Today you were guided through a tightly orchestrated DesignChallenge that harnessed ResponsiveDesign's methodology of Explore to develop empathy, Envision while deferring judgment, and, Enact in order to build to learn and test to fail.

At the conclusion of the DesignChallenge to build an ideal vehicle, you debriefed by reflecting upon what you noticed during each of the phases: Explore, Envision, Enact, by writing in your notebooks. Following this, you walked around and read to colleagues your noticings.

ASSIGNMENT:

1. Please share your individual reflections for Explore, Envision, Enact.

2. Tomorrow's day is focused solely to immerse you in ResponsiveDesign to explore your own site-based leadership work and/or challenges, envision new possibilities and directions, and, build a prototype that can be enacted and refined upon your return. Do a bit of quick-writing and thinking about the "What I used to think" and "What I now think..." where you explore what all is surfacing regarding your own learning, exploring ResponsiveDesign within diverse cultural landscapes such as museums, and, the innovation opportunities you believe exist at your local site.

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The exploring phase was a lot of fun and it was also an interesting and engaging process.  I had to LISTEN to my partner; her ideas were what needed to surface, not my own, and it was my responsibility to ask focused questions that would help uncover her needs.  I didn't need to impose my own ideas over her own.  Doing this helped me arrive at designs that might truly fit her desires, not what I would want if I were her.  The subtraction of myself, and really following the prompts in the exploring phase, made the envisioning process so much more fruitful.  Idiscovered that perhaps my definition of what empathy is has been misguided.  It's not really just putting yourself in someone else's shoes.  That's just looking at things from a different perspective, but it's still looking at things through your own eyes.  Deeper empathy is subtracting yourself from the equation, removing the ego, the "I would...."  I could still be creative and expressive within my ideation, but those prototypes that surfaced were more fully informed by my partner's needs.

Exploring: Listening intently to make sure I have enough information in order to understand exactly what Adrina needed in a car.

Envisioning: Wanting to provide enough possibilities so that there would be clear choices for Adrina that will fit her multiple needs in a car.

Enacting: How to construct a vehicle in a short time and highlight numerous features. Not satisfied with the materials provided, I wanted something see through, some wood products, and metal materials.
Other people have already started some conversations with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and I hope that Sam and I can build on them. We can use today to think about that possibility as well as identifying other institutions that might be interested in partnering.

Shirley and Sam,

I am excited to connect with both of you (esp. these next 2 days) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (as we go forward) to explore new ways that writing project sites can collaborate/partner with their area art museum and develop a shared vision.  As with each writing project site, I believe there is so much potential to engage with the museum to transform learning and the way we (teachers, students, museum educators, museum visitors) see learning.

I know we will have time today and tomorrow to build ideas and next steps.  Excited to envision new ways of working with the PMA, and for the PMA to work with your site.

Shirley Brown said:

Other people have already started some conversations with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and I hope that Sam and I can build on them. We can use today to think about that possibility as well as identifying other institutions that might be interested in partnering.

Throughout the explore / envision / enact process I realized the benefits of being pushed to list ideas and the necessity of building a good community.  I think that I am like many of my students in that I feel hesitant to come up with "bad" ideas or even less than perfect ideas.  For me, the time constraints and push to list more ideas was helpful because it made me let go of my perfectionistic tendencies and try things that I wouldn't otherwise try.  

The different activities that we have done have helped me shift my thinking about what we will be bringing back to our site.  Both Jen and I knew that we wanted to bring back  ideas and ways to collaborate with places like museums and libraries within our writing project system.  Now, I think we are ready to focus on completely different ways to connect and collaborate.  Instead of just thinking about following formats that we already have in place and changing the location or session theme, we are thinking about bringing people together in completely different ways.  We have both talked about how we want people who have been part of MWP to continue to participate in the project and feel like part of the community.  Our thinking is shifting as to how to empower teachers to be part of that community in different ways.  

Data has become such the Holy Grail in many school districts across the nation. The challenge writing project sites like PhilWP have is justifying doing impactful and empowering design work that may not match the demands of high-stakes, data-driven testing mandates.

My original intention for attending the 3rdSpace Colab Institute was to figure our covert ways to enact creative and innovative projects to support student engagement. Now I am considering a shift. The shift focuses on leveraging partnerships with PhilWP,  local Museums and other out of school spaces to garner buy-in that supports creative and innovations approaches for teaching and learning. Instead of being covert I think our site needs to create our own data (qualitative and quantitative) that generates a compelling narrative that reflects the power of design process.

I have been hearing the words "pushed" and "shoved" among the participants and leaders these days. I have to share this quote which some of you may already know.

From French poet, Guillaume Apollinaire.

"Come to the edge," Life said.
They said, "We are afraid."
"Come to the edge," Life said.
They came.
Life pushed them. And they flew.


The key take-away from the exercise with the prototype was the importance of listening and resisting the urge to decide what my partner needed FOR her. As a trained counselor, I know how I am to empathize and address another person with unconditional regard but this exercise proved that I don't always use that skill. I may think I do because I have multiple kind exchanges in a day but being friendly and being empathic are two different things.

Steph, you are right on as usual.  I have (predictably?) made a shift in my thinking this week! I'm realizing that true innovation looks almost nothing like what we have already been doing . . . I'm trying to tap into that childlike wonder and inspiration. I also had a realization this morning that responsive design looks a little like backwards design in that it's goal oriented -- but I also realized that we often plan backwards based on goals we have not yet fully explored.  I am really excited to connect the social "play" of collaboration informally with my community (with site folks and ALL teachers -- also realizing that my community is VAST.)

Stephanie Rollag said:

Throughout the explore / envision / enact process I realized the benefits of being pushed to list ideas and the necessity of building a good community.  I think that I am like many of my students in that I feel hesitant to come up with "bad" ideas or even less than perfect ideas.  For me, the time constraints and push to list more ideas was helpful because it made me let go of my perfectionistic tendencies and try things that I wouldn't otherwise try.  

The different activities that we have done have helped me shift my thinking about what we will be bringing back to our site.  Both Jen and I knew that we wanted to bring back  ideas and ways to collaborate with places like museums and libraries within our writing project system.  Now, I think we are ready to focus on completely different ways to connect and collaborate.  Instead of just thinking about following formats that we already have in place and changing the location or session theme, we are thinking about bringing people together in completely different ways.  We have both talked about how we want people who have been part of MWP to continue to participate in the project and feel like part of the community.  Our thinking is shifting as to how to empower teachers to be part of that community in different ways.  

The biggest impact of the Responsive Design process for me was Stephanie's suggestion to think smaller--to scale down my grand scheme to a pilot project level that could then be scaled up. This also forced me to think in more practical terms, always a challenge for me. 

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