like a muscle. Here are some ideas. (Sketch by Matt Miller)

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m just not one of those innovative teachers. Creative ideas don’t just pop into my head.”?

This post and this video are for you.

(Know someone who thinks that? Maybe you can pass this along to him/her.)

I’ve felt this way most often at teaching conferences. I’ll sit in on a presentation where a teacher is doing something phenomenal … leveraging technology or engaging students or changing how we think about education.

I’ll think, “How in the world did he/she get to that point? I could never do that.”

Then I’ll think, “I’m doing a disservice to my students because I’m not doing that.”

Both of those last two statements are untrue (of me, of you, of all of us). And they can both do a lot of damage.

Changing things up in your classroom happens in small steps, much like any other change.

And, as you’ll see in this video, you don’t have to be a genius to do innovative things in class.

Check out this video (it’s only 90 seconds long) about innovating in the classroom. If it resonates with you, would you share it with someone?

I’m thinking about making more of them. (I’m kind of going out on a limb here, since this isn’t anything I’ve really done before!)

So …

Would you let me know what you think of the message and/or the idea of creating videos for you in these posts? Please tell me in a comment below. Thanks!

How I did it: In case you’re wondering, here are the steps I took to create this video …

1. I drew the images in the Paper app by FiftyThree (the same app I use to create sketchnotes at conferences I attend). I think I drew about 60 different images, all progressions leading through the video. (The first image was the gray circle in the background and the tagline in the bottom left.)

2. Once all the images were drawn, I moved them over to my video editing program of choice, Camtasia Studio. (iMovie or Windows Movie Maker or WeVideo would all work too.) I edited the length of time each image would show on screen so it flowed the way I wanted.

3. I produced the video in an MP4 file without sound and uploaded it to my YouTube channel.

4. I used the YouTube Creator Studio video editor to add Creative Commons music to the video. (Pro tip: Check the box to see only songs that are as long as your video so you don’t have to chop the end off a song!)

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