Posture of Experimentation

Tracy Clark | 2016

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Was it...

  • To disseminate information
  • Pour knowledge into empty vessels
  • Batch kids through to the next grade level even if they didn't demonstrate mastery
  • Teach kids to follow rules, behave, do as they were told
  • Did I want to be part of this system?
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Information democratized

  • The Googles
  • Access a steady stream of information
  • What do you do with it?

So, maybe our penguins look a little more like this...

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A couple months before....

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Distinct posture of experimentation

  • Way they approached learning
  • None of these kids had exposure to the english language but yet they would come up and try. They weren’t afraid.
  • Spanish major
  • Distinct posture of experimentation towards everything they tried to do.
  • If they didn’t know how to do something they tried anyway—seemingly without any fear of being wrong.

What if we provided opportunities for our students and ourselves to experience the unknown. To consider the what ifs?.

CNA - Speaking Exchange

Think about...

Somebody asked the question and took the steps to conduct the experiment. It may have sounded crazy. Could have simply said there are too many unknowns. Didn't get caught up in all the but... but... buts...


Video shared via @gcouros

What about after we find something that works?

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What do we want our students to be like?

I want my students to be.....

Complete the sentence and share it here or Tweet it out with #HaysFusion

We want more.

When it comes down to it, we want more for our learners than exemplary test scores and gold stars on papers, we want what will last.

  1. We want the kinds of character traits our kids will rely on to pull them through when we aren’t around, like optimism or grit.
  2. We want something at the core of who they are that will help them make the right decision when nobody’s looking: integrity.
  3. We want them to try one more time when they are ready to give up: perseverance.
  4. We want that irreplaceable feeling inside that grins from ear to ear when they accomplish something awesome without taking shortcuts or using cheat codes that only comes from intrinsic motivation and pride in their own efforts.
  5. We want them to see through the eyes of others and help those in need, feeling compassion and empathy.

Employers Agree...

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Ok...so how do we nurture these soft skills?

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Trying something new is like...

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Activity: Play Along...

  1. Complete the sentence with your own simile about trying something new. You can use the pictures for ideas or make up your own.
  2. Share your sentence here or Tweet out your sentence with #HaysFusion
  3. Look at what your peers are posting. Are there any trends you see? Which stand out to you? What makes you say that?

Lizard Brain

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But we might feel like it...

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Inspired by Sheryl Sandberg & Lean In Movement

The Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir 4 - Fly to Paradise (CROPPED VERSION!)

Virtual Choir Details

  • 8,409 videos
  • 5,905 singers
  • 101 countries
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What would you do if you weren't afraid?

I'd be an accidental entrepreneur and CEO...

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Vision & Purpose

  • Finding important problems worth solving
  • Bilingual classroom
  • Bringing students to the center of the learning conversation
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Sideeffects of the Posture of Experimentation: The Learning Along Way


  • Ready 3x as many books in this 3 year period than in the 8 years prior
  • Learned about computer science, managing programers, phycology, change management, leadership, business development, marketing, equity splits, negotiations, acquisitions, student privacy, user experience, user interface, customer support, servers, entrepreneurship
  • Didn't know what I didn't know...set out to figure it out
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Decision to move on...while retaining the mission

  • move students to the center of the learning conversation
  • impact on market

My List

On the left side of my paper I titled a column: Fear. I wrote down all the specific instances I remembered being afraid in chronological order. Then I thought back to what happened. I labeled this side: Outcomes. So I asked myself, “Self, did the things things that you were so afraid of at that moment in time even happen? Did you get fired? Eaten alive by your students? Ostracized forever from your social network? Kicked off the stage during your first keynote? Laughed out of your training session or something of the likes?”

My Epiphany

Almost without exception, the major fears in my life, when pushed through by force or choice, became some of the clearest reasons for success or at least forward momentum, giving me the ability to complete the next project or endeavor that came my way.

Dancing with Fear

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Experiments don't have to be big!

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Activity: Put on the Posture of Experimentation

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

To get at the heart of experimentation. Let's do it.
  1. Think of one experiment or project you want to commit to trying this year.
  2. Write or sketch your idea for an experiment on these stickies. (Put your name on the back of the stickies)
  3. Post your of your experiment idea up here on the stage (anytime today) and here or on Twitter with #HaysFusion
  4. See what your peers on Twitter are posting. Is there someone you can connect with to jump on this experimentation journey?

Our job to nurture...

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What really matters...

I thought about the precious and fragile gifts I see in my child today: pure wonder, joy, and curiosity. And I’d like to tell you from my perspective, as a parent, as a former teacher, and current learner, what I think really matters.


Joy and wonder

1. Believe in my child beyond what you can see

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2. Believe in yourself, beyond what you think you can learn

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3. Stop playing school

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4. Value curiosity over compliance

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5. Value process over product

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6. Make room for him in the curriculum

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7. Adopt a posture of experimentation

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John Lewis Christmas | Monty The Penguin | 2014

Why my extra urgency and care for you in this room?

2032

With your help...


With your help we will see the same look of wonder when he devours a good story, writes a killer poem, comes up with a new way to solve a problem, or combines two chemicals. I need you to partner with me and protect the precious, fragile gift of wonder because it is the key to learning and it is really hard to get back once it is lost.


What should it look like?

Won't ask at all...so busy doing.