What if…

This post is part of a blog hop as we work through George Couros’ The Innovator’s Mindset and try to tackle fostering a sense of innovation in ourselves as well as the community. Please hop on over to one of the other blogs linked at the bottom of the post and share your own ideas to the prompt at #ossemooc

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We started a recent Tech in the Library session with the above quote. I remember liking it when Jeanne first pointed it out but like many powerful quotes, it took a few more reads to sink it. ‘Questions that send you on meaningful lifelong quests’ That’s where I want to be.

So as I look at the What Ifs listed on page 117 I think of the quote above. What are the questions that are sparking my reflections, curiosities, and maybe even challenging my assumptions and biases? What questions are fostering more questions? As George mentions, it’s time to dream big!

Right away ‘What if people were always our first focus, as opposed to stuff?’ jumps out. I don’t think any of us would argue that people come first. I have had the pleasure to learn from great mentors that have invested in me and those around me, modelling the time it takes to build those relationships. I hope I do the same. On the other hand I know I can get caught up in the stuff sometimes. The logistics, the details, the process, the assessment sometimes feel like they can take over. Am I taking the time to listen? Am I jumping to a quick solution? Is it about me or is it about the kids/learners? Maybe more so than anything it is a reminder to take the time to do that daily check. An opportunity to refocus on what is most important.

Another that jumps out is ‘What if we believed everything that we had to make great schools was already in our organization, and we just needed to develop and share it?’. Another hard one to tackle. I love taking the time to curate and hopefully connect great folks doing great work in my own community of practice. I have to admit it’s easy to look for the missing pieces, the reasons why it won’t work, it can’t work. The grass is always greener on the other side they say. Taking that time to remember that we have all we need at our disposal to make a change is empowering and terrifying at the same time. It reminds me not only to try to change a system but also to reflect on my own practice and what changes I can make to help foster that change.


There is one ‘What If’ that I can’t seem to shake lately. The more I have conversations about teaching and learning today and the future of education, the more it comes to mind. It popped to mind as we have been working on our visioning project in #peel21st. It popped to mind as I watched Most Likely to Succeed.

What if we measured success in education by the passion for learning learners leave with? 

I know it sounds a little wonky, a little too idealistic. I don’t think I have the wording quite right just yet. I realized as I was having many conversations that I am still stuck in the go to school – go to college/univeristy – get a good job – make money sequence. How do you break that cycle?  If I believe school is about igniting student passions and interests, to help them be caring global citizens, how can I show that? How can we better measure the things that matter and what impact does that have on our day to day interactions in school?

Like Wesch mentioned in the quote, reflecting on the what ifs has just left me with more questions and there is no place I’d rather be. 

What What Ifs spoke to you? What What Ifs do you have about education? We would love to hear your thoughts. Share your ideas on your blog, in the comments or on Twitter.

Hop on over to these posts for some inspiration.

Jennifer Casa-Todd

Katie Martin

Mark Carbone

Peter Cameron

Stacey Wallwin

Donna Fry

Lisa Noble

Darren Lukenbil


5 thoughts on “What if…

  1. Pingback: #innovatorsmindset Blog Hop #3: What If? | Learning About Learning

  2. Pingback: Innovator’s Mindset Blog Hop-“What if…” | Stacey Wallwin

  3. Pingback: innovators blog hop #3 – what if | ~ Mark's Musings ~ blog.markwcarbone.ca

  4. Pingback: What if… | Endless Possibilities

  5. I love your “what if”, and I wish there was an easy way to break the cycle. Unfortunately, it seems to be a top down model: we need the universities to stop caring so much about achievement and more about learning.

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