Monday, March 17, 2014

#ASCD14 Innovation in Education

Innovation in Education: The Teaching, Learning, and Leadership for the Next Generation 

Our district recently started an innovation incubator. We are trying to provide opportunities and an environment for administrators, teachers, and staff to work towards implementing some of their innovative ideas. More on R2 Innovates in another post. I went to Dr. Perkins session hoping to hear more about innovation. I wasn't disappointed.

The session started it with Perkins definiton and some come commentary. His definition of Innovation is a new solution to a new challenge. Often what we dabble with in the world of education is improvement, doing what you already do better.

Perkins then went on to say that everything we need to know to improve the conditions of education..we know.  The real question is do we have the courage and the will to work towards the changes.

We need to look at who we are teaching. Technology is influencing kids at a much earlier stage. For children 0-8 years we have some startling statistics of technology use.
  • Smartphone usage increased to 27-51%
  • tablet owner shp 2-20%
  • among all parents 35% downloaded education apps in 2013  

Our challenge is now how to teach the way kids want to learn..students are going to school with a new and more developed style of learning.

In order to meet this challenge we need to start in teacher education. We need to put education majors into classrooms on day one of their program.  Giving education majors time in classrooms early on will help them to contextualize what they are learning in their education classes. Too often education majors never get observe what goes on in classrooms until they are near the end of their education program.
We need to start emphasizing the need for teacher so assume the role of facilitator.  

Teachers are no longer the gatekeeper to knowledge. Educators need to work on helping students become "better problem solvers, critical thinkers and independent actors capable of appropriate individual and group behavior that positively influence a rapidly expanding global society." We need to move learners to a place of "explaining vs fact keeping." It's time to move beyond the regurgitation of information. Provide students with the opportunity to explain and demonstrate what they know.

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