Sunday, September 18, 2016

Innovate Anyway : First Week of #IMMOOC

Even thought I'm already behind in this :) I hope that I can keep up. Between family time, teaching, coaching, designing, and photography time is not on my side. So I'll be brief.

1. What do you see as the purpose of education?  Why might innovation be crucial in education?

I believe that the purpose of education is to prepare and develop students to be successful at life. To prepare and develop students with the intellectual, emotional, and physical skills necessary for them to flourish in an ever-evolving world.

Innovation in education is the ability to imagine what the future will be like and try to replicate that environment in order to prepare and develop students for the future.

2. “Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.” How are you embracing change to spur innovation in your own context?

Personally, I'm more reluctant to change. I like things simple. I don't like new things or new ways of doing things. I don't like new surroundings. Change is not convenient. 

Let's stop there. 

If our actions, our decisions, our thoughts are always about what's convenient, then we're not innovating. We're not moving forward. We're stagnant. We're not evolving. We're not improving. We're stuck. 

As a 6th grade social studies teacher, I have tried to shift my teaching away from content and more into the creative side of learning and thinking about how I can teach students to learn no matter the content matter. I have become more interested in how the students' are thinking instead of what they are thinking. I've emphasized creativity after deeply consuming content. This last couple of weeks have been spent on latitude and longitude in the classroom. Instead of stopping at that, I wanted my students to be able to use latitude and longitude in a setting that can help them later in life. Each student created a flyer to an event of their choice that incorporated latitude and longitude. Being able to tell someone how to get to a location is a life skill. Wanna host a party when you're older? Learn the skills now. (The purpose has to be more than just "its a standard." Here's some samples of student work of that project. 

The only caveat to this is that who knows what technology will be available in the future? What if what I taught them this week is already obsolete. Shoot, I start teaching latitude and longitude with atlases and globes.  Do I even need to start there? Then, I advance into Google Maps. I want them to know the why and how behind GPS even though a lot of students already have GPS receivers (phones) in their pockets anyway. 

Maybe innovation is to bridge the gap between what was, what is, and what will be? 

Getting out of your comfort zone is the first step into making an impact through change. 

It's awkward. 

It doesn't feel right. 

The status quo is the status quo. 

Innovate anyway. 



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