Ep. 50 – Disrupting Education Through Innovation & Open-Source Learning – with Don Wettrick
This episode is part of the disruption series. We’re going to discover how incredible people disrupt their lives, their industries, and the world to create a powerful impact.
Don Wettrick is an Innovation Specialist at Noblesville High School and author of Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level. He is disrupting the education system and teaching the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Don teaches a class called Innovation and Open-Source Learning. They explore how to network, how to collaborate with intelligent people, how to market, and so much more. Businesses have been launched from his classroom. In one year, four patents were filed.
The class has their own methodology. They call it R.O.T.H. I.R.A.
- Realization – Related to flow states, realization often comes about through movement. They start the school day by walking and talking.
- Open Discussion – The thoughts generated through realization will fade if they aren’t discussed.
- Tussling – “I love a good fight.” Debate challenges people to think.
- Homogeneous Grouping – Kids split off to collaborate on the same projects, but coming from different perspectives.
- Ideation & Prototyping – “We jokingly call this the difference between December 31st and January 15th.” It’s fun to brainstorm, but it’s hard to actually do it.
- Reflect – Every project is two weeks, because that gives you enough time to know whether or not you are interested in the subject.
- Adjustment – This loops back to the ROTH for Realization #2.
Don started the class because he didn’t see any passion for learning – or much of anything – in his students. They were being churned through a system that destroyed their interest in learning.
Not only is the current educational paradigm passionless, it’s just old. As a culture and a society, we are moving exponentially faster outside of education.
- What did your phone look like five years ago? Vastly different.
- What did your public high school look like in 1980? Roughly the same.
“Here’s the cruel joke we’re playing on a lot of our students:
we’re preparing you for a future that used to exist in 1970.”
Why is education innovating so slowly?
- We still measure success by test scores. You get into college largely based on your SAT score. They’re accepting the kids who are best at not taking risks.
- We reward memorization far more than creativity.
- Some teacher unions have pushed back (not all).
Don can’t disrupt the entire educational system on his own. If you are a parent, student, or teacher and you want to change something about your local school system, Don will help. You can head to StartEdUpInnovation.com for a podcast, consulting, teacher training, and all the core services necessary to start and strive with new educational initiatives.
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Connect with Don & his class: Twitter | Facebook
- Learn more & Listen to the StartEdUp Podcast
- Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level by Don Wettrick
- TEDTalk – “The Puzzle of Motivation” by Dan Pink
- The Art of People by Dave Kerpen
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Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters