Listen to Episode 56


Meet The Hype Cycle!

Bonus: Watch the spotlight version of this episode on YouTube!

#coachstudies Episode 1 How to Coach the Content Expert

Featured Guests

Maggie Hos-McGrane

Diana Beabout

Diana Beabout on twitter

Tricia Friedman

Marcello Mongardi

Full Show Notes

Today we have a thoughtful and in-depth conversation about innovation in schools with Tim, Tricia, Diana, Maggie and Marcello from our YouTube series, Coaching Fundamentals. (Marcello sneaks in around the halfway mark so he didn’t get a formal introduction, but you’ll hear his voice in there!). Our conversation today focused on the Gartner Group’s model of the Hype Cycle and how it relates to implementing change in schools. We share some personal experiences with each stage of the cycle and then focus on strategies all instructional coaches can use to successfully implement new ideas in any school setting – so that change can be less stressful and much more manageable for teachers with very busy workloads! 

Check out the inspiration for this episode courtesy of The Zig Zag Podcast here.


In the context of schools, did ‘The Hype Cycle’ resonate with you?

Maggie: When I saw it, it made complete sense. It fitted quite well with Michael Fullan’s work.

Diana: I had a similar connection.  I did a little digging and you can find great examples of different frameworks that link with this. The Hype Cycle shows you what a rollercoaster ride it can be when you launch an innovation. I definitely see the application to schools.

Tricia: I love that you bring up the rollercoaster example..because in a schools teachers are kind of on many different rides simultaneously. Again I think everyone is riding all those rides, and every teacher has the same number of hours to work with. This also reminded me of Senge’s work. We love innovation, but many of us would admit many of us occasionally need to continue certain things that are true, tried and trusted.

Tim: Teachers are just sometimes like ‘I can’t do anything new right now.’ The other thing it made me think of is: different approaches matter and sometimes letting something grow organically is really important. Some people love to watch others get the mistakes out of the way before adopting.

Kim: Sometimes when we are so passionate about the change we want to see, it is a good reminder that we can feel ‘innovation overload’ especially when working with the change that isn’t an innovation that you are super passionate about. It is reasonable for them to feel not excited about all change.

Do you feel like you have had specific experiences with any of the stages here?

Tim:  Nearbod was brought up, and the school went right ahead and bought it, they just said ok.  What we watched is everyone was using it and then it was like ‘oh it is not as great as we thought it was.’ I have been looking at the data, which is really rich.  Now I have four teachers out of 60 who use it. So that lets us rethink the way we use money.

Diana: We had an intentional purchase of a lot of technology, and I remember we were all so excited about apps. We really had this busy time of just trying stuff on the iPads and then after six months it started to slow down and people were like “this is too much.” We started then thinking about purpose, and thinking about how to use the devices for learning. We needed to narrow in on what we actually wanted to use.

Tricia: If you change the context, I have to think about the many many roles each teacher plays-they run services and activites. So sometimes I will workshop a tool from a service or an activity focus so people can think about innovation from multiple perspectives. The enthusiasm eventually will always drop, when the reality sets in that you have to do the work, you can still remind people that the work is useful across different purposes.

How do you manage all of these different stages? 

Maggie: Some years ago there was a huge amount of resources bought for the maker movement. Initially, people were skeptical, and it seemed like this was yet another bandwagon.  So we made a deliberate decision to have many small maker spaces rather than just one. We wanted it to be accessible to the students. We invested in Maker Saturdays where teachers could try it out then to see what they were interested. As we then moved forward, we asked for one assessment for one inquiry unit a year to have some link to a maker component, or that students could choose to have a maker component. That helped to make it so much more practical both for the students and for the teacher.

Marcello: Some teachers have a real hunger for innovation. Other teachers can really see with examples that innovation is worth it. Different teachers need different kinds of help.

Kim: Great idea, and yes we need to personalize how to approach the innovation based on the strengths of the specific teacher. 

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