I have been participating in a MOOC that I am involved with through NovoEd, called Creativity: Music to My Ears. It started last week and the instructor, Tina Seeling from Stanford University shared recently that if we want to be creative then we must be driven and have attitude! Previously in recent posts I have talked about her thoughts on Imagination (see Is there only one answer to the eLearning problems that you look at? Then you are not being imaginative enough…). Today I would like to focus on her analogy of us being more like quilt makers rather than puzzle builders.
Having attitude also means that we must have motivation and confidence! If we do not have this “attitude” then we will not solve the problem. She reminds us that is not easy to come up with really big ideas let alone bring them to life. But she shared that most people see themselves as puzzle builders who are looking for a specific piece of the puzzle. Or what if they are building a puzzle and not know what piece is missing? So then you can’t finish the puzzle.
But true innovators and entrepreneurs are quilt makers. They take all of the things at their disposal and truly leverage them to make amazing things happen. So we need to actualize ourselves as a quilt maker rather than a puzzle maker!
How does “Attitude” fit into Tina’s “Innovation Engine?” Well we first must have a conversation about the “knowledge” component. We all must start with a base of knowledge to develop our imaginations which in turn help us to cultivate creativity. Knowledge is very much so the tool box for our imagination and the more we know the more we have to work with. In order for us to come up with revolutionary eLearning, we must first know a little something about the field, technology, education, instructional design, our learners… and all that jazz.
But how do we get knowledge? We can get knowledge by observing and paying attention! That is a no brainer but maybe not. She shared that we often don’t pay attention to our world in a way where we really find interesting opportunities… and often the solution is waiting right in front of us. She shared an example of David Friedberg who thought of selling weather insurance who have companies that are effected by the weather—Climate Corporation. He came up with this idea as he drove to work on a rainy day in San Francisco and saw a bike rental place closed because of the rain. Would this have happened if he wasn’t paying attention?
I take this to heart when it comes to eLearning. I aspire to take as much eLearning that I can so that I can build my own awareness of what works and doesn’t from the student’s perspective. There is so much we can learn about just through focused observation. Do you see how knowledge is the toolbox for your imagination? I love then how Tina tells us that “our imagination is the catalyst for the transformation of the knowledge into new ideas. It is our attitude that is the spark that gets it going.”
What do you think? How do you build your eLearning knowledge? Do you feel like building that knowledge will help you to think more creatively about it? Have a different attitude toward it? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments and on Twitter.