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Innovate Inside the Box with Katie Novak & George Couros

Innovate Inside the Box with Katie Novak & George Couros

>>Nervous, I don’t even know what’s behind me.>>Okay.>>You’ve got a fan and elephant it looks like.>>Oh okay. Now I can see. What’s that? Oh my gosh it’s like my dirty
laundry on the bed.>>Erin Katie Novak’s dirty laundry.>>I mean we could really
fill this bad boy up that way. Okay. Look, what a lovely, okay
there’s a dog, we should probably. [Inaudible]. Let’s see if I can, there we go. Got to edit him out.>>Look at.>>I just tweeted a bit late.>>Six minutes, 50 what? Oh my gosh the flood gates are opening. Hello everyone.>>Our, like people can hear us right now. Is that correct?>>Yeah.>>Yes welcome.>>Hi everyone.>>Feel free to type in the chat
box and let us know who you are and where you’re calling in from. Do you have any burning questions
you want to talk about? Thank you. Addy’s saying yes we can hear you. That’s good.>>As I’m like screaming in the, can
you, can anyone hear me is this thing on?>>Annie Dixon from Ohio, hello welcome.>>Hello. [Inaudible].>>Ontario. Aloha.>>Aloha I love it. Yeah if you have an, if you say hello feel free. France, Ipswich, I am equally
with Ipswich as I am France. I don’t mean to.>>Oh it’s Pamela, hello Pamela. This is so fun. Oh my next door neighbor, Lynn [inaudible].>>How do you all say hi? Pennsylvania says hello.>>Shout out from U Sask.>>Oh nice. Yeah like that’s actually
where I went to university.>>Oh.>>Yeah.>>Oh did you?>>Yeah.>>Where is that?>>Like University of Saskatchewan, it’s
like Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Yeah.>>Very cool.>>We just got a shout out, a
good morning from Australia.>>Nice.>>Fabulous.>>It’s [inaudible] Province. South Australia>>Another Canada.>>Hello Tina Shirley. Hi Pamela.>>Hi Katie, like you’re, I’m guessing
you’re like, you’re going to start us off. Right Katie and just kind of do all the
stuff and then when we get to the court.>>I mean, I’ll talk for like 49 minutes
and I’ll give you like one minute.>>Perfect. That’s usually, that’s one more
than I usually get to talk . So that’s nice. I appreciate that.>>That’s good. Everyone’s getting the behind the
scenes of what’s going to happen here.>>Yeah.>>This is the, this is the intense planning.>>Right.>>We were separated at birth, George and I. I am the charming level headed older sister.>>Yeah. Okay.>>For those of you who are logging on, if you
have questions that you want to make sure we get to or any behind the scenes that
you want from Katie and George, this is a good time to let us know. I’m calling in from a dance
studio today in case any of you are wondering what’s
going on in my background.>>Oh are you dance momming right now?>>I am dance momming. And I was so grateful when there
was an entire studio that’s open. So we could do an interlude in the middle.>>Oh you have your own studio. You’re like in studio A.>>I have a whole studio. I have bars, I have a whole
music setup, tambourines.>>Oh my gosh.>>It can be very fun.>>That’s the first 15 minutes of the warm up.>>That’s right. Everyone leave, get out of here. Teresa yes, there will be, we are recording
the session and it is being captioned. So Lenore, if you want to start up
the captions, that would be great. We’re not, I’m not, I’m not
seeing them on the screen. But you know what? I’m just realizing that’s because
you need to click the on Zoom under the little More button there’s a
place where you can turn on your captions.>>And, is there anyway else then to
like go to the Present so we don’t see that top bar that it shows us the tab?>>This is the closest I can get it
without losing the chat box for me. And, since Mindy’s not here,
Nathan and I are going together. So yeah hopefully that’s all right. I know it’s not ideal. Let’s see, does this work, if
that, did I just turn it on? And, we’ll start in one minute. Nathan are you able to turn on the captions? Oh they are there.>>Those are on.>>They’re on.>>Just have to turn them on individually.>>That’s fine thank you.>>Oh that’s cool.>>Oh Kathy thank you. This is already. I’m glad that you’re starting
out with a long one. Thank you for taking the time to add this. Work that we can do within our box. Excellent. Thank you Katie for that comment. You do not need to wait for the new building. No you can go right now. And, whatever, I think the worst I
had one year was being on a cart. So wherever you are and however
you’re teaching, absolutely. All right, it’s 7. Panelists you all ready?>>Yeah let’s do this.>>Ready.>>Tech you ready?>>Nathan Trites you ready?>>I’m good yep.>>All right. Welcome everyone. Welcome to a cast free webinar. This, we have a really exciting
opportunity tonight to speak with authors from Innovate Inside the Box. I always want to say outside the box. And, they say know this is what’s so
cool about it is we’re inside the box. We’re empowering learners through
UDL and the innovator’s mindset. So there’s a lot to those words,
UDL and innovator’s mindset, that’s going to hopefully just
be revealed to us tonight. And, we’re going to focus on
accessibility, engagement, and innovation. So what better inspiration could there be,
whether you’re with us on East Coast time which is 7:00 PM or first thing in the
morning in Australia or anywhere in between. I do want to thank our captioner,
Lenore, for being there. And, I want to invite you all to contribute
to the conversation at any point in time. So you can use the text chat
where you open the chat panel from the center of the top of your Zoom window. There’s a little spot that’s this chat. Make sure that you choose
All Panelists and Attendees so we can all hear your comments
and your questions. We may not take them all in
the order in which they come. But, we see them. We’re going to respond to you. Don’t worry. And, if there is something that you think is
controversial or you do want to just have go to the panelists, you’re welcome, of
course, to just put that to the panelists. You can also share through Twitter. So if you want hashtag CASTPL
or add CAST_UDL, you’re, and we’re going to give you some
more Twitter feeds that you can add to the conversation right now, or
if you’re watching the recording. Thank you for those of us who are not joining
live but if you’re watching the recording, you can continue to participate through Twitter. There’s also a digital handout. So any of the key information from the slides, you’ll be able to access
through this digital handout. So you can go to that, that
digital handout is a So please feel free to access that digital
handout and reference that at any point. So hopefully you have a few options
to collaborate with us tonight. I did want to begin and share a
quote from CAST founder David Rose. He said this after reading this manuscript. Because it’s, this describes UDL as being a
framework from all students including students who have identified disabilities and who
have been traditionally under served. That, no one articulates a more compelling,
a more urgent, or more motivating vision of education both for teachers and their
students, we’re not leaving the students out of this conversation, than George Couros. No one articulates how that vision can
be reached for every single student and every single teacher more daringly and
practically and inclusively than Katie Novak. So having them together in one book not only
helps us re-imagine the goals and practices of education but it reminds us of why
we ever wanted to be teachers at all. That’s huge. I think that’s huge. So without any further delay. I’m going to stop talking so much and I want
to introduce Katie Novak and George Curous, the authors of this exciting book. Welcome you both. And, as an introduction, I
thought I would open it up for you to introduce something fabulous you
would like to share about yourself, something that’s behind the scenes that you
can’t just read in one of your typical bios.>>You have it Katie.>>All right. So you know, first of all, I just want to
talk, kind of, about how we got together to do this book which is, I
think it’s a pretty cool story. Is, one of the struggles that we all have
in the field of UDL, when we’re talking about like the scholarly research. It’s because the framework basically found
its home in the disability community. So many people think it’s only
in a special education framework. So you know, as I kind of go around, and I
go to schools, you know, everyone’s like oh but we are general education so
we don’t need to know about UDL as if it’s just some sort
of specialized instruction. And, you know, I think that
trying to see all this with all learners has been really challenging. And, so one of the things that I think is
really cool is I saw George speak a couple of years ago. And, he was talking about something
he calls the Innovator’s Mindset. And, everything that he was saying, I was
like oh my gosh, this is expert learning. Like this is what we’re talking about. But, it provided such a way
to scale the information. So you know, I think that we were just
kind of, as a field, we were like, no of course all learners need
to become expert learners. But, expert learning was just something
that was grounded in the field of UDL. And, when I started thinking about like
no we want kids to be problem solvers, we want them to be empowered,
we want them to be innovators. Everything that he was talking about, I was
like we are literally saying the same thing. But, he’s talking to like such a
bigger audience where everyone’s like of course all kids need
to learn how to innovate. And, so I think that the fact that we were
able to write this together, you know, shows that yeas expert learning is important. But this is not just for students
who are traditionally under served, which of course it is, is this is really about
every single learner deserves an opportunity to have a personalized pathway to success. And, so we met at a conference and, you know, I spoke and he spoke right
after me and we connected. And, I was like so we’re
writing a book together. And, like, anyone who knows me on this
webinar is like oh it’s typical Katie. And, I’m like no I will continue
to write to you until we do this. Because, I think it’s just such kismet
to talk about, the framework is not only about making things accessible, which
is where we were living for so long, is it’s also about empowering student
to be innovators which is something that everybody knows our
kids need to be prepared for.>>And, I second Katie. And, yeah she was pretty
persistent with this idea. And, I actually felt I wasn’t
ready to write anything. But one of the things that really resonated
with me, when I met Katie, was that she, I think a lot of times when we talk about
the idea of universal design for learning and actually, you know, how we actually
create opportunities for every single kid to be successful, I think it’s really important
to say in ways that are meaningful to them. Because, a lot of times when we
talk about success we’re talking about how the adults identify success for kids. One of the things I really appreciate is that I
don’t think Katie every says this work is easy, but she makes it really accessible. And, I think that’s what’s really important. And, when I say accessible, it’s like, no
matter where you’re at, no matter, kind of like, what you’re doing, what your situation
is, there’s ways you can actually do this. And, she just makes it really available. And, so it’s just been awesome to
actually work with Katie on this book. We kind of, I’m sure you all noticed we
kind of like fight like brother and sister. I’m obviously the older wiser brother. But, yeah, it’s been really
great for the process. And, I actually, it’s funny because, like really
a lot of stuff that I was doing tied into UDL. And, I actually didn’t really realize it. And, through this process, I
think, both Katie and I really try to model this notion of being learners. And, we’re really learning about each
other’s work and how they intertwine and how they actually lift
each other up, you know, through this process, you know, to help kids. And, so you know, like I, I would not say I’m
an expert on anything, to be honest with you. I’m just a really veracious learner. And, I’m constantly trying
to like figure out ways to help teachers help kids
and, you know, how we do this. So it’s really been, it’s an
honor to actually be a part of this tonight and have people have access. So I’m going to send it to talk with Katie.>>Well, what’s nice and what makes a lot
of sense about this, and what we often find in our work at CAST with UDL is that you
don’t implement UDL to implement UDL. That doesn’t have meaning.>>Right.>>But when you think about implement or
using UDL as a tool to really help you get at, as you describe, this expert learning
and to help kids out and to make meaning, to innovate to let students feel what
that’s like themselves, that’s the magic. And, there’s really something to that. So I think it’s really exciting to think
about this intersection a little bit. Katie, what do you think is? Sorry I have a question for each of you before
we dive into the book a little bit more.>>Right.>>So and again, all of these
don’t, I mean, please feel free, and for those of you listening, we
do want to go behind the scenes. So again, try to answer in ways that you can’t
find, like on your blogs or on your website. Give us the, you know, where
did you arm wrestle for things? And, where was it really tricky? And where did you, you know, find
moments that we might not know about? So feel free to go there. So Katie, what did you find to be the
most unique part of your collaboration? As you were thinking about bringing UDL and
innovation together, what was really unique about this collaboration for you?>>Well, what I thought was really the
most challenging thing is that we write at such incredibly different times. So we could never actually collaborate.>>That’s excellent.>>Like you don’t think about writing a book
with someone where I do all my writing like 10pm to 1am and he does his when he’s fresh. And, so it was always having to
like, it was like a game of badminton like see what I wrote, see what I wrote. But, we were never working at the same time. And, I was always like I don’t
know how you write so early. And, he’s like I don’t know
how you write so late. And, so like I find that,
that was really interesting. Because we talk about variability
and we talk about collaboration. And, in the book, we talk a lot about
those importance is like being networked and what does it mean to be networked. And, like of course, in person
collaboration is amazing. But, we’re very different writers. And, so you know even though, you know, I
don’t think that there was too much push back within the content, it was
just more like, you know, sometimes we’d just be like let’s talk about it. And, I’d be like that’s too early
for me and he’d be like that. And, then we’re on different time zones. And George, on Sunday’s, would
be like I’m in Germany tomorrow. And I’m like oh my gosh when can we talk? So it was a pretty cool example of a creation
that really helped to personify the magic of all the digital tools we have. You know? And, again, we don’t use
technology to use technology just like we don’t use UDL to use UDL. But, we were able to use technology to create
something where we never ever would’ve been in the same room or on the phone at
the same time because we just didn’t, we’re rolling in these different universes. But, you know, sometimes
we’d be texting, you know, and I’d be like okay what do you think about? I just wrote a paragraph what do you think? And, he’s like I am literally
sleeping, like leave me alone. [ Laughter ]>>And, what if you could only meet on
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 to 1:40 and that was your only time
to be able to collaborate?>>There’s no book. There’s no book.>>And what we would’ve lost if we hadn’t had
all these flexible access points and an eye on the goal, a vision on the
expert content that you wanted to communicate in everyone, with everyone. So George, David Rose, one of the
founders, co-founders of CAST, used to say teaching is emotional work. So this is similar to your work in
innovation where you know that at the core of all learning experiences, it
begins with the relationships. So could you share more about
why relationships are so critical to foster this innovation in learning?>>Yeah and I think, so I think
that, a lot of times we’re, I was actually just working
with a group of educators today. And, we were talking about
this notion of innovation. And, a lot of times, when
we talk about innovation, it’s like oh look at flexible spaces, look at all this technology,
look at all this other stuff. But, it’s, to me, innovation’s
really a human endeavor. And, the way that I actually
really explain this is that, if you think about your own context
and, you know, where you worked. Right? And, what you will, what
you’re really to try and take risks and who you’re trying to do this. So if I have a boss and I don’t believe
that we have a good relationship, I don’t have trust in that space. I’m not going to take risks. I’m going to basically do the bear minimum. I’m going to just do, you know, what’s there. But, if I, I know I can trust this person that they’ll not only really have
my back but they’ll push me as well. And, I think that’s a thing we really
touch upon in the book that it’s not about the relationships only so that it’s
all like fluffy and like you know everything, you know every kid gets an award kind of thing. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying we’re building our relationship
so there is like a reciprocated trust in the process so that, you know, the students
we serve actually feel comfortable pushing themselves, you know, trying different
things and actually getting uncomfortable. And, so you think about, you know, when we
talk about the idea of innovation, you know, and we simply define it as, you know,
doing, you know, new and better things with the better thing being the essential
part of that, that it’s not really innovation, that it’s simply new but it’s terrible. And, so if I’m going to do
better things, you know, how do I tap into the passions
of the people that I’m serving? How do I connect with them? How do they know that when
they try something new, in pursuit of it being better,
that they have their support? And, so when Katie and I were talking
about this, we really talked about. And, Katie’s right like the collaboration through the process was really
interesting because, basically, we wrote the book in two
different voices but connected. And, Katie, I’ll be honest with you, like
Katie did such an amazing job, basically, reading my stuff and just intertwining UDL in
such a way that it feels like it’s one author but you can, we make, we distinctly feed off
each other, because we have different, you know, areas that we focus on in the book. But, that relationship fuses everything. And so when we, when we started talking
about like what are the, what are the things that we have to really rethink and what really
is this core of the work that we’re doing. And, as you can see in that circle, you can
see the idea of relationships in the middle. And, what I’m outright saying in the book is
that this is actually more important than all of the other things that the other
things actually will not be as effective if we don’t really take time to build
those relationships, build our rapport, know the people we serve, and connect with them. So I think that’s what we’re
actually starting with. And, I can go into the next part, but I know
you’ll probably have some other questions, Allison, or do you just want me to keep going?>>Well I’m wondering, I’m just wondering
what your UDL background was before coming to this work?>>My UDL background was Katie. That was my UDL background.>>That’s a pretty good place
to start I have to say.>>Yeah. Like basically I, like, when I first
met Katie, she was actually talking about UDL. And, I just want to be clear that I stayed
for her presentation but she left to go.>>I had plans. I had, I had four kids in a minivan and my.>>Yeah I’m surprised I, I already know when you
were like, I thought you were going to ask me like what was the hardest
part about working with Katie? And, I’d be like working with Katie. No I’m just kidding. Katie is amazing. Katie is an absolutely incredible
person as much as I make fun of her. But yeah like I, I actually, I learned like a
lot of stuff through, you know, through Katie. And, I actually followed
David Rose’s work earlier. And, I know, so I worked in on [inaudible]
and we touched on, you know, some UDL aspects. And, so yeah I will be honest
like Katie was, like I, I guess part of me too was
a little insecure about it. Because I don’t know this as
well, obviously, as Katie. But, honestly, I don’t think
anyone knows it as well as Katie. Which is, you know, so she really
helped bridge the connections to the work that I was doing in UDL. And, I think that’s really
where it became powerful.>>And, the idea of the pass
the baton that I love, I think, I mean I literally pictured you all.>>Yeah.>>You know, full run, passing the baton.>>Yeah.>>Was that inspired from a race or?>>No we just like, we just wanted, I think,
for, when we were talking about doing this book, I will, I may be bias on this, I don’t like
when it just says I George, in brackets. And, I feel it just really takes
away from the voice of the book. And, so it was, we wanted to like have it so
it like, honestly we have different talents and abilities and that’s why
we brought the book together. But, I wanted the parts that were my voice and
distinct and Katie’s voice to be Katie’s voice. And, I just think it felt, I’m really proud
of it because it felt really conversational. Like it’s, you know, it’s not like I’m
talking about one thing and Katie talks about totally something different like
it’s so built to connection right. And like it, and as Katie was saying, I
felt like, when we were reading this book. And, honestly because Katie like and I just, I
think Katie’s the best and she’s just awesome, like she’s just the best person to work with. My wife loves her for some reason. So she just.>>Her heals, she wants to
get to use the good shoes.>>Yeah exactly. So the process of what we were doing is
like I would basically write the beginning of each chapter in part one and then
Katie would basically come in at nights and then just look at what I wrote. And, then she would just build on
what I’m talking about and connect it. And, so I then like get up in the morning
and then I’m like basically reading to understand what Katie is writing. And, so it’s like I’m getting this like weird
professional learning process through just kind of like how Katie’s expanding and
actually, like this is part of it too and Katie will tell you this about me. When I said Katie like if you’re reading
stuff, don’t edit it, don’t like, don’t come in and say like you need to fix
this, this, and this, just fix it. You know, like if I’m saying it wrong. And, I think that’s how much
trust we had in one another. Like we wouldn’t say hey you
need to think about this. It’s just like I’d just go in and
fix her stuff and she’d fix my stuff. Because, we really know kind of what the
implication of what we’re trying to do. But, you know, sometimes, obviously, if you’re writing a book it sometimes
doesn’t come across as clear. And, if Katie does not understand what
I’m saying then she just fixed it. So it was just amazing.>>So in a sense, you all were taking risks
and getting uncomfortable and maybe having to use some of the innovating
inside of the box in this project. Could I dare say?>>Absolutely. And, I think, I think like the really cool
thing is, like I, Katie mentioned this, like we have met face to face all of ten minutes
before we actually wrote a book together. And, for me to say hey just like go fix
my stuff, you know, in a book that’s going to be published, you know, it’s a big risk. But, that actually, and it’s
not because I’m like naive. It’s because even through a
digital medium, we really connected. We just, and I trusted Katie and I know,
I know her intention’s to help kids and she know my intention’s to help kids.>>Yeah.>>And, so we, there’s was no, there’s
no ego involved with this right, because like I’m not upset
if she fixes something if it makes it better to
help teachers to help kids. That’s the whole purpose.>>You hit on such a key piece. When you have that common goal.>>Yeah.>>And, you care about it, then it’s almost
like the skies the limit on what you can create. You figured out the way to do it. And, that is really what we want to
be able to hand over to our kids.>>Absolutely.>>So you did that. And yes, and thank you for
that comment Melanie, no ego. You know, you keep the vision on the kids. I am going to turn the next
section over to the two of you then.>>Sure.>>And, I’m going to back out a little bit. Thank you for that introduction it was awesome.>>Yeah so when we were talking about kind of
the core, it also reminded me of another one of my corky habits like when you
called me on it like everyone who I was close to was like dying laughing. But like, you know, my attention span,
it struggles a little bit to begin with. So you could be in the middle of a text
chain with me for a solid ten minutes and then say something really
profound, and I’m out for 20 hours. Like I get distracted and
forget about the text message. And, you’d be like oh my gosh this
is like an important question. You can’t leave like that. My husband’s like you literally
do that literally all the time. We’re like we’re in the middle
of something and I’m like. But, that’s kind of the magic of variability
and collaboration to is recognizing that, again, any relationship has things that like
people are going to drive you insane. And I think there’s something
really beautiful about that.>>I’m just going to interrupt you for a
second because I need to build on this. Katie rarely will have a
conversation with herself, she will lose her point in her conversation. So it’s not like it’s just her texting
me back and forth, and then it’s me, it’s actually her talking to one
statement and then going to another and then forgetting what she’s talking about. So it’s not.>>Yes.>>She can do that by herself,
that’s the amazing thing.>>We all have students with attention problems. There’s a place for them in this world.>>That’s amazing. It is so amazing. You can just watch her talk and she’ll like,
she’ll have a conversation with herself and she’ll get distracted by her own words. It’s really.>>And I’ll be like wait,
what was I talking about.>>I had to.>>But that’s the magic of
the relationships is like, you have to like, when you, like every student. I’ve been reading all these
studies lately, you know, and it’s like you ask adults do you have a
really strong relationship with every kid? And, the adults are like 90% yes. And, I’m making up these
numbers and I’m being fresh. But then you ask kid do you have
a relationship with an adult? And, there’s like some series inequity there in
our beliefs that we have strong relationships with kids and then kids believe that they’re
truly embraced for their own identity and their own learning, you know, variability. The point here is that like we have to see
kids for who they are and recognize that, like, the system that we have built, this box that we have built is doing
exactly what we designed it to do. You know, we can’t say it’s a broken system. It’s a system that was meant for something else. And, now that we’re trying
to get every kid, you know, to recognize that like no we don’t all need to
do this in the same way because robots do it in the same way and we’re
not looking for recipes. But like I see you, I value you as a learning
and I will therefore make a pathway for you. And, I think that a part of this
collaboration that worked really well is that like there was a pathway for me always
to, you know, to be able to contribute in a way that I can contribute and
we had like the best time. And, I felt like completely, completely
like respected and for who I was. And like, the kids get that. I run on a weird schedule
like I’m all over the place. But, that doesn’t mean that
I can’t be successful. And, you know, so many kids with learning
and attention issues don’t get a chance to be successful because we don’t give
them the options and choices to kind of personalize their own journey. So with like this core the relationship
has been really important for both of us but then also trying to think about,
you know, today I was with my sixth and seventh grade teachers and they were
talking to me about piloting a curriculum. And, they were like we think
we’re going to try this. We’re going to, we’re hoping
it’s going to be good. And, I said and if it’s not good, who cares? Like even if you totally vomit, there’s
something really beautiful about that. And, then like you have a better story
to tell and you know what not to do. But like don’t be scared of the failure on this. Like, it’s two weeks of a unit, like go big. And, if it doesn’t work, that’s okay. But that is like where, you know,
do they trust that that’s okay? So George is going to go through the
next three slides and he’ll explain like what’s the next tier
around those relationships that really makes it innovator
points and UDL work.>>And could I and, because I interrupt
because my head goes in a million.>>No please.>>We’re used to it don’t worry.>>You just, you commented on something. A teacher, not too long ago, they were
laughing in a session that I was doing. And, they turned to each other and they said if your students were doing this,
we would tell them to shoosh. And the power of laughter, the power of
the laughter that you all brought to that, the power that you were just saying to
be able to have those relationships built and have the perception of the resources to be
available to you, that are available to you come from that affect of emotional place,
that teaching is emotional work quote that we said up at the very beginning. So thank you for your laughter. And, hopefully we can have that
be contagious in the classrooms as well to build that relationship. So yes have at it George. Thank you.>>Well, it’s just like it’s funny because like
every time I talk to Katie we like, it just, you know, we there’s always
things I learn and, you know, think about and actually tie into this work. And like Katie, I know Katie has to deal
with kind of my weirdness and I have to deal with Katie’s stuff driving me crazy. And, I was thinking about this, right. Like a lot of people listening to this
podcast are teachers who had a student who drove them crazy, like
Katie can drive me crazy. But then they also think
they’re the best person ever. And, that, those little differences about
how we are, we have to celebrate them and really tap into, you know,
what the people’s strengths are. Right? Because like I’ll tell you,
Katie and my wife could talk forever. And, they will talk and honestly I don’t
really, I kind of say what I have to say and I don’t really talk that much. And, I’m kind of quiet and I’ll get a text in the morning Katie’s just
like, her million ideas. And, that’s like, it’s nice because you,
we’re not the same but we have both strengths. And, I think this is something that’s really
important in the work that we actually do in education is the connection that we actually
have to understand that people are different. But, that doesn’t mean they’re not better, or I guess they don’t have gifts
that they bring to the table. And, one of the things I
always say is that, you know, I know my daughter is very
intelligent, she’s a very bright kid. But, I have no clue if she’s
going to be academically gifted. But, I want to know that when she goes to
school people are going to be look at her for what she’s talented at, what her
strengths are, what her abilities are. And, yeah, and I’ll know, I 100% guarantee
you, she will drive people crazy, my daughter. But, I still, that doesn’t
mean she’s doing bad things. It just means that we’re
different, and you know. So.>>And we can design for that. We can design for that.>>Absolutely. And, I just think it’s really important to, it’s
just really important, like it’s just, yeah. I’ll tell you, it’s just fascinating. And, like I’ve had kids who, you know, remind
me of those things and just we have to tap into. But anyways, I’ll get into,
I’ll kind of talk about this. And, then I’m going to talk about the
core and then I’ll let Katie dig in. And so what we talked about first,
and I know we kind of touched on this, is the notion of how important
relationships are. And, this is kind of I address is really like
how do you know your kid’s connected with them? And part of it is really set in the environment. And, one of the things I talk about,
and I don’t know if Katie can Google it because I have a blog post on it, is like ten
easy ways to like build a classroom culture. And, it’s like, you know, just like, when kids,
are you actually greeting kids at the door. And, it’s actually there’s like a
ton of research that a simple thing as like greeting kids at the door every
single morning actually totally changes their environment to like higher academic access. Which is not the only measure
that we’re looking at, but, I know a lot of people obviously
do care about that. But, it’s just the connection. And, one of the things that I always say about
my own daughter is that the focus is, you know, she might not be the best academic student. But, if she comes to school, things
you control does she feel value? Does she feel welcome? Does she feel that you’re looking
for her gifts and bringing that up? And, like real subtle things you know like when
I walk into a classroom, is there music playing? Am I, does it give me energy? Like when I walk into a room in
the morning, does it give me energy or does it suck the life out of me? And I think that’s something we’ve
always got to be thoughtful of our kids. And so the next part, I talk about is the
side that Allison asked me about is the idea of Learner-Driven Evidence-Informed practice. And so this one is really interesting because
I have, I made, I share this comment often. And, I share it sometimes to kind
of irk people and get them bothered because I’m trying to start conversation. And, one of the things they say a lot is data
driven is the stupidest term in education. And, I know a lot of people get mad at me. But, if you just hear me
out kind of why I say this. The people who talk about the
importance of being data drive, I honestly 100% believe they actually
have the same intentions that I do. They really want to help kids. They really want to help focus. But, when a lot of people, and this is
the conversations that I’ve actually had with so many teachers in my travels. When they hear the term data driven, all
they hear is it’s all about the scores. We don’t care. Like, as long as we get the
scores, that’s what matters. And, so I really make the distinction
that we’re not saying don’t use data. We’re not saying like don’t
look at any of those things. But, really, when we talk about the idea of
Learner-Driven Evidence-Informed practice, do I actually know the students
that are in front of me? Do I actually like know who they
are and what, like, taps into them? And in the, and then use evidence
to like really inform my practice. And so I actually share, in that
chapter, I share these like five questions that you should actually ask your
students when you’re actually like looking at how do you define them. So first, for one of the examples, like what
are the qualities you look for in a teacher? What are you passionate about? What is one big question
that you have this year? And that will really tie into the next one. And, then what are your strengths
and how can we utilize them? And, what does, and this is, and I
kind of touched base on this earlier, what does success at the end
of the year look like to you? And, I think that when we are talking
about those things, we’re trying to get to know the kids so we can tap into them. And, so like I was talking about this today. I have a kid in my class that said
something I’m really passionate about, I actually want to be a YouTuber. Like I want to make YouTube videos. But nowhere in the curriculum is there
like do this step by step to get to, you know, to get kids to become YouTubers. Right? But I’m going to teach, and I think
this is the whole premise of Inside the Box. I actually have to teach
this science curriculum. And, so there’s certain content. So what I would say to a kid is like hey I got
to teach these parts of the science curriculum. Why don’t you actually make a YouTube video
and actually build it and explain this, these concepts to the entire world? And, I’ll, and I had this conversation today. And, a lot of times, you
know, teachers are afraid. Well like, what if the kid doesn’t
want to make the YouTube video? What I would say to the kid is well it’s
going to be hard to become a YouTuber if you don’t want to make that video. You should figure it out. And, I think, we have to be
comfortable saying to our kids, and actually like I was having a conversation. And, I’m always learning from Katie. And, I was saying, and we were talking
about, like, is it always about the teacher? Like does the teacher have to remove
like every single barrier for the kid like anything that’s in their way? And, she’s like no, no, no. Sometimes it’s actually teaching the students
how to remove those barriers for themselves. And, that’s a skill that
you really have to develop. And, that was like.>>That’s empowering.>>That was such a turn, like
that, that really clicked for me. And, she actually said it after the book. She should’ve wrote that in the book. But, that’s a whole other conversation.>>We’ll do another book then.>>Oh yeah, now I got to do.>>Volume [inaudible].>>Yeah. But that was like,
that was eye opening for me. Right? And, so the reason I use that example
was, I know the, we know some of the strengths and barriers, we know some of the things that we
don’t like in education, but they are realities. I’ve got to teach a curriculum. But, I actually want these kids
to have these opportunities. So how do I connect the two as opposed
to saying, here’s curriculum over here, here’s innovation, try to figure out what to
do, it actually apposed to connecting the two. Katie and I are both adamant that, you know, there’s a lot of things that
the box has to change. But we also, and another gem that Katie gave
me, she said for the grade three kid this year, this is their one year in grade three. And, so if I keep waiting for
other people to change stuff, that kid loses out on an incredible experience. And, so I think Katie and I are both adamant
that we are going to continue pushing to change what, you know, the box looks like. But, while we are stuck in that, those
spaces, whatever they look like at this point, we’re going to continue to transform. And, that’s why, that’s why we want,
really, because I think a lot of times, when we are so focused on
data, we lose sight of the kid. And, that’s why we talk about a
Learner-Driven Evidence-Informed practice. And, actually, if we can go
to the next slide Allison. The next one is we talk about how do we
create empowering learning experience? And this is actually another
conversation that Katie and I were having. Because, we were talking about this notion of
engagement and what engagement, you know, is. And, the easiest connection, because
a lot of people will challenge and say well you don’t talk about
engagement, you talk about empowerment. Like isn’t engagement important anymore? And, excuse me, the easiest way to explain this, is that if you are engaged it
doesn’t mean you’re empowered. But, if you’re empowered,
I guarantee you’re engaged. But, it takes it to this different level because now we’re actually giving
kids more ownership over the process. We’re actually giving them, you know, more say. But, now it’s actually really tapping in
and bringing out the best in the kids. And the whole, and I think what we have to constantly revisit is what
is the purpose of school. And, a lot of times, if we’re being honest,
a lot of times the way we do school, the purpose of school is
to be successful at school. And, for me, the purpose of school is actually
help kids to figure out how to be learners, to figure out whatever they need. And, like I said earlier, to find a pathway
to success that is meaningful to them. But, if everything that I do is about
my teaching and about how engaging I am as a teacher, then what happens when
the engaging person doesn’t go on and the student doesn’t know how to learn? Right? And, so I think that’s, that’s
really I want to talk about that. And I know like that, I want to make
sure that I give Katie a lot of time. So I’m going to make sure
that I go to the next one. And, so with all of these things, the next
one is the Master-Learner Master-Educator. And, I talk about three different things
that we have to focus on learning. It’s learning for students, and like that’s
obvious, we’ve been doing that forever. You know, whether it’s professional
learning, whether it’s like, you know, building professional learning
networks, etcetera. The next one is learning about our students. And, obviously that’s a theme
you can see over and over again. Is who are the kids in front of us? What are the strengths? How do we tap into them? How do we bring this? And then learning with our students. And, one thing that I’ve been challenged
about over and over again is like, you know, saying like hey I’m a learner with
my students is like what happened, the teacher’s not the expert anymore? Like we’re just like replacing the teacher and
we think the kids know as much as the teacher. And, that’s not it at all. We’re still really identifying
the teacher as the expert. But what we’re, but what’s really important to
understand, the classroom as a whole knows more than the teacher as an individual. And, what we’re trying to do is actually
bring out the wisdom and experiences in kids so we can actually learn from them too. And, like I’ll give you like
a really subtle example. I used to teach, my first year
of teaching I taught technology. And, honestly, I did not know anything. But, they just saw this guy who
had a little bit of tech experience and they just threw him in
a position nobody knew. And so I would actually sit in
a classroom with these students and I wouldn’t know how to do things. And, I would just say hey does
anyone know how to do this? And, the kids are just like do all these things,
like figure out, you know, how to do this. And they would go oh Mr.
Couros I figured it out. I’m like oh that’s so cool. I had no clue. And, as soon as they figured out
that I didn’t know some things, they were like oh Mr. Couros
shouldn’t be teaching. They went out of their way to actually
like go find things that I didn’t know because they felt, they felt, as
Katie talks about, they’re experts. That, they were actually sharing and now
they felt they had a purpose in the class and the felt they had a contribution. And, I will say to you, I
would like to say that, that year like I felt I knew
more than them with the stuff. But, I didn’t know everything. And, I learned so much from the students
because I was open to that process. And, again, that does not mean the
teacher’s not the content expert, doesn’t mean the teacher isn’t the
more knowledgeable person in this room. It just means that we have more
knoweldge together, you know. It’s like saying like well
only, you know in a school, only the principal can teach the teachers. Like anyone, you think that would be ridiculous. You know? Even though the teacher, the principal
might have 50 years experience, I don’t know. But it’s really the idea.>>Reflection on our power, our perceived
power structure, our perceived power structure.>>Absolutely Yeah.>>In the classroom.>>Yeah. And, I would say, I would say this to
my teachers when I was principal all the time. It is not about your idea,
it is not about my idea. It is about the best idea. We don’t care where it comes from. And, so we need to create those structures. And, so just to make sure, you
know, just to kind of go over this. I know Katie’s going to take over. Those four areas that I talk about are
really what we talk about as the core, as here is the things that are really
essential to kind of set up in place to kind of be effective, sorry, to be effective in how
we’re actually developing your kids, you know, in these different, like
the notion of resilience. How do we actually work with empathy? And, you know, how we connect
UDL to all these dots. So it’s really talking about the
practice of the work that we actually do to really kind of think different. Because, like if we want to do different
things, we can’t do that with the same thing. And, so it’s really kind of trying
to jolt and have some conversations. And, just the last thing, we
give ideas about each area. And, we actually talk about this. But, I think what’s different is
we say, we’re just giving ideas. But, you have to take these things and you
have to make the relevant to your community. Like I can’t write a book about
someone in a school across the world and say hey I’ve never been to
your school but these three things, if you do these, these will work.>>Well, and George, that brings us
to an important question that one of our, that came in from the chat. And that’s, for example, if the teacher
just starts to greet students at the door, that’s not to say that just doing that
one thing is going to make a difference. So you know, a lot of research can
demonstrate that teachers who greet students at the door do have an, like that does have
a positive impact on student’s learning. It’s hard to know if that’s
correlation or causation. So the student’s who, or
the teacher who’s greeting.>>Right.>>Is also likely implementing a lot of other
innovating strategies and UDL strategies so their students learn more
and can be empowered. So it’s an interesting balance I’m sure. As you’re saying, you can’t say, if you do one,
two, and three, X, Y, and Z are going to happen. But, it’s really about building
that complex ecosystem and.>>Absolutely.>>I guess, getting back to your initial
point of building those relationships and getting to know your students.>>And, I think that’s a
really, because that’s like one of the really complex things about education. Right? That, you know, a lot of schools will like hey we did this thing
and it led to these scores. I’m like no you actually, you did 80
different things and you put a focus on this, and this was one of them. Right? I guess for me, and
I understand, you know, you know like, does the research support it? I’ll tell you this from a personal standpoint. When I actually feel welcome and appreciated
in an environment, I’ll do way more. And, if I don’t feel welcome and appreciated
in an environment, I will do the bare minimum. And, some kids, they will not do
the bare minimum, they will leave. And that, to me, is really something. And, like I was, and I think that’s why I keep
coming back to this notion of relationships. And, the, one of the concepts
I talk about is the idea of school teacher versus classroom teacher. And, one of the students I just had
an interaction with this past year, she actually talked about how she had
suffered from depression, she had, you know, dealt with suicidal thoughts, and
she was having a really hard time. And, one of the things she actually talked
about, and it was just the most powerful thing. She said one of the things that got her up every
single morning was a teacher in the hallway who never taught her a class ever
who said hi to her and greeted her by her name every single morning. And, like that’s the thing is that I’m always
like, yeah okay, so like let’s say doing that every single day doesn’t
lead to better test scores. But, it actually helps a kid, I really, I know
this is going to sound sacrilegious talking about education, my number one concern is
that kid, you know, comes to school every day. You know? And, I do everything to
help them be happy in the environment. That, you know, whether it leads to test scores.>>It just takes one positive
relationship to make that difference.>>Yeah.>>So you just need one. But, that can be really hard to find. School teacher versus classroom
teacher, excellent. Thank you. As we shift to thinking about and how
this connects with expert learning and how this connect with UDL, I’m interested.>>I’m just going to, I’m going to mute my mike
because Katie says that I’m a heavy breather. So I’m going to mute my mike.>>And we want to continue but there
are arm wrestling conversations.>>I’m going to breathe.>>Heavy exhale with brilliance
that comes forth.>>He’s thinking deeply variability
in nostril form for sure.>>We did a podcast together and I
kept losing, I kept missing my cues. And, everyone’s like why? And, I’m like I’m just really
nervous that you were going to hear me breathing and
so I always mute myself. And, so now it’s like a big, I’m a heavy
breather but like in through the nose, out through the nose and I’m doing better. But.>>So we get to thinking about the
relationship between the innovators mindset and expert learning, which is the goal of
UDL, how do you see those two connecting? I mean, I’m in my head forming
all, I mean explosions going off. But, I mean, you know, in a couple minutes,
is there, are there a couple highlights that you want to focus in on here?>>Yeah sure. So one of the things that we, George
actually wrote it in his section of the book. But, he said like if our kids leave
school, and they have all this knowledge and they hate learning, then we have like
clearly screwed up the past 13 years. You know, this is all about, we are trying
to provide this foundation so kids know how to learn so when they leave us, a very young
age of 18 or 19, that they know how to learn. They can set good goals for
themselves, they understand how to find those resources and collaborate. And, so in UDL, we always say,
you know, they’re purposeful, they’re motivated, you know, so on and so forth. But, the reality is, is if you think about the
innovator’s mindset, if you could give a click, I don’t know if it will show up here. I don’t know if my animation is going
to work or if it’s going to be fresh. There we go perfect. So, when you’re thinking about the
characteristics of an innovator’s mindset, and this is in George’s first
book which is titled, actually, the Innovator’s Mindset, they talk about these. And, again, this is when I,
you know, he heard me speak and then I started looking at all his work. And, I was like, you know, we kind of exchanged
books after the keynotes that we did together. And, I’m looking at these
and I was like oh my word. My, you know, these like
sparkles are coming down. And, so when we say we want kids to be truly
engaged, we want them to be purposeful, we want them to be motivated, you know, we
talk about the three UDL guidelines being like obviously, you have to get them interested. But, then it goes much deeper
into the commitment part. Which is like how do you get them
sustained effort and persistence and how do you get them to self regulate? And, when you look at the checkpoints, they
remind us of the importance of being able to cope, being able to set goals. And, then this purpose of like
fostering collaboration and community and really minimizing the
threat of taking these risks. Right? So what we’re trying to do, through
engagement, is getting kids to become resilient, you know, to actually set goals,
to try something challenging. And, then recognize that hey guess what? Like success is a bunch of little micro
failures that make up the success in the end. So please, please do not be
afraid of these micro failures. Because, like, when you build them all up,
that’s when you get where you want to go. They’re stepping stones. And, so what we’re talking about when
we’re saying to like really sustain effort and persistence, what we mean is we want
kids to take risks and we also want them to be able to recover from those risks. And, to do that, we have to use
all of these other strategies. Somebody had mentioned something
about his wife was a rec therapist. That’s actually my first life. I am a recreational therapist, that
was my background before I went to get a master’s degree in education. And, you know, this concept of recognizing
that even, you know, sometimes when your, when your circumstances seem like gosh
I’ll never be able to like partake in these really great art
and music experiences again. Like there’s always a chance,
there’s always a way. So how do you find that way? But to do that, again, you have to
build relationships with other people because other people become resources for you. They can provide you with feedback. And, so when we’re talking about
fostering collaboration and community and like minimizing the threats, what
we’re talking about is being an innovator. If you want to go out and make this world your
own, okay, you have to be all these things. But, you can’t be all these things without
also building some sort of knowledge. And, you know, school was
really great at knowledge. But, kids never really had to be resourceful
because we were resourceful for them. Like, you know, if a teacher preps
everything, it’s like here are the resources that you need to answer this question. A much better question is what resources
do you need to answer this question? How do you determine if they are reliable? How do you determine if they are authentic? You know? And, now create something where
you answer the question with those resources. So what we want our kiddos
to do is be really observant and notice all the resources around them. There is not one pathway to
get to where you want to go. For the love of all that’s good,
I was like a very sub par student. I was wait listed to state college. Like, if I honestly thought there was only
one pathway to be successful and that was through being a really good
student, I would’ve dead ended. But, you have to recognize there’s
always another way if you’re resilient, if you’re willing to take the risk. And, then also, the reality is, is
we can’t just always wait and react. It’s all about being proactive. And, that’s what I love about UDL is it’s,
it’s really almost framework and curriculum and location agnostic in that, you know. In anything in life, when
you think about your goals, what can you predict will prevent
you from achieving those goals? So somebody had asked a question
about like but what about kids with really severe behavioral
and social and emotional issues? Well, I know for example that one
really significant barrier to learning, when you’re thinking about social,
emotional learning is trauma. And, I also know that there are really
great trauma informed practices. So being proactive about implementing trauma
informed practices while providing kids with options and choices to work
together, to choose how they’re going to share what they know, to choose if
they’re going to work with someone or not, that does reduce barriers, and
creates, more learning. And, then this other thin is we’re
always, always asking questions for kids. Like, we need them to start
asking questions for themselves. You know, deeper learning is all about them
actually saying, like, here’s a problem and I’m going to find a way to fix it, as
opposed to, us saying here’s the problem and here’s everything you need to fix it. Because, you know what’s
really good at doing that? Robots. And, then the last, you know, when
we talk about strategic and goal directed, a lot of people just think of that
as just being like assessment. And, it’s like well, if they
have a graphic organizer or not a graphic organizer,
so it’s universal design. And, it’s like no, no, no, no. When you share the goal, like
this is the standard, okay, and you say to kids I need you
to show me you met the standard. What can you create? What strategy do you need to follow so
that you can show me that you’ve met this? But, then it’s the cyclical, you know, constant
cycle of saying always, always be reflecting on. If you haven’t met it yet, how do
you need to be more resourceful? How do you need to try to figure
out what the problem is for you? How do you identify your
barrier and eliminate that? And, I can absolutely be there to show you
some ideas, you know, and to give you feedback. But, like I am not designing for
the 25 kids who sit in front of me. I am designing for any one of the
million kids you can put in front of me. And, I know that there’s no way I could choose a
book that’s culturally responsive for every kid. But, I can empower a kid to choose a book
that’s culturally responsive for themselves if I give them all the places they can
find those books, read the reviews, find out their reading level,
access it on audio. And, so this is about truly creating a
foundation not only so every kid can access and engage with curriculum but that they can
learn how to learn and become innovators. And, so like for me this was the big ah
ha moment of like this is what we need to show this is not only
for kids with disabilities. This is not only for under served learners,
which of course, we need to serve all learners. But, every single kid moving into this unknown
future has to know how to navigate change.>>I just feel like I want to cheer. I was cheering right there with you. And, I do think you have a title for your
next book, Success is Micro Failures.>>Yeah.>>Which is really exciting and really
interesting to think about how young. I know there was a comment also about
how young students can be when they start to build those skills and those habits of mind. We can’t, it’s not like oh that’s
going to happen in fifth grade when they’re ready to go to middle school. They can start it at a really young age. They can start it in any context
in any learning environment. These are skills that they can start
to build and own for themselves. And, UDL gives really nice language
for how to help find those barriers and think about that variability. It can be really empowering. And, I lost my second thought. So I’m going to shift to the next slide. Where we can think about, so I’m interested
to think about some of the specific examples where teachers can really empower the
students that you, that you’re describing so that they really are, they’re the
ones driving their learning not us. They’re not sitting there passively
showing up just not being engaged. But, they are being designed for
from the beginning to be engaged.>>Yeah. So the way that this visual
works is kind of from the inside out. Which is we talked about that first
we have to believe in all kids. That’s what it comes down to. We see kids for their unique identity. We see them for their unique
mix of strength and weaknesses. We believe in our colleagues,
we believe in our leaders, we believe in our parents and our families. We have to start by like just
going to the humaness of learning. And, then what we have to do is, again, we
have to zoom out and we have to recognize that like we as cogs in this system
have to be always learning ourselves. We have to make sure that
we are literally talking about children and not just about numbers. And, that, of course, we want to make sure
that these environments truly are ones that every student can be successful. And, if we do that, we zoom out to these
characteristics of an innovator’s mindset. But, what you’ll see on the outside is we put,
that’s where the UDL principles come in is when we provide multiple means of engagement
and representation and action and expression, we are able to build innovator’s
mindset in students and in adults so that everyone can really kind of create
these empowered learning experiences. And, that is fueled by our belief in each other
and our belief that this system can be changed. Because, what we know now is it
doesn’t work for all students. It doesn’t work for all students. It doesn’t work for most students. And, when we truly value every kid as a unique
learner and we see them for who they are, we are then much more apt to step
back and get out of their way and say I will design a learning experience
that empowers you to make your own choices. And, that can be done in pre-K and that can be
done in kindergarten and that can be done, with, you know, your students all the
way through until they graduate. But, what we talk about in the book is the
second part of the book, is we talk about each of these innovators, mindsets, characteristics,
and then we give specific strategies in UDL where we’ll say, okay these are
the barriers for building empathy. One barrier to build empathy is that students
don’t have a really strong understanding of feelings. Like what are the core emotions and why
they’re very natural to feel that way? You know? And for every kid that’s falling,
you know, walking around, just ready to rebel, picture myself late moving in traffic. And, I know that feeling
in the pit of my stomach. And, I spent 40 years trying
to cope with that feeling. And, sometimes I fail miserably. But, you know, recognizing that like
there are barriers that prevent kids from being able to be really empathetic. And, so let’s try to identify what those
barriers are and then proactively address those. So we go through, and that’s
the second half of every chapter in part two is what are the options and
choices that we need to be kind of a foundation of our own classroom so that
we give students the skills so that they can be reflective
and empathetic and creative. You know, what tools do they need? What options do they need? And, if we do that well, it’s always
fueled by the fact that I recognize that my way is not the only way and
that I’m honoring you as a learner.>>Awesome. Awesome.>>George do you want to add into that?>>See he’s muted because
you don’t hear his breathing. So just really quickly. We talk about future ready all the time. And, there’s no good framework that
like, we say 21st century skills and future ready, and 21st century. And, you know, we talk about that all the time. I just want to like replace it with like,
with a tool for the century, we’re like in it. We’re like in it to win it right now. Like we got to move on. The reality is we always need
people prepared for what comes next. And, people who were really, really successful
thousands of years ago and thousands of years into the future, they will have some basic
knowledge that they pull from being resourceful. But, mostly they know how to learn, they know
how to innovate, they know how to collaborate and self-direct and be flexible
because there’s not only one pathway. And, they also can do that in
a way that’s really productive. Because, you know, it can’t take
you 100 years to like, you know, to do something that a computer
can do in 5 minutes. And, so this is where, again,
technology is not the tool. But, it is a tool that will
allow you to be more productive. Because as much as I have some core
knowledge and skills about the writing process and about UDL and I’m a critical thinker and
I can communicate, the reality is if George and I were like handwriting in cursive letters
and mailing them from Boston to Canada, you know, I don’t know how quickly we
would’ve been able to get a book out. So it’s all about, you know, if we
want to innovate inside the box, we have to embrace expert learning, we
have to embrace the innovator’s mindset, and we do that in lieu of using all these 21st
century job ready, career ready, college ready. It’s like these are skills you need
to be successful period, end of story.>>And, I’m just thinking, me and my back, you
know I’m going to say something about the brain. But, when I think about the human brain and the innovation that’s happened
throughout our own evolutionary history, it’s the innovators that’s
gotten us where we are today. And, so it’s really exciting to think that
we’re designing for those for the future. And, we’re 20 years into the 21st century here. It’s crazy, it’s 2020. George you unmutted.>>Yeah, I just want to add something. I think that a lot of times, when
we talk about like, you know, why are we talking about 21st century skills? Like, we’re 20 years into it. For me it’s like we got 80 years to go. It’s like do you really think you’re going to
know like what’s going on 70 years from now? Like, right, like these aren’t
going to be the same things. But, the reason why I think like the book
and the work and how we connect it is so powerful is, if you look at
the characteristics that we share, you know, talk about resiliency, empathy. These are things that really aren’t going away. And, I think like really the focus, I think this
is what, you know, Katie and I really focus on, is that we don’t k now your classroom. We can give you some ideas. But, at the end of the day, we want you to
develop these skills yourselves so that, when you’re looking at this, you might
take an idea that we’ve shared in the book and actually remix it and
think differently about it. And, you’re developing those skills. Because, there’s no, I wish we, I could,
we could write that book that, you know, solves everything and just, you
know, here are the things you do and if you do them everything will work out. But, the reality is, we really want to power the
people that we work with, not only in the book, but in the work that we do every single day. That, it’s not about giving you
the solutions and carbon copy. That part of it, going back to the relationship
piece, is knowing who you work with. It’s knowing the people that you serve. And, I think that we’ve really
wanted to develop these skills. And like Katie has like alluded
to this a million times tonight. That, no matter who you are and no
matter what kid you are in class, you should have every opportunity
to be successful, you, that that’s something that we want to do. And, if we’re focusing on developing
those abilities within, you know, the frameworks that we have to work, the
kids will be fine 300 years from now. Right? But we’re still focused on
like stuff, not about abilities and what we’re developing in our kids.>>And there’s a question here on, you
know, I want to see examples in classrooms. Which I, absolutely yes. However, there isn’t going to be
one way that it’s going to look. But, you’re probably going to have a lot of
questions that you’ll want to ask teachers and students to be able to get
at all of these different pieces. In 30 seconds do you have a way of
answering that really challenging question? What does this look like?>>When people say what does UDL look like,
I always say what does fashion look like? Because, they’re like, I can
show you some examples of UDL. But, then you’re like well that’s not my style. You know? The reality is ask your students. That’s my, that’s my number one thing,
like, you know, literally ask your students, ask their parents, is every day in
here, do you feel honored or do you feel like you’re doing challenging work? Do you see the relevance in what you’re doing? You know, if you want to write to George and
I, we can provide you with some questions. But, like the reality is here that like the
I can show you, you know, a number of videos. I did some work on the Teaching Channel
and you can see what that looks like. But, it always comes down to but I don’t
teach that grade or I don’t have that book or that’s a little bit more,
it’s a little bit, you know, the personality’s a little bit different. And, so it might be helpful as
an exemplar, but the reality is, is that it’s going to be driven by students. And, so seeing a teacher do it,
there’s not that much to see. Because it’s what did the teacher create so
students can do a lot of this work themselves?>>And, I feel like that’s where the
magic and the excitement come in. And, you probably won’t see everyone
doing the same thing at the same time. Sometimes, that might be necessary,
but my guess is that might be, that might be something you
start to see just a little bit. And, you all are sharing really
important comments in the chat box. So thank you all for continuing to
think about how you’re viewing this and how you’re processing all of this. So let’s start the movement. So I love this, I want to know more about UDL. Katie is a prolific writer and
presenter and advocate for all kids. So you can visit her at You can follow her at katienovakudl on Twitter. Every, I have read every one of these books. And, I don’t know which I would recommend more. They’re all fantastic and all
very different and very important. And, so a lot of these are published
through CAST Professional Publishing. CAST is an organization that founded
UDL and we’re really excited we get to hot this webinar with George and Katie. So George and Katie, do you
have any last words for us?>>Also on that, on that we do have a website for the book that has a book study guide. It’s, inovateinsidethebox.>> Yep.>>And then George has about a
billion more posts than me on Twitter, he’s much more interesting to follow. Because as he says, I only post once every
seven weeks, so, Corous is where you get a blog.>>You can use, and that once it’s like 84
posts that all within like a 24 hour period.>>That’s how I work with
all things, I’m slow and.>>I just want to share, so I saw one of the
questions and I just want to kind of address it. And, I think, I think part of, you know,
when we talk about the idea of innovation, a lot of people think about, like and
this is why I talk about the idea. This is more about the mindset
than it is about stuff. Right? And there is a comment something
about you know like people feel comfortable in what they’re doing what they’re,
what’s you know kind of like traditional. And, I think really one of the things
that I talked about quite a bit is that this doesn’t mean that
traditional practice is bad. And, one of the things that I
really actually really have worked on myself is not using the
term traditional practice and making it synonymous with bad practice. Because I’m against bad practice. Right? But I’ll give the example. One of the things that I do that, to this day,
for me to get information is I tell stories. And, story is actually the oldest
practice probably in teaching and learning. And, it’s still a very good practice. And, I think that’s actually important. And, the one example, this was in a school
district just outside of New York City. And, they actually had a student who was
actually, that was struggling in reading. And, they simply moved the student
from like a paper text to an iPad. And, all the sudden the kid
is just doing awesome reading. And, probably it’s because
of how they manipulate. And, it was just really interesting. And, the thing is that a lot of people would
say well that’s not really using technology in a really transformative way because you
could’ve just read, you know, out of the book. And now you’re just reading in an iPad. And, they’ll use like a scammer model and they’ll say it’s just
substitution at school level. I’m like, but the focus should always
be is it transformative to the kid? And, that’s what the teachers doing. Even though it’s a very like kind of
considered traditional practice, you know, but the kid was now reading in a way
that they were never reading before. And, it just took a little
thinking about that practice. And, so I think that’s something
that I try to get people to think is that you can use all the models,
you can use all the stuff. But, the question you should be asked
is this actually beneficial to the kid? And, if you start there,
you’re on the right path. Whether it’s a new practice
old practice whatever.>>Well let’s end that there. I love that you, I love that
you tied it right back to that. When you see it impact the kiddo
that’s where it has the most magic.>>Absolutely.>>So listen to those moments, listen
to your kids, build those relationships. Katie do you have like ten last words? I do want to give you a chance to.>>I mean, check out the book. You know it’s a cool place to start because it
talks about everything that people recognize, is again, what is, what is toxic
to a district that I’ve worked with is people thinking this is
only for special education students. This benefits special education students, your
linguistically and socially diverse students, your students who’ve experienced
trauma, you know, economic disadvantage, English
language learners. This meets the needs of all students. And, it’s painful to me to think about this in
an exclusionary model where we’re only going to do UDL for students who are
already in a sub-separate program. The purpose of UDL is to
eliminate the inequities of an inclusive general education classroom
so all students can really be a part of it.>>Awesome. I’m going to let you all have. Please go take reflection time
because there was a whole lot in here and your brain does need to
have time to reflect on it. So journal, draw, go for a run, take a shower
or whatever you need to do to process it. The recording will be made available. Check your emails when that comes out. We’ll make sure to post it
and send you all emails. And, anyone who’s listening to the recording
later, please connect with us all on Twitter. So this conversation doesn’t have to start,
this is just the start of the conversation. We really want to continue to
learn and work with you all. So thank you all so much for joining
us regardless of your time zone. George and Katie it’s such a privilege to
get to have this conversation with you. Thank you so much. And, I will be seeing you
all hopefully very soon. Have a great evening day. Bye.>>Take care.>>Bye.>>That’s it, you just go and just say goodbye.>>We know that style.>>Well I’m going to log out, I
hope you have a wonderful night. Katie always good to see.

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2 thoughts on “Innovate Inside the Box with Katie Novak & George Couros

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