Friday Focus

September 11, 2015

Innovation Nights at Howe

Six dates have been selected to host innovation nights throughout the school year. Innovation is defined by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica as "putting creative ideas into practice", from their book Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education (Penguin, 2015). These nights are voluntary, just like the FreshGrade trainings this month. Like the FreshGrade trainings, the entire Howe School Community is invited to join us. Faculty can take this time for PD hours or pay.

Here are the dates for our Innovation Nights:

  • October 8
  • November 12
  • December 9
  • January 6
  • February 10
  • March 8
  • April 5
  • May 10

These evening activities from 4:00 - 5:00 P.M. have replaced our "Tech Nights", for a couple of reasons. First, technology training without context does not transfer well into practice. Second, the idea of focusing on technology for trainings seemed limited. Not every activity is conducive to using digital tools, and may even be a hindrance to the learning. Third, by expanding these evenings to include a variety of activities that are innovative, we honor more ways to showcase our talents and learn from each other.

Each night will offer two options for staff, students, and families. One will likely have a technology slant to it, while the other may be more hands-on. Here is what we have planned for the first trimester, taking place in the LMC:

October 8th

Option 1: Using Online Tools to Design Flyers and Newsletters

Option 2: How to Write Grants and Raise Funds for Classrooms

November 12th

Option 1: Computer Coding and Gaming Analysis

Option 2: Responsive Language for Teachers and Parents

If you are interested in hosting a session for a future Innovation Night, there are several openings left in the school year. Staff who lead a session will be compensated for their time. I think this will be an exciting opportunity to celebrate all of the creativity, talent and intelligence that is evident in our school community. For an inspirational message about the importance of creativity in schools, check out Ken Robinson's most recent TED Talk video (below). I have a copy of his book Creative Schools if you are interested in reading it.

Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley


"I would just like to say how great this is with me being a parent that works a lot. This helps me feel like I don't miss as much and can be a larger part in my son's learning :-). Thanks much."

- A parent sharing their appreciation for seeing their child's learning posted on FreshGrade

FreshGrade Training (Voluntary)

Thursday, Sep. 17th, 4-5pm

Howe Computer Lab

Can attend for hours or pay. Click here to submit questions for this session.

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