Spring break was a staycation for us. I got some good reading in at the beach and the kids rode bikes to the “never-ending bridge,” our name for a bridge about a mile from the starting point. We have a little private beach we’ve found that no one really goes to, next to this never-ending bridge, because you have to basically walk there or take your bikes and stop…and there is no place to lock up the bikes.
But being the trusting people we are, we just leave them on the side of the road and run for the waves. It’s a glorious day that always ends with watching a video on a VCR because that is all that works at my mother’s house. I was so excited because I had brought my classic Jacques Pepin “Cooking Techniques” videos to watch with the kids. Usually it’s “The Sound of Music,” so I thought I’d change it up a little. These masterful videos go through desserts, vegetables, meat and poultry, etc. It might be a stretch to say my children were mesmerized by Jacques’ talents (I still am, and after 100 views of the French omelet I still love to watch him do it). They did like the hard caramel cage, the swan made from a honey dew melon, and had a great geometry lesson when he shows you how to cut out a perfect circle to line the bottom of a cake pan.
Five videos later I started thinking about classic teaching techniques. Several years ago I had this idea to try and create a book on classic teaching techniques, modeled after Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation. This study took the mystery out of innovation and basically distilled it into 10 strategies. The combination of those strategies is what enables different entrepreneurial models to emerge, from Uber to Zipcar. What if we put a call out to teachers and created a framework for all the best teaching techniques and synthesized them into a book, video series or something even better? Can you image a book written by 1.5 million teachers with the best strategies for teaching? It reminds me of the article published in a science journal by Foldit game players who discovered a new protein in the HIV/AIDS virus, and how they had to cite all of the players because it was a collective discovery.