Tuesday, September 27, 2016
#Innovator's Mindset MOOC- Sept. 24- Oct. 1
If asked the question, what characteristics does a classroom have that maximize student potential to grow and succeed, what would you say? Would student innovation have a place in your response? Every teacher has the power to create ideal learning conditions for all students to be innovative. This requires some innovation on behalf of the teacher as well. When we learn the needs of our students and provide an atmosphere of innovation and exploration their needs are met. Innovation can transform and improve the way that we meet student's needs.
George Couros wrote in his book, "The Innovator's Mindset", that innovation is not a thing but a way of thinking. When I consider what it means to be innovative I think about this quote by Jason Silva, "Ideas are powerful because they allow us to see the world as it could be, rather than what it is. Innovation can be as simple as thinking and implementing a small adjustment. Couros also writes in his book that, "Innovation can come from invention or iteration (a change of something that already exists)." One of the best examples I can think of where only a small change was made that created a powerful impact is when we give choice to students. When we allow them the freedom to choose, that is an innovative approach. A slight shift in an approach to teaching like giving our students the chance to be self directed and choose a path of learning that they want walk. The shift in thinking is this: the teacher is not the focus, the student and their learning is.
Another very simple example of innovative thinking is the philosophy, "quality over quantity". I pose this question: if a student can accurately demonstrate acceptable mastery of a skill in a few good examples, why then would we need them to do so in multiple redundant questions in one instance? If you wanted to incorporate student choice, then you could allow them to propose how they demonstrate their own understanding.