Some of my favorite quotes from the book are as follows:
- "Innovation starts at the teacher level. Teachers must be innovative in their approach to teaching, learning, and designing new experiences (p. 7)."
- "There is a certain magic in the air when students get together and work on things they are passionate about (p. 13)."
- "Innovation in education is education (p. 15)."
- "Freedom is hard. Being told what to do, although not exciting, is easy (p. 20)."
- "Nobody gets excited about what they cannot do (p. 22)." The mission from the beginning is to create the culture of freedom. Create a culture of freedom, not a "culture of limitations (p. 22)."
- "Leaders should create more leaders." "Great leaders do not lead a bunch of followers (p. 25)."
- "Fostering future leaders is the key to student success because good student leadership is inspiring and infectious (p. 27)."
- "There is no plan." "Success comes when you learn to adapt and innovate! (p. 29)."
Don gives us a blueprint for an innovation class. He outlines the following 7 concepts as essential components:
- Must be project-based, passion-based.
- Research centers around topics of personal interest.
- Learning is done individually or in groups of up to 3 people.
- Collaboration with a mentor is essential.
- Project proposals are required.
- Weekly blogs/vlogs are included.
- Presentations are made to key stakeholders at the end.
A key takeaway from me from this book is students NEED to be leaders of their learning. Don ends the book with a call to action...a call for ALL educators to incorporate "more innovation and collaboration into the curriculum NOW (p. 148)." Teachers need to be "innovators first (p. 148)" and model these behaviors to their students. So what are you going to innovate today, this month, this year?