Due to icy weather in our area, school was closed today and will be closed again tomorrow. For me, this time off meant a "slow day" instead of a "snow day." It allowed me time to reflect, read, reflect some more, watch a webinar, and reflect even more. As I scoured through Twitter, participated in a Voxerchat, caught up on some professional reading and viewed a Future Ready webinar, a recurring theme began to take shape: INNOVATION. The result, my soap box as written below:
Innovation ensures teaching and learning is never stagnant nor dull. In many cases, technology is the driving force behind the innovation, propelling the learning. We, as educators, need to lead the charge, modeling how technology and innovation can magnify our learning and challenge our thinking. It’s not about the technology tool, but what you do with it that makes it innovative: how it allows you to connect, create, and grow as a learner to be a contributing citizen online and face-to-face.
Students need to learn in an environment where innovation is encouraged, where they are comfortable taking risks and learning from their failures. Through this process they problem-solve and take ownership of their learning. Likewise, educators need these same experiences to foster innovation amongst themselves and implement it with their students. We can no longer ask our students questions that have one right answer, after-all, they can find those on Google. We must ask them to create, collaborate, and interact with the content to be contributing citizens. Teacher and Pure Genius author, DonWettrick, said it best, “A commitment to innovation helps keep students engaged because they see how the material and methods can improve or affect their lives.”