CIC #10 Big Rocks – Exercise

big rock

Make a choice on the ONE biggest accomplishment you can make in the coming week at home, and the ONE biggest accomplishment you can make at work or school.  Just one each.  These are your Big Rocks.

– Name the Big Rock for home with a 1 sentence description, and do the same for the one for work.  Not two rocks each, just one.

  1. Home: I have to prepare a short speech at the first International Self Publishing Festival
  2. School: I’ll work in a confined space with my students. I have to invent activities that keep them engaged.

Describe the internal feeling that you have. Do you feel anxious, something like, “I’m not sure I can do this – I have so many things to do!”  Do you feel relieved?  Do you feel peace?  Do you feel free?  Or trapped?  Write down your feelings.

  1. Home: I’m pretty quiet. It is not the first time that I speak of my self publishing experience to people. Nonetheless, there are some points that I have to consider:
    • time – I will have a few minutes, I’ll be brief;
    • target – the public will be very varied, not many teachers, but people interested in digital publishing;
    • environmental conditions: I’ll speak outdoors, the weather…
  2. SchoolI have no problems to plan the lesson, but I am a bit disappointed because I wish to work with adequate spaces. My work area will be of 30 x 5 meter with a class of 22 – 26 students. 

– List the times during the week that you plan to work on each project, before the week starts.

  1. Home: I began with the reading of all I wrote about my SP experience and what other people wrote about my ebook. I thought to speak as a parents, not a teachers, and focus on the economic advantages for families about SP in school, and the involvement of the students in the ebooktext writing.
  2. School: I thought to organize e double group of work every class. In the meantime a group performs an endurance test (30+30 meters x 10 times), the other plays in couple some volleyball dribbles and abs exercises in the center line of the area. Then the groups switch. At the end every student gets a score.

At the end of the week, write notes about how successful you were in being disciplined in keeping your Big Rock time, or any failures.  Failures might happen, especially as you are trying this for the first time.  This is another IFF process – start with the failure, identify what you learned, and move ahead.

  1. Home: The speech was brief and effective (so friends said). On the contrary I forgot to say people that they can buy my ebook on the principal stores, and find others insights on my web site, (I am not much interested in the trade. Other authors more astute, did it). I can publish a short post to recall the links. I can use the hashtag #ISPF2013 on the social networks.
  2. School: The lesson I planned finished in about 40 minutes so, in the remaining time, I organized, improvising, other games like team relay races, always in those damn 30 x 5 meters. I learned long ago, but again, that the ability to improvise is always a good friend.

CIC #9 – Measuring Your Ideas – Exercise

metro da sarta

As Jack mentioned in the video on Metrics, learning how to measure our ideas is an important skill that can help us track our creative progress. In this exercise, we want you to practice measuring your ideas using several simple metrics and then reflect on your observations.


Step 1: First, you need to record some ideas

Step 2: Now, we’d like you to measure your ideas using the 4+ metrics listed below. 

  • Quantity: How many ideas did you generate each time? I genereted 4 ideas.
  • Variety: How different are the ideas from each other?  Moderately different for the tools, very different for the processes.
  • Novelty: What kind of novelty do your ideas represent? Are they more adaptively creative or more innovatively creative. Three of them were adaptively, one, IMHO the best, more innovatively.
  • Efficiency: How efficient are your ideas in terms of implementation? I used things that already exist but I create a new system to use them.
  • Your Choice! What other ways can you measure your ideas? I explain the one I realized. It was an ebook that explains how to make etextbooks in selpublishing with the students’ collaboration.
  • Metric 1 lag – my idea was ahead of its time so I think its lifecycle is about 5 years
    Metric 2 lag – I put it in a book and I thought the first year at least 50 people bought it, instead they were about 300
    Metric 3 lead – I hope to see made at least 10 products within 2014
    Metric 4 lead – I hope to translate the ebook in English and publish it in the first 2014

Step 3: Finally, it’s time to reflect on your observations.

What have you discovered about your ideas? I found that my skill with ICT could become something useful for me and my colleagues. What initially seemed like a trivial thing, instead turned out to be interesting for many people.

When do you generate more or less of them, for example? I left out a few ideas that did not seem quite original and innovative, such as a handbook too general and not specific to the school or publish my idea only on my blog. At the end I made an ebook, published by an emerging publishing house.

Do you tend to generate ideas that dig down into a particular line of thinking, or do your ideas tend to spread out like a fan? All my ideas tend to hit a particular goal, where I identify a problem, they go specifically to allow you to change established habits.

What kind of novelty do you tend to create, and how easy or hard will it be to implement your ideas in the short/long term? The novelty is that I found an easy way to write collaborative textbooks. I thought that it would be difficult to understand by colleagues, however, many of them are now following this practice, me too.

What patterns do you see in your ideas, and how are those patterns both enabling and limiting to you over time? The models come from my own knowledge, experience and my work. It’s hard to list them. They helped me very much and I used them flipping the normal processes.

If you could change the way you generate ideas, what would you like to do differently? I wish I could argue with someone who had my own visions, but I did not find.

CIC #8 – Project – Experimentation

This presentation is about my project experimentation. The previous phases are:

Phase 1 – Exploration

Phase 2 – Project Design

CIC #7 – The ABCD’s of Managing Resistance – Exercise


  • Think of something that you WANT to do, but have even some doubts about:

I would like to achieve the PhD

  • Have your partner come up with a list of 10 reasons why it will never work – the “adversities”.
  1. you are old
  2. you might get tired
  3. you do not have the basic of knowledge
  4. I don’t understand why. You have a nice job.
  5. I don’t understand what.
  6. you should quit your job
  7. you should go to study abroad, are you sure?
  8. you would have less free time
  9. you would have less time for your family
  10. often you should go to the city and you know you don’t like it
  • Have your friend come up with some “beliefs” and “consequences” to critique you with. You’re really asking for it here!

You like studying. Every time you embarked on a project, you’ve always completed it. Your studies have always come up with something creative. You like changing, you cannot stand the routine. Recalls, if you start you’ll also end up!

  • Now here is where YOU come in. Your job is to develop a “disputation”.

It’s true, I’m not a young student and I like to have some relax moment every day. For some time I’m studying those subjects in which I’m not very prepared. Yes, I like my job, but I think I could do something else, I’m very curious about what I’m studying. I’d stay with inspiring people and I’am sure to give them something, I know to have good competences and, generally I find original solutions to problems. I like to listen what other people say about different tasks. I’d want to spend these last years of jobs to research with other people who are interested in the same topic. I normally spend my free time to study and read, for me it wouldn’t be difficult to continue. I could study abroad for some time, my daughters are grown and work, my family is independent. Yes, I don’t like living in a big city, but I can choose a little town university.

Then repeat the exercise, with you providing the ABC’s, and your friend providing the D’s.

  • Have your partner (my daughter) come up with a list of 10 reasons why it will never work – the “adversities”.

Requalification of old and bad quality furniture elements using colored varnishes and brand new or recycled decorative stuff. The participation is allowed to everyone just by paying an annual quote to the association. The headquarter is a laboratory in a city center, easily reached by the association members, and the activities are followed by the technical equipe which suggest the best way to manipulate materials and choose the appropriate treating compounds. The restored pieces are then re-selled through both an online store and a boutique to finance further requalification activities.

  1. what city did you choose?
  2. do you know how much is the rent of a warehouse in the center?
  3. to those who do you ask money for the initial investment?
  4. who will always be there in that place?
  5. who will clean the place?
  6. how will people will bring there the furniture to be restored?
  7. the security costs could be very high
  8. you must buy many tools
  9. who manages the online sales?
  10. It is a nice idea but I think it will not work
  • Have your friend come up with some “beliefs” and “consequences” to critique you with. You’re really asking for it here!

I know that my daughter likes very much restoring old things. She made beautiful pieces changing old furniture in new modern one. She has good practical skills and deep knowledge about restoring; overall that’s her field of studies, but the project she is showing is too much complex, because it depends from many variables that are difficult to manage and a quite big investment of money (I think it’s difficult to find people who invest blindly). I think she can start with a smaller activity by herself and try to sell her pieces by the Internet. After she could organize a bigger and shared work.

  • Now here is where YOU come in. Your job is to develop a “disputation”.

Yes, I like a lot to repaint and repair old stuff. I guess it would be time-consuming, but at the same time I would have fun and the people coming there would enjoy as well. This kind of activity actually requires a (relatively) small capital, and several facilities are available for cultural associations (e.g. grants for the use of commercial spaces given by the municipality, shorter bureaucratic paths etc.). Anyway, the project may start with a small activity and then develop accordingly to its success!


CIC #6 – Best and Worst Collaborations

bene e male

  1. Write a short story about your own “best” and “worst” collaborations.

A) My best collaborative situation was about five years ago. It was when me and other five Italian teachers, attended the Open Educational Resources MOOC. We leaned together for three months, using online tools. At the end we produced a document in collaborative writing, distributing tasks and roles and we also met together a day in Firenze to talk about our experience.

B) Instead my worst collaborative situation was last years. The school where I teach has been destroyed by a big earthquake and all we PE teachers had to work together in one place. Throughout the school year was marked by a great confusion, we could not find organization, someone said he needed some space to carry out the program, others were unhappy, unable to work peacefully.

  1. Next, analyze these experiences based on the principles of CENTER, Creative Diversity, and Intelligent Fast Failure.


  • Were your motivations for the project different (Character)? We were all strongly motivated to understand how a MOOC works, we also passed difficult tests, especially for language difficulties on big books to read.

  • Did you have a different sense of what “high quality” means (Excellence)? I think we had the same sense of high quality.

  • Were some members more reliable and structured than others (owNership)? One member, in particular, was structured but also capable of challenging the structures.

  • Were some members more willing to try new experiments and take risks (Entrepreneurship)? Yes, one had the idea to do the task together and non individually.

  • Did some members have different listening skills (Relationship)? It was on the same level for all.

  • What similarities and differences did you see in how group members exhibited these qualities? We worked ever online, so the differences were about what each wrote.

  • Were people of different or similar creative levels? It was quite the same level for all.

  • Were their creative styles similar or different? Certainly it was not identical, but very similar.

  • If they were different – how different? Someone was more critical on existing structures and also on the course, others were more cautious about the innovative effect.

  • Did people manage the cognitive gaps well? Yes, finding summaries of the books we had to read.

  • Why? Because the readings were disproportionate the time available.

  • How did the Paradox of Structure influence what happened? The new structure of an online course was based on a strong interaction on social networks and the use of new media such as online conferences.

  • When/how were the creative differences within the team enabling and when/how were they limiting? There were no particular differences of style. We gradually adapted to the demands.


  • Were your motivations for the project different (Character)? Yes, someone thought to continue what he was doing before, others to leave a lot of freedom to students.

  • Did you have a different sense of what “high quality” means (Excellence)? Yes, someone had to adapt to the needs of all, for others to carry out its own program.

  • Were some members more reliable and structured than others (owNership)? Yes, someone has shown a too rigid structure, others have abandoned it.

  • Were some members more willing to try new experiments and take risks (Entrepreneurship)? Yes, to rearrange the organization of the spaces, but it was useless, all continued to do what they wanted.

  • Did some members have different listening skills (Relationship)? Yes. Do you know to speak to the deaf?

  • What similarities and differences did you see in how group members exhibited these qualities? We were all very nervous and this was not good for students.

  • Were people of different or similar creative levels? Very different. This was the real problem.

  • Were their creative styles similar or different? Different. (Just among the people who understood each other.)

  • If they were different – how different? Who fitted their previous experience and who created new situations.

  • Did people manage the cognitive gaps well? It was not possible.

  • Why? Because there are selfish people and they don’t see beyond their own needs.

  • How did the Paradox of Structure influence what happened? Someone has changed the structure of their work, others do not.

  • When/how were the creative differences within the team enabling and when/how were they limiting? The problem was not the difference of style, but of level.

  • How did failure impact each experience? In the A experience there were any failure. In B was an all bad experience.

  • Did every group member have the same view of failure, or did they approach it differently? The approach was very different.

  • Did the people involved experiment and learn from their failures or not? In the B we learned that is better to organize our work with a structural planning.

  • What kinds of experiments did people try? In B we’re trying to structure otherwise our work.

    3. Finally, list 3 things you might have done differently in each case if you had known then what you know now about creativity, innovation, and change. How will you approach collaboration differently in the future based on what you have learned in this course?

In A I should propose a better distribution of tasks in order to help with synthesis the other members of the group. In B planning better the organization of the spaces of work, with listening moments and shared agreements, moreover proposals for different ways of working. The daily adaptations required to each situations, both were stressful, in the first case productive, not in the second. I think that to collaborate in a team there must be something shared: level, style, motivation, interest or goals; otherwise it is very difficult to find the agreement.

Scuola Digitale Carpi #6

social media

Ultimo incontro del corso; un po’ mi dispiace perché mi sono trovata bene con tutti/e voi. 🙂

Ecco in sintesi gli argomenti:

I parte: abbiamo ripetuto velocemente le procedure introdotte nella lezione precedente sulla costruzione collaborativa di ebook.  Il problema della matematica sembra risolto con: Inserisci —> Oggetto —-> Formula nel menu del writer di Open Office. Sembra ci sia tutto quello che vi serve per scrivere con la simbologia richiesta. Una sintesi dei passaggi per fare l’ebook la spiego in queste slide. Il mio consiglio, se vuoi iniziare a produrre delle dispense o libri, è quello di partire con la modalità più semplice, arrivando a pubblicare in .pdf esportando da Open Office. Se invece vuoi procedere verso le forme adatte alla distribuzione su dispositivi mobile (.epub e .mobi), trovi le istruzioni sul mio testo acquistabile su tutti gli store di ebook. Comunque rimango a disposizione per chiarimenti procedurali.

II parte: ho introdotto il concetto di Flipped Classroom o lezione rovesciata. Su questo sito ti ho già segnalato le slide tradotte dal portale sul quale, oltre al corso in inglese, si possono anche caricare le lezioni multimodali/multimediali (abbiamo visto brevemente come si fa). Ti ricordo che la procedura metodologica delle FC può essere però svolta anche utilizzando Google Drive con i suoi diversi strumenti (doc, slide, ecc.), senza bisogno di appoggiarsi a portali esterni. In caso di oggetti audio si può ovviare registrando la voce sulle slide ed importare il video su youtube. A questo scopo io uso un programma cattura schermo, Jing, sempre gratuito.

III parte: ti ho proposto alcuni social network dedicati che, a differenza di quelli generalisti come Facebook e twitter, hanno un’intrinseca funzione didattica ed educativa. Sono:

  • portale interattivo di MOOC (massive open online courses) dalle università di tutto il mondo con i più disparati argomenti e livelli di apprendimento per studenti e docenti.
  • portale dedicato alla lettura di libri. Si possono creare gruppi di lettura, commenti, condivisioni ecc. ecc.
  • portale per l’apprendimento delle lingua straniere la cui particolarità è quella di presentare le stesse unità di apprendimento per le 12 lingue proposte. Utile per studenti stranieri che devono apprendere l’italiano partendo dalla propria madre lingua, o per corsi di studi che prevedono lo studio di più lingue straniere.
  • per la condivisione di slide e documenti
  • condivisioni di video.

Concludendo, vorrei ringraziarvi tutti/e per la partecipazione, il mio augurio è quello che riusciate a mettere in pratica, con gli strumenti che abbiamo visto insieme ed altri che conoscerete, una didattica più stimolante e partecipativa. Rimango sempre a vostra disposizione per chiarimenti.

Buon anno scolastico!



CIC #5 – Project – Design

Last week I wrote the first phase (Exploration) of my Creative Project. You can find it here. I have identified, as the starting point, an online questionnaire to be submitted to my colleagues. You can see in the presentation  below the responses of 90 of them, divided into teachers who would like to use the technologies, and expert tutors in ICT and media for learning.

Interpretation of the data:

  1. The tutors interviewed were enthusiastic about the project. (86% would be willing to move to help colleagues).
  2. In the other hand half of the teachers surveyed is available to host the tutors in exchange for personal training. Others, who have not given the availability (29), would still be interested in training (23). See the Q5. Thus, the project could also provide exchanges between teachers and tutors in the surroundings of their home, exchanging other kind of favors, e.g: an invitation to dinner.
  3. The limit of this survey is that I didn’t reach teachers who are not on the social networks (the most) so, to to have a more realistic view, you should do a survey with a representative sample in statistical terms.


  • Conduct research – What else has been done in the area(s) I’m exploring?
    This project follows the example of other initiatives such as Informatici Senza Frontiere (ISF) to which I will ask detailed informations at the appropriate time.

  • Define metrics – How will I measure success?
    Initially I can measure the success of the initiative on the basis of the interest of stakeholders. (See the survey above). After, with quantitative and qualitative feedback on the individual experiences, also discussions and adjustments about project among the members of the (future) staff.

  • What is the timeline of your experiments you will undertake -this can/will go beyond the 8 week course.
    The implementation of the project takes time because it needs further collaborations and technology infrastructure. I think it will take about one year for experimental timeline and development of the project. For the strategic planning I have identified the STEEP elements:


  • How will you maximize the learning from your failures.
    I think to start with some evidence from the tutors available to test the exchanges and to analyze the challenges as they arise. One of the most important element, to be considered in the beginning, is the communication between the stakeholders. Then you have to implement an online platform that face meet individual needs. These two must be professional and could be financed with crowd funding.

CIC #4 – The Paradox Structure Exercise



The Paradox Structure exercise

Step 1: Choose a structure to analyze that is familiar to you.

This week I have found very interesting the “Paradox Structure” lecture. This is why I read, some months ago, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” written by T.S. Khun, so the chapter by Mrs.K.W.Jablokov, makes it clear what happens when a new idea/thought is born and how allocate it inside or outside of existing paradigms. For the exercise I have chosen the school where I teach, because is for me a well known structure.

Step 2: Consider how the Paradox of Structure applies to the structure you have chosen. Write down both the enabling and limiting features of that structure as you see them. Some features may appear in both categories (enabling and limiting).

The organizational structure of the Italian hight school is old, it comes from the middle of the XX century and the new reforms made in the past years, after attempts of innovations, have been reported recently to the initial structure. (But the world goes on).

Despite this structural rigidity, some teachers, not many, are aware that there is a need to review the meanings about learning/teaching pedagogical concepts and redesign the paradigm around their work.

Enabling: something is moving

  • The Ministry of Education is trying to innovate the school with the introduction of some projects about new technology with training courses on Interactive White Boards.

  • My school have activated some specific projects to introduce these devices, and others like tablets, laptops, ect., to open the classrooms to the outside with the Internet connections.

Limiting: more isn’t moving

  • Architectural: our classrooms are structured for a classical teaching. The teacher uses his voice, the textbook, individual exercise, narrow classrooms and so on. It is difficult to create a physical environment where the students can connect.

  • Teachers’ skills: the most of teachers aren’t attending the Web environment. Precisely: they know what the Internet is, but they give it a technological value, not a cultural one. Moreover, they cannot actively manage the Web tools.

  • Mentality: teachers think that it is possible to move the new technological skills into the old classical paradigm about teaching/learning. (I think this is the hardest obstacle to overcome).

My analysis shows the main points; I could write many pages on the topic, but I think this synthesis is enough to understand the conflict between tradition against innovation. The online speeches with my colleagues or experts on media education are agree to say that we are in a transition period, where the old concepts and paradigms are very strong supported by the old structure (physical and mental) so, the inescapable change suddenly will appear in the coming years. At this point it will need to clarify the structure of the new paradigm and their boundaries.

For this reason I thought my creative project – you can see it here – that would want to help teachers, who’d like to learn, more about the revolutionary changing of the new media impact in their work methods.

Step 3: If possible, find a partner (inside or outside this course) who is willing to analyze the same structure you’ve chosen – or maybe you can trade structures with a classmate and analyze two! Have each person record the enabling and limiting features of each structure – and then compare your views. How are your views of the enabling and limiting features of the structure similar? How are they different?

Well, I’m waiting for your kind opinion. What do you think about my analysis? Have you the same perceptions? What happen in your school? What do you think the future will be, are you optimist o pessimist? What are you doing to innovate your teaching? Feel free to express what you think; your ideas are very important to me. Thank you.

Step 4 (for extra depth): If you have done the Creative Style Estimation Exercise, you might also think about your creative style and creative level and the impact they have on how you view the structure(s) you’ve been analyzing. And if you are working with a partner, you might also consider how your respective creative styles and levels impact your different views. See what you can learn about your preferences for structure by discussing your individual perspectives!

My creative style is moderately innovative (71/ points) I think my project is in line with my style because, although innovative, is based on experiences that are already practiced in other areas of social life and volunteer work. What is innovative are the contents: knowledge, skills, new teaching/learning concepts that are structuring a new paradigm. Instead, what is known, is the exchange between people who have something to give to each other.

In practice, in this phase of my project design, I’m listening to my colleagues what they are thinking about it. Follow my steps on my site.

Step 5: Come to the Discussion Forum for this exercise and share your findings and insights.

What did you discover about structure in general?

I’m very interested about the topic. Our brain, but all our body, are complex structures, I think that our thoughts and ideas are strongly influenced by structures (physical – not physical). When we are learning something new, we have to allocate the experiences, concepts, paradigms into existing structures and if we have an open body/mind, we can help to restructure more easily the knowledge and, consequently, the same structures.

What did you learn about the particular structure(s) you analyzed?

The analysis helped me to consider aspects of the global framework, or rather, to understand how the opposing forces play and quantify the benefits of a sustainable improvement.

What did you find out about different views of structure?

I can see everyday on the Web what different countries are doing to innovate the education methods, they are both about physical and mental structures.

How can you apply the Paradox of Structure in other parts of your life?

In particular I can see see in the political and government measures that are no longer adequate to the needs of the XXI century life.


CIC #3 – Junkyard Wars

Health and wellness tips

Some years ago I bought a little table on which to place my mac when I’m sitting in a armchair.


I haven’t used it much because it’s too large and not comfortable. The table could be used for the breakfast in the Room, but there’s no one who brings it me. 🙁

So I have forgotten the table into the closed.

Sometimes, when I’m sitting at my desk, I feel back pain and I know it’s why my back isn’t well aligned. I need something to put under my feet not to close my spine.

Recycling idea: I have changed the function of my old, forgotten table, which has become a footrest.


Have you back pain too? Do the same and your spine will thank you! 😉

CIC #2 – Project – Exploration


Phase 1 Exploration:


TPT – Travelling Personal Tutors (Tutor in viaggio)

Introduction: Italian school is rather backward in teaching/learning with new technologies. Normally teachers don’t have a good relations with them. Most of them, moreover, are not able to approach with the Web and they prefer to have a face to face training to learn how to implement a didactical project, also just to know how to use web tools or attend an online course (the average of teachers’ age in Italy is about 50 years).
So I though the next solution.


 My project consists of to make meetings teachers: knowledge in exchange for hospitality.

-On the one hand, there are teachers training in ICT in the school. In Italy we have a good network of tutors.
-On the other hand teachers who want to learn ICT, but they aren’t able to start alone. They could be absolute beginners, or they’d want a specific training for their project needs.

Example: the tutor can travel during the end of lessons and go as guest (accommodation and food), to the teacher‘s location (city, village etc.) who instead needs the presence of a colleague, who teaches him/her how to use technology for a didactical purpose. Note: the tutor could be retired teachers too.

The exchange is between:
– the tutor gives knowledge and assistance in a project, but he/she also has spare time to visit the place, for enjoying the city, the nature, arts and so on (Italy is full of nice places, arts and natural environments);
-the teacher gives hospitality and has in exchange a one to one class, contextual to his needs, that consists of some hours a day of ICT training.

The terms of the exchange will be discussed between the two teachers involved. The organization might suggest some standard formulas.

Starting point:

First I’d like to know if this idea has some interest among Italian teachers. So I’ll ship a module, made with google drive, in which I invite teachers to respond to a questionnaire of interest and then I’ll analyze the answers.


If the answers are positive, I need to begin the project of a online platform to manage the meetings with needs and availability, and all the other important elements about: enrollment, security, privacy, training offer, feedback, social networking and so on. This project is quite complex and needs a deep analysis and original solutions, but I know there are similar initiatives in the field of volunteering. I’ll study the best practices of some of them.

Here the project phase 1 file audio