Bringing Innovation to School—Author Chat with Suzie Boss

April 10, 2013
10:00 am - 10:30 am PDT
By m4c webteam

Aired July 10, 2013

Suzie BossIn this first of a two-part series on teaching innovation, we visit with Suzie Boss, author of Bringing Innovation to School. Boss talks with Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, the National Writing Project’s Director of National Programs and Site Development, about practical strategies to jumpstart students’ creativity and problem-solving capacities. Boss suggests that innovation is not only powerful, but teachable. Her book aims to take the mystery out of the innovation process by helping us learn from the strategies behind breakthrough ideas. Her research includes interviews with teachers who are taking innovation seriously, including several NWP participants. (In part 2, scheduled for July 31, we’ll hear from some of these innovative educators.) Her first tip for teaching innovation: Make sure teachers have opportunities to be innovators themselves.

Live Chat Archive

[Jul 10 2013, 4:55 PM] poh: Hi everyone!
[Jul 10 2013, 4:55 PM] poh: Excited to hear Suzie and Elyse discuss innovation in schools.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:01 PM] edinnovator: Welcome everyone!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:02 PM] edinnovator: FYI: the video and chat will be available as an archive from this page later today/early tomorrow.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:04 PM] edinnovator: Link to the book:
[Jul 10 2013, 5:06 PM] poh: I love thinking about innovation as part of a process versus “coming out of thin air” – seems like a helpful and productive stance.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:06 PM] bakersastros: @poh, yes! we can’t wait around for AHA moments!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:06 PM] bakersastros: they don’t always arrive 🙂
[Jul 10 2013, 5:07 PM] poh: @bakersastros For sure. It’s one reason I’m drawn to design thinking as a process to facilitate innovation.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:09 PM] poh: So important, this idea of a “travelogue” – to document the work that’s happening in classrooms around the country.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:09 PM] poh: These kinds of case studies allow us to build arguments for particular kinds of practices.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:10 PM] bakersastros: interesting to think about how good our ideas might look in hindsight, but how hard it is to recognize in real time.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:11 PM] poh: @bakerastros I agree. Perhaps elevates the importance of educators documenting practice/inquiry while in the moment.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:11 PM] edinnovator: Feel free to post any questions you may have for Suzie.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:12 PM] bakersastros: yes, @poh – I have always seen documentation as a major part of a tacher’s job.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:12 PM] bakersastros: I love that “You can be the one”!!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:13 PM] bakersastros: sounds like a #clmooc credo
[Jul 10 2013, 5:13 PM] poh: Yes, that kind of affirmation is right up the #clmooc alley!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:14 PM] poh: “Borrow this idea” – could also be thought of as “Remix this idea”
[Jul 10 2013, 5:16 PM] bakersastros: one of the hardest parts about adopting PBL is looking at example projects as “better” than the ones that come up in your own classroom, and that can lead to “copycat projects”. But why not remix instead of copy or borrow?
[Jul 10 2013, 5:18 PM] poh: I love that ethos, @bakersastros. Among other things, it gives the remixer agency in the process.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:25 PM] poh: The empathy element is what I love most about design thinking as a process.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:26 PM] bakersastros: That is what helps embed social and emotional learning into everything that is happening in the classroom
[Jul 10 2013, 5:26 PM] bakersastros: “making it better”
[Jul 10 2013, 5:28 PM] Seecantrill: hello all! sorry to be late.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:29 PM] poh: hi Chris!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:30 PM] poh: “making thinking visible and discussable” – particularly important skill
[Jul 10 2013, 5:30 PM] bakersastros: the design notebook stands out to me also.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:30 PM] poh: yes, for sure @bakerastros
[Jul 10 2013, 5:31 PM] poh: the design notebook has huge potential
[Jul 10 2013, 5:32 PM] bakersastros: I think it might be good to research design and innovation as a class as a way to introduce design thinking
[Jul 10 2013, 5:32 PM] poh: fantastic idea!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:32 PM] poh: and if you document that work, please let me know
[Jul 10 2013, 5:32 PM] bakersastros: look @ sketchbooks, watch film clips, read passages…
[Jul 10 2013, 5:33 PM] Evin Langley Fox: I look forward to the July 31st webinar!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:33 PM] poh: would love to have you share that documentation at the NWP site Digital Is (
[Jul 10 2013, 5:33 PM] poh: Yes, @Evin, that will be great. We’ll be featuring great educators who are in the book.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:34 PM] bakersastros: I’m looking forward to the next one!
[Jul 10 2013, 5:34 PM] poh: Great conversation, all! And, like Elyse said, tune in to this same URL for Part II on July 31st.
[Jul 10 2013, 5:34 PM] edinnovator: Thanks everyone! And again, all will be archived, available here at

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