Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lean Startup: education innovation

If you are a teacher, have you ever compared your work to a business organization? I say organization because if you think about it a teacher is an engineer/designer (develops curriculum and teaching products), a manufacturer (produces and delivers handouts), marketer (hooks kids and the community on what they are teaching), support service (emails, parent meetings, administrative support), and overall manages the entire product development process (assessment, coaching, coordination).

If you are a teacher and want to boost your "teaching business", I recommend a great book called  The Lean Startup. Its written by Eric Ries, an engineer and entrepreneur who experienced the ups and down of starting an innovative business. There are a ton of cool case studies and the connections to creating innovative education programs are endless. I especially like the focus on experimenting often and validating your product with frequent customer feedback. As teachers you are doing this all the time with your customer, the kids. And this is why I think you will find a lot of common ground and opportunities for improving in this story.