What are some examples that you consider innovative? How is it new and better than what previously existed?
First of all, what is “innovation”? Nowadays a buzzword, it is sometimes used too extensively and for things that are not necessarily innovative… !
For example, George Couros mentioned that sometimes we attribute the term innovation to something but it’s actually an iteration (an improved copy of an invention which was innovative).
I had a question in my mind today about “innovating”. Is it possible to innovate without reinventing the wheel? and this is a difficult one…
We can be inspired by an innovative idea and implement this idea. I personally thing that the power of innovation lies in the appropriation and personalization. You might modify / adapt the idea to make it meaningful for you. For example, Breakout EDU Games. They have been used extensively by many EdTech Educators and the interest is growing. We can apply critical thinking here because we know that the message of Breakout EDU games (just like anything else) can be distorted and the game might end up being used in a way that is NOT innovative. For instance, making this game a competition which you MUST win and implying that they are losers and winners, when the message is actually all about collaboration…
Ways of using Breakout EDU
It’s possible to simply reuse a game but is it innovative? I think it depends on where the teacher starts. It’s personal and context-specific. For a teacher who has NEVER done anything else that traditional teaching, it will feel and look as innovative BUT I believe it’s more of “using” a “ready-made” product, therefore, it’s more of applying a “growth mindset”. The game is not really “appropriated”: it could be taken out of context and be irrelevant to the learning outcomes. However, the outcome could be to develop the Approaches to Learning: collaboration / critical thinking / communication / creativity, which can be “innovative enough” to support this project.
Now, if we select a Breakout EDU game and change the questions / codes / puzzles a bit so that it integrates better with our classroom and learning outcomes, then it’s more powerful.
Finally, if we create an entire game from scratches (and we collaborate with otehr educators: locally and/or globally to model that innovative approach), we create and implement and SHARE that game with others. That would be INNOVATIVE!
Sharing resources with you, dear Readers
Following Week 2 video, I would also like to share a blog post I wrote because I am very interested in the theme of thinking and ACTING. I found a lot of the time that people preach innovation but they don’t act innovative, which is in tune with the book by George Couros. Check out this blog post: https://www.commonsense.org/education/blog/3-ways-to-empower-teachers-and-transform-classrooms
I also wanted to share an inspiring video that I created with educators around the world, some that I never met before. This exemplify the power of collaboration and it is motivating for teachers to watch when we start our edtech innovation journey.