Monday, August 6, 2012

Innovation is more than a checklist of tools

Anne Knock asks if you are becoming an innovative school in her post here.
It started my thinking - are we really innovating?
She offers a list of 10 points that schools need to consider as they look at their district.  They aren't earth shattering - or surprising - but they are quite comprehensive.

1. A vision for learning is incessantly and clearly communicated
2. Learning is future-focused
3. Culture takes time and persistence to embed
4. Engaged and motivated students are the goal
5. Equipped and supported staff are essential
6. Technology is an environment for learning, not the driver
7. Relationships matter
8. Learning is authentic
9. Spaces for learning are welcoming and comfortable
10. Creativity and innovation have expression
To me - the power comes in the final statements of her post...
When people visit Northern Beaches Christian School often hear them say:
“I thought I was coming to see buildings, now I know it’s so much more”
 So often we focus more on what it looks like to others.  But, that is only the low hanging fruit. The real power of innovation is way deeper than that.  I can have all the latest gadgets and tech tools in my room, but still be teaching with the same methods I learned 30 years ago and there is no innovation.  The power is what happens with the people.

That is my goal as a Learning Design Coach.  I need to help our staff move beyond the check list of gadgets and change the focus from teaching to student learning.  That is when true innovation occurs!  What an exciting time to be an educator!

Learning for the 21st Century Reflection

It is hard to even remember the details of our conference - Learning for the 21st Century - because so much has happened this summer.  I am disappointed in myself for not reflecting here - out in the open - about my experiences.

But - the past is past and it's almost time for the new year.

In so many ways I am already incorporating the experiences of the conference and the conversations and the observations into the new normal for the Learning Design Coaches at Mid-Praire.

It has all the potential to be a very exciting year!! Stay tuned!!!