Oh I’ve Got Questions…

(A word of caution to anyone who may thankfully read this post or visit this site for #DEEPdt surprises–After writing this post, I can’t seem to pull it together for it to truly relate/connect to #DEEPdt except for asking questions. I had hoped there would be more substance around questions + design thinking.  I believe the doldrums of spring break (said NO ONE EVER) have caused my writer’s brain to be even more singsongy & well, there.)

You ever have that moment where you have more questions than answers? I hope the answer is yes and I really hope the answer is a yes for your students as well.  One of our Norms at my school (Mount Vernon Presbyterian School), is to Start with Questions. We actually also strive to end with questions as well. At the moment, I’m on the tail end of a very quiet, do nothing, veg-like spring break. My hope is this time has been a “recharge my batteries” type of opportunity yet I won’t know until I hit the ground running on Monday.  Some questions I have been having really pertain to plain old me.   They are not too interesting or thought provoking yet when I was thinking about these questions,  I remembered this Discover mode slide from a recent workshop I collaborated on at #SXSWedu (much more interesting questions IMHO).

I believe these questions are relevant to not just this topic on Edtech & Teachers?   (By the way, these questions came from teachers and were rattled off within seconds of inquiring about their experiences.) What has got me thinking about this idea of “questions” is I wonder if when my students walk away onto their next adventure, are they leaving with questions or are they just leaving.  I believe with practicing & facilitating the methodology of DEEP design thinking, I find myself with more questions than answers and always wanting more time to get to these questions.  As I reread the above there are a lot of “nouns” I could replace within these questions. For example:

  • When do you talk with the student? user?
  • Can you pinpoint student voice in your product? user? empathy?
  • How are your students finding problems to solve?
  • How are teachers finding solutions to solve problems?
  • How are your students solving problems?
  • How do you approach your students? instruction? learning? problems? school work? time? etc (this one could go on and on)
  • Are teachers really just happy with the status que?  
  • HMW… bridge the learning gap between students and teachers?   

Yes that last replacement word, “learning”  is not a noun (I know grammar police will have a field day & I readily admit my informal speak must trouble many), nor should it be utilized as one.   I guess that is where my questions are leading me– To learning.  Am I actively learning every day or simply getting by for the next day to come my way?  In a session I attended at #SXSWedu, Grades are Stupid…. One of the points that stood out for me is that almost every moment & interaction is an opportunity for assessment of others & self.  It is an opportunity to learn on so many different levels and context.

Oh, I have questions as to how I am going to use my time over the next three months to create, explore, connect, teach, and learn. I do know one thing, I do not want to be on a hamster wheel.  I guess I am left with one revealing yet vague question. How am I going to learn over these next three months so as to avoid the hamster wheel and avoid just getting by?