Ignite: A New Learning Experience

Ignite: A New Learning Experience

Last summer I decided to participate in an Ignite session at the InnEdCO 2015 conference.  The Ignite motto is “Enlighten us but make it quick”.   An Ignite is a fast paced, 5 minute talk where the presenter must use a pre-timed, 20 slide presentation.  In math terms, this means that each slide automatically advances after 15, very short, seconds.


My motivation to participate in the Ignite session was simple; I wanted to push my comfort zone and try something new.  I had presented at numerous conferences, but as a presenter, I had never experienced anything like an Ignite before.  I felt passionate about my focus and wanted to share my ideas and thinking with others using a non-traditional format.  Despite a minor technical glitch about midway through my allotted 5 minutes, my slides decided to stop automatically advancing, the Ignite went pretty well.  I walked away from the Ignite stage that day feeling like I had accomplished my goal.  I then spent the next few days debating if I should blog about the experience.  Standing up and sharing my Ignite with a couple hundred people was one thing, but sharing it publicly on my blog, well that, in one word, was just scary.  I thought about the post, I started a Google doc and titled the post, I even tracked down a video of my Ignite, but then July and August came and went, school started, life got crazy again, and I didn’t write the post.  If I’m honest, I didn’t write the post, not because I didn’t want to write about it, but because I was scared to post the video.  Silly, but true.

Fast forward ten months.  Today I finished “The Innovator’s Mindset” by George Couros (@gcouros). I found Mr. Couros’s book inspiring and so many of his ideas resonated strongly with me. In the later portion of his book, Mr. Couros emphasizes the importance of sharing our reflective thinking about our learning and our practice.

So, thank you George Couros, for convincing me that it’s not enough to think about and put into practice our ideas and our learnings. If we truly want to help move education forward, we must also share our honest reflections on our experiences and our learnings.  If you have 5 minutes, check out my Ignite: What If? by Erin Mayer.



Ignite Photo Credit: goo.gl/3MKcEW

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