Friday, August 1, 2014

Spark #SHIFTLab

So, with the usual guilt-and-apologies for the lack of posts for the past four months or so, I'm back.  This year, at the always fabulous ConnectEd Canada conference, which is now called Innovate West, I was fortunate to be able to take part in a session with TELUS Spark Educators to showcase and test drive some activities for their upcoming design thinking/making/tinkering summer intensive session called Spark SHIFTLab.  I had already applied to attend, because it seemed like a really cool workshop, but that session with Steph Nemcsok sold me.

I was, therefore, incredibly delighted to find out that I'd been accepted to attend the July cohort of the summer intensive, particularly when I found out that my new co-teacher and I would be attending together!

It was an absolutely amazing week that I am still fully processing, but I learned about many new things that I am super excited to share with my new class, my coworkers, and my Twitter PLN.  The next cohort is in session in August and then we'll all get together as a big group in November, which will be fantastic.

One thing in particular that has stuck with me is the emphasis on learning from failure.  I am super impressed by how often the staff of Spark will say that they failed at something, and then, this was miraculous, they just learn from it and let it go.  It's amazing to see that actually happen in practice. 

There were a few times that I was stretched to try or do something that I wasn't super knowledgeable or good at (hacking the electrical system of toys, anyone?), and even though I didn't "succeed," I still learned many ways NOT to hack a toy.  I've now concretely connected with that quote about Thomas Edison, which I've always loved.

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