Where’s the Evidence? – #IMMOOC

scrapbookScrapbooking . . . I just never really go into it. Well, I do have books of scrapbook paper in my closet  and an empty scrapbook.  I wanted to be a scrapbooker, but it was just too much.  It took way too much time.  I just couldn’t take time to get the supplies out and get it out.

In my last post, New and Improved, I reflected on how we know something is really innovative. I said that we have to have a body of evidence to support that something is better. The evidence can’t be a once at the end of the year state test.  That doesn’t tell us enough.

Johnna Weller (@johnnaweller) of Discovery Education says we should look at evidence like we look at a scrapbook of our kids’ lives.  We don’t want just one glossy 8×10 school picture.  That doesn’t tell the whole story.  It tells part of the story, but not enough.  It’s better than nothing, but if that one picture is all we have, it is unfortunate. To really see how our kiddos have grown, we want to see pictures from the first day of school, pictures from sporting events, pictures for birthdays .

But, again, paper scrapbooking has always been too much trouble for me.  I would much rather go digital, put all the pics in an online album or make a movie. My favorite movies, though are the ones my kids made themselves, the collages they post to Instagram.  Those tell me even more than what I made.  Those give me the best picture of how they have grown.

So, how do I know that something is new and better, that something is good for my learners?  What if I asked them?  What if the learners kept their own “scrapbook” of their growth?  What if they were the innovators who determine if something is new and improved?




New and Improved!  Really?

I wonder whether the “improved” Zest soap from this 1961 commercial is actually a new and improved product or if it is just new packaging, or a new spin on an existing product to reach a new audience.  Is it actually new and improved?

In The Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros defines innovation as a way of thinking that creates something new and better.  (Is that the same as new and improved?)

We’re doing lots of NEW things, trying new pedagogies, using new tools.  YAY, that’s the first step in being innovative.

But that’s only the first half of innovation.  The second part, the most important part ,is:

Does it REALLY work?
NOT “new and improved Zest” work,
NOT 100% on the state test work
but does it REALLY work?
Is this right for kids?

Katie Martin challenged me this week in her post, How do you know if it’s not just new, but better?

How do I KNOW?  Well, I can see that it is better.  I think it is better.  Maybe it is better.  But, how do I KNOW?  Hmmm . . .

Well, I have to have evidence. In school, I learned that there is direct and indirect evidence.  On the true crime podcast I listen to, they talk about corroborated evidence, or evidence that is supported by other evidence. I love the definition brought up by a Google search: “the available BODY of facts.”


To know that something is new and improved, new and better, innovative, we need evidence, corroborated evidence, a body of evidence.