Friday, April 12, 2013

Innovation Day at Hillsdale

So at some point this past summer, I came across Innovation Day; I’m not sure if it was from Pernille Ripp or Josh Stumpenhorst. I leaned heavily on their blogs and expertise throughout the process - a huge thanks to both of them! 

As my team and I saw down and planned our advisory curriculum this summer, we set aside a couple weeks to devote to this day. There were concerns that all students would create something meaningful, something that they were proud of. We took some intentional steps to make sure that would be the case.

We introduced the idea of passion driving people to create awesome, innovative ideas by first asking students what showed up in a ‘normal’ music video.Then, the students watched the OK Go video for the song “This Too Shall Pass.” You’ve seen the video - the one with the crazy Rube Goldberg machine. If you haven’t, check it out. After this, it was pretty clear that passion created a dedication that was pretty darn evident in this video. Students then brainstormed things that they were passionate about or were interested in learning. 

The following day, we watched this video about ways to stay creative. Students then brainstormed how they would make sure their creativity would shine through in their creations on Innovation Day. On the third day of advisory, students looked at possible deliverables for their project: we wanted to make sure students had lots of ideas to sort through for their possible creations. 

Next, students created multiple possible project outlines that stressed the four key ideas for this project: that they focus on something they are passionate about, that a deliverable product was created, and that their product would have both an audience (it didn’t have to be a huge audience, but it needed to have a possible audience) and would create an impact on their audience. Finally, students choose the favorite of their brainstormed ideas and wrote up a formal project proposal. Group projects were fine, but projects that incorporated multiple people had to legitimately require a group effort. These formal project proposals required some detail and typically took two or three revisions in order to be specific and complex enough to take an entire day. 

My advisory proposed to create the following things: a fantasy world with lore, a presentation about why school is the way it is, a zombie movie, necklaces to raise money for anti-bullying charity, football safety videos, an anti-bullying video, a presentation about beaches, two separate piano and vocals songs, a children’s book, a choreographed dance piece, two different board games, chalk art, satirical movie, a brony video, and a horror story. 

We’re just about at the end of Innovation Day right now. I’ll write more about what the day felt like and show off the products of my students created soon. Promise. Want to check out the materials we used to prep our students for Innovation Day? Click here - feel free to copy and modify any of the documents and use them for your school’s Innovation Day.

Late addition: I just received this awesome video from our student photographer. Check it out below!