Thinking of what “innovation” means, I think of expanding something into a new diverse manner. Education must be innovating or we will always be playing “catch up” to those that are innovators. It won’t be an easy task but with determination and an open mind teachers are innovating on a daily basis.
This semester was full of innovation for me. One of my classes was solely an open education concept. We had objectives to go by but how we gathered the information and then presented the information was completely done in our own creative, unique manner. This class, too, had me expanding out beyond my comfort zone a lot. Learning all the ways to make and display the daily creates really had me searching for new apps to accomplish what I had in mind. I was also pushed to express myself in a variety of ways which I hadn’t done before, so that took time for me to adjust and be receptive to it. Although I am not 100% convinced of the use of Twitter in education, especially since I’m more focused in elementary and special education, it was good to learn the aspects of it so that I know what students will be taling about. I could see it used more in upper grades with intense monitoring and participation of the teacher too. As George Couros says it in his article, “The Mindset of an Innovator,” “I will utilize the tools that are available to me today and I will continue to search for new and better ways to continuously grow, develop and share my thinking, while creating and connecting my learning.” It may take a while for me to see the total educational value of Twitter or Facebook, but I must remain open to it and perhaps utilize it within my classroom someday.
Innovation makes me see that we must teach with objectives in mind but how we take in the information and present the information is where we could allow students to take more charge in doing so. We are their compasses, just guiding them when they go off track.
What have I unlearned? As a future teacher going into special education I and many people need to unlearn, “the idea that every student needs to learn the same content when really what they need to learn is how to self-direct their own learning,” as Will Richardson explains in his article “The Unlearning Curve.” This really grab my attention and the “Aha” voice keep going off. This is so important when working with special education students. While self-directing themselves can be a challenge for some, they actually show teachers this day in and day out when they are trying to learn something. It will not be just like everyone else they can and are capable of learning different content in their own time.
Unlearning and innovation will be continuous concept to work on as we enter into our teaching professions. We must remain open to it and objective of the changes that surround us on a daily basis. We may even get veterans to unlearn and innovate some of their ways along this journey.
Good luck everyone!