I’m feeling energized. My grand experiment is attracting some good attention and generating some excitement in our local community. Now if I could just help duplicate that for the students. I understand the big problem is structure, and that I could likely provide a little more and thus create a more profound experience for the students. One particular student last class suggested providing a little “here’s-where-you-should-be” guidance every couple weeks or every so often so they knew where they should be. Two things I’ll be working on going forward to help students get involved:
1. A little more structure; give them some next steps guidelines and some “here’s-where-you-should-be” feedback
2. Work to create a community between the students in the class. I need to get them sharing more, collaborating more, I’ll feel out ways to do this – maybe a Facebook group for the class, maybe more idea fair/pitching sort classes where the class can give individuals feedback, ideas, resources, etc. Perhaps part of this could be connecting current students with past students as well, so those past students can offer some more reflective guidance, mentorship, etc.
Down and Dirty Solutions
I’m focused on what I call in my syllabus “Your Bad Solution 1.0”. I want to hack together a cheap and dirty solution before I begin working on a go to market strategy. Next week is spring break, so I’ll take a little time off (but not too much!) The week after spring break, I’ll invite the students into a 7 Day Startup Plan following Dan Norris‘ suggestions; basically, there are specific steps to take each day for 7 days after which the world can interact with a solution. It’s not a perfect process, and to be honest, I think much more can be done each day than what Dan suggests. However, at the end of these 7 days, the goal is to emerge with some working (albeit hacked together) solution. For those students ready to put their bad solution into the world, it will be both scary and exciting. For those students not there yet, hopefully it will be the kick in the ass they need to get going. For those who have checked out, I can’t (and won’t) do anything for them – the opportunity has passed them by.
As I do every semester, I’m learning a ton. I love this experience, even more so now that I am one of my own students. I have such a better understanding of what it feels like to be in my class. I wonder how many other educators truly understand what their students experience, think, fear, celebrate, feel? Not many I would surmise. That’s a shame, because if they would take the plunge they would learn so much and really identify with their students so much more deeply.