Season 2: Episode 6 – Pure Genius – Interview with Don Wettrick [Podcast]

514Vs2J4vuL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_In this episode, we welcome Don Wettrick, a thought leader on Innovation and author of Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% time to the Next Level.

From Don’s Bio on Amazon.com- Don Wettrick is an Innovation Coordinator at Noblesville High School, just outside Indianapolis, IN. He is the author of Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% time to the Next Level. Wettrick has worked as a middle school and high school teacher; educational and innovation consultant; and educational speaker. Don is passionate about helping students find their educational opportunities and providing them with the digital tools they need to give them a competitive edge. Don has lectured across the US and Europe about collaboration, social media use, and work environments that enable innovation. He also hosts an internet radio program, InnovatED, for the BAM! Radio Network.  Most importantly Don works with educators and students to bring innovation and collaborative skills into education. Don lives in Greenwood, Indiana with his wife, Alicia, and three children: Ava, Anna, and Grant.

Here is what we talked about…

  1.  In A More Beautiful Question, author Warren Berger describes a beautiful question as one that is ambitious and actionable. What is the beautiful question behind Pure Genius?
  2. Why do we need innovation in our schools?
  3. Tell us about your innovation class model, including the blueprint you outline in the book. How do the six building block of innovative learning fit into an innovative project?
  4. Can you describe one of your students’ passion-based projects from the innovation class?
  5. Many schools filter social media. Why is it critical for students to harness the power of social media for the work you describe?
  6. What’s the role of leadership in introducing and implementing any innovation including 20% time and an innovation class?
  7. At the core of your innovation class is the idea that students are in control of their learning – you are providing opportunities for them to grow into independent, expert learners who follow a passion. How do you think such a model can be implemented at the middle school and elementary school levels – even if there is not an Innovation class?
  8. When you implemented 20% time, explain what  was the initial reaction from your students and how did you manage to overcome that reaction? 

Join the Conversation

  • What is your experience with Genius Hour or 20% time? What innovations would you like to try in your classroom?
  • As a leader, how can you promote innovation and innovative thinking with your teachers and students?

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