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087 | Education Through Innovation | Don Wettrick

Don Wettrick, CEO and co-founder of StartEdUp Innovation program, and a current high school teach, talks about the cultivating innovation and creativity in the classroom, harnessing a learner’s internal motivation, and giving students opportunities to solve problems they’re passionate about.

What you’ll hear from Don Wettrick:

  • Why and how did Don create an Innovation course at his school, and ultimately the StartEdUp Innovation program?
  • What was challenging about getting his students involved during the early stages, when it was just extra time during his class?
  • When do students lose their curiosity or learning?
  • How much does a reward really motivate students?
  • What would the process look like to develop and nurture internally motivated learners through elementary school?
  • What’s the difference between creativity and imagination?
  • How can a parent help their child be more innovative outside of school?
  • What does Don recommend as a good consumption v. production ratio?
  • How does changing consumption habits – how much, and what – impact the way Don’s students and own children think?
  • How does building community within a cohort of “creators” impact a student’s relationship?
  • Does participation in Don’s high school class impact his students other grades?
  • How do mastery, autonomy and purpose mix together best?
  • What does it look like to be in Don’s Innovation Class?
    • 6-7 weeks of class
      • Basics of innovation
      • How to think creatively
      • Building a professional social media presence
    • Remainder of class is “open source learning”
    • Volunteer with struggling non-profits, to see problems close up
    • Statewide student “Pitch” competition
    • Helping struggling local businesses
  • What sort of projects have his students build?
  • What story do you tell yourself, about yourself?
  • Is there a difference between improvement and new opportunity?
  • How would Don hope to integrate innovation development into schools in his 10-year dream?
  • Contact: @DonWettrick on Twitter
  • What did Don’s father mean when he told him to “Pay himself first”?
  • Why does Don think it’s important to fail?

Listen to Brad and Jonathan’s thoughts about this episode here.
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