Thanks to a number of great ideas on using physical space (e.g., Hannah's idea on inspiring student creativity), I am inspired to reimagine how we share ideas within schools in assemblies and other all-community meetings. I'd love to work with others in building a prototype of the idea by building a team. Let me know if you'd like to come on board!
How It Works
- What Record videos of various community members responding to a thematic question posed every week, month, etc. Videos can be recorded and shared on YouTube, Vine, Periscope, etc.
- Who Someone in the community (e.g., student council?) takes charge of asking everyone in the community, including students, faculty, staff, and parents, the question. Short answers are given and edited into a single video.
- Where Videos are recorded everywhere the community extends. After videos are recorded and edited, they can be shown at community events, e.g. assemblies, parent events, admissions, events, etc.
- When Recording can be made any time of the day.
- Why Questions that inspire creativity and imagination have the power to reinforce culture in the way explained by James' idea that we "cultivate what we celebrate." Community members can rally around a shared question, and through celebrating the community's collective imagination and ideas, I can see how we can start to build an innovative culture.
How It Works
First, questions are selected by the community, perhaps by a committee (involving students!) or through a community vote. Questions are then posed to the community, recorded, and edited into an easily-shareable movie. Individual videos can be shared on Twitter, Vine, etc. using a school hashtag (as explained by Dea!). Consider some sample questions (also found here in a Google Doc):
• What if….?
• I am grateful for...
• I can….
• How might we….?
• _____ makes me happy!
• Before I graduate I want to….
• I want to explore….
• Wouldn’t it be cool if _____?
• If you weren’t scared, what would you do?
• What amazes you?
Potential For Impact
As mentioned under "Why" above, sharing creative and imaginative answers to inspiring questions can galvanize the community and create buy-in to a culture that values thinking outside the box. As the idea becomes more entrenched within the community, we could scale the idea further by inviting people to start working on solutions based on some of the ideas shared, leading to design challenges or even hosting a "What if...?" conference. In time, a culture that celebrates imagination in this way could be much more supportive of innovation.
It would also be rather easy to create contests and award ideas, based on answers to the question. For example, we could give a prize for the "Most Creative," "Biggest Imagination," "Wackiest," "Biggest Risk," etc.
Scaling and Adapting
"What if..?" videos can be scaled and adapted quite easily, depending on budget and time constraints.
- Cheap/low maintenance: A simple "What if...?" board can be shared in a public place, on which community members write answers to questions on Post-It notes.
- More time-intensive: Videos are recorded and produced by the community and shared through social media. This version requires students or faculty to have the capability of recording and editing video (easily done with a mobile phone and YouTube). More importantly, someone would need to actively monitor the school's social media pages.