Te{a}ch Talk

Tips, Tricks, and Thoughts on Transformation

Volume 2, Number 8, December 21, 2015

What Does Innovation Look Like?

Coming off of the TIES conference last Monday and Tuesday, I'm reflecting on what is valuable to bring into practice. Aside from the technology tools, tangible materials, and specific actions to try out, I'm thinking about what innovation really is and what it looks like.

Innovation is defined as something new. There are always new ways to work and new materials to use. Innovation that matters can't just be new; it also has to be better. Innovation can be exhilarating and challenging, as by definition, it disrupts our routine.

I often receive questions about how we measure our success and if technology is improving learning. I honestly don't believe that technology on its own has any chance of improving learning. What we do with the technology available to us most definitely can improve learning.

The graphic below from George Couros resonates with me. If we are seeing these observable attributes expanding in our classrooms, then what we are doing with our resources (all of them--tech, pedagogical expertise, personal strengths, collaborative teams etc.) is positive and meaningful innovation. Furthermore, if we are seeing these characteristics increasing in our professional learning and interactions, we are also moving in the right direction. The technology we have should provide the means to connect, engage, share, question, think, explore, and learn in new and better ways.

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