Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Real World Examples of Re-inventing the Wheel

Source: Pinterest
There is a meme that circulates every once in a while that I love showing to students. I've seen the quote with a variety of backgrounds, but basically it says "If anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly. Remember there's some millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle." Some quick research however will show you that the pool noodle wasn't the actual invention, but a guy who found a new use for an old product. Steve Hartman saw tons of foam rods for insulation lying around his company and decided to add some color. He marketed it as a pool toy and after some hard work, we all know what a pool noodle is.
Source: Pinterest

Another great story of marketing belongs to a grocery store staple. That's right, carrots. Remember the old days when we had to peel and cut our root vegetables before eating them? In 1989, Mike Yurosek had an idea to reduce waste. It seems that the less-than perfect carrots were being trashed. Yurosek started peeling and cutting those less than perfect carrots and marketing the ready to eat pieces as "baby carrots". He not only cornered the aisle at the grocery store, he also helped reduce waste.

These are just two of the quick antidotes I tell students during entrepreneur lessons. Each story shows how it's not necessarily a brand new idea that will take off, but a combination of having the idea and learning how to market it.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

2019/2020 Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Fellow

It is with great pride that I add another badge to my evergrowing sidebar here on the blog. This past week, I was recognized as a MIE Fellow for 2019/2020. This is very exciting because while I submitted my application last month, I didn't accept to actually receive the honor of leading my fellow MIE Experts. Cohort 9 (PA, VA, WV, and NC) has such amazing educators that I assumed one or two of them would be selected. Each cohort has between two and three fellows to lead the region's MIE Experts. This year, I am joining the two fellows from last year to become a team of three. 

As a MIE Fellow, I have been invited to the US MIE Expert & Showcase School Leader Summit in Redmond, WA this January. If you are unaware, that's the home of Microsoft's headquarters. I can't wait to see what this year as a Fellow brings. I have already reached out to my fellow Fellows to see about organizing some professional developments and events.

Becoming a fellow has also motivated me to organize a potential panel for ISTE 2020. I have also reached out to the MIE Expert and Google for Education Certified Innovators to create a panel called "Best of Both Worlds" which has so far had amazing feedback. I didn't even realize how many of us are involved with both programs.