Innovation is Contagious #IMMOOC

October 22, 2016

After reading Innovator’s Mindset this summer, a little spark of innovation began glowing brighter and brighter with each step I took outside of my comfort zone. It all started when I heard and met George Couros, and that’s when the development of the Innovator’s Mindset characteristics began for me.

It’s wild how it works, but the more I face my fear of taking risks and leap over the gorge of doubt, the more I want to try something new. It’s like I’m searching for the next “risk-taking” experience to conquer. However, it isn’t all about me; I want to take as many as I can with me on this journey of innovation in education. THAT is exactly what became my mission–how might I share this transforming experience with everyone I know?

The #IMMOOC has been an incredible platform for helping empower others to take risks. My #IMMOOC Voxer group inspires me daily and lets me know I’m not alone in this trail-blazing expedition. It doesn’t stop there, though, we are often sharing resources and celebrating with each other when we try new and exciting things to engage our staff, students, and the community in innovative ways across the nation. Thank you, George Couros and Katie Martin. This IMMOOC family has helped my little spark grow into a burning flame!

Gallery of Innovative Activity in the last FOUR weeks

More PLN Connections aka My EDU-family

In the last few weeks, I’ve made a ton of new PLN connections. Networking is pouring gasoline on my fire of enthusiasm. It all began with George Couros and has grown into this beautiful tribe; I like to call them my EDU-family. I’m entirely convinced that without my PLN, this flame would not burn nearly as bright.

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First Broadcasting Experience

I stepped out of my comfort zone to broadcast a reflection over Innovator’s Mindset with Don Goble and the LHS Studio students. Before recording, the LHS student broadcasting crew truly inspired me to overcome my fear of video reflection by asking, “What’s the worst thing that can happen, Mrs. Martin?” With that in mind, I took the leap. 

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Mentoring Educators to Begin a Website as a Digital Portfolio

Mena Hill is a dedicated fifth-grade teacher that I’m honored to learn from and mentor. Mena recently created a digital portfolio and launched her website. She also presented her first USD 497 District PD session on how to develop a Digital Portfolio.

Sara Gormley is now beginning her digital portfolio and will launch it soon. I have the honor of working alongside Sara and mentor her as she rocks her first year as a Learning Coach.


First State Conference Presentation

I presented my first State Conference breakout session on October 20, 2016, at the KATE Conference- Kansas Association of Teachers of English. After reading Tweet-feedback from the participants, it seems as though Visible Thinking was well received and applicable. 

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Mentoring Educators to Connect via Twitter and Present a District PD Session 

I helped Mandy Sikes get connected via Twitter, and she is now our district’s #MysterySkype guru. With a little twisting of her arm, she agreed to present a #MysterySkype session at our District PD on Oct 21st. 



#IMMOOC Voxer Group Connections Enhance Our PD Experience

The exciting piece about this presentation is I connected with my PLN pal Amy Storer in our #IMMOOC Voxer group and set up a class for our teachers to EXPERIENCE #MysterySkype. Therefore, Mandy was able to facilitate a fascinating session where students (in another state) taught teachers in Kansas how to Mystery Skype. Incredible experience! 


LAUNCHED a Launch Project with Crystalyn Mumaw’s Third-Grade Class

Crystalyn also agreed to present her first district PD session–which we ended up flipping her piece through YouTube video interviews. She and I will facilitate a similar session again in March to show growth over time utilizing the Design Thinking process with students. Check out the Tackk below. YOU don’t want to miss this! Thank you, A. J. Juliani and John Spencer.

Check out our Podcast Reflections from the Teachers today during this session. Thank you,  Joe Sanfelippo for encouraging me to use podcast at #WGEDD. (My plan is to use podcast for more teacher reflections across the district.)

See on Tackk

First Podcast Created During My First PD Ted Talk

It’s a work in progress, but here are the first ten minutes of Innovation is Contagious.


Taught Innovative Sessions at our October 21st District Elementary PD

⇒ Twitter for Educators

⇒ Launching Design Thinking in Elementary 

⇒ Innovation is Contagious

⇒ Enhancing Reading Workstations with Digital Collaboration

⇒ Co-facilitate Mystery Skype Experience with Mandy Sikes

Many of my colleagues’ reflection tweets have inspired me. It seems as though the bright, burning flame of innovation slung a few sparks upon them. I can’t wait to see what the next four weeks of innovative activity will bring!


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  • Nicole Corn October 23, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Wow! I am so pumped up by your energy and passion for teaching and learning! Thank you for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and pushing me to become a better educator. I am excited to try the Launch process with my kindergarten class!

    • Tara M Martin October 23, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Nicole, you will straight up OWN the Launch Cycle with your kiddos. I’m excited to be a small part of your journey of LAUNCHing your amazing work, as well as that of your students, into the WORLD!