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FORUM: What does innovation look like in your school? | An Enabling e-Learning event

Started by Nathaniel Louwrens 16 Mar 2016 9:24am () Replies (81)

Innovation in schools of any type needs to start with the idea that the goal is not to force kids to abandon their passions and interests for our curriculum.

- Will Richardson, Stop innovating in schools. Please.

blue orange Dictionary.com defines innovation as:

  1. Something new or different introduced

  2. The act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.

There is so much innovation going on in our schools. Leaders and teachers are coming up with new ideas, and new ways of doing things all the time. But what innovation looks like to one school could be completely different for another as each school has different goals and philosophies.

George Couros states in Innovation and best practice, that his “belief is that innovation in teaching and learning starts with empathy; truly trying to understand those that you serve.” He expands on this to say that it’s “not only a starting point, but a continuous part of the process”.

As with all things in schools, we need to ensure that student learning is foremost on our mind. This includes in how we innovate. Will Richardson made this very clear when he says,

To put it simply, innovation in schools today is far too focused on improving teaching, not amplifying learning.


Join the discussion

  • What does innovation look like to you?

  • What does innovation in your school look like?

  • Are the innovations in your school amplifying learning? If so - how?

  • How is digital technology supporting innovation in your school?

  • Where do the tensions/challenges lie if any?


Image source: Thom Lunasea - Flickr CC BY-2.0



  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2016 6:02am ()

    Thanks everyone for your comments so far. There have been some really great points raised and innovation shared. 

    Stephen says,

    Is ‘Influence’ the driver of innovation in schools.

    Who is influencing you to be innovative?

    This is a really good question. I would maybe add to this, Who should be influencing you to be innovative? Should it come from leadership, colleagues, students? 


    And then the questions of How? and Why?, that Stuart raised.

    • Why do we need to be innovative in schools?
    • What is the purpose?
    • How do we go about it?

    Leanne stated,

    For me innovation is about being courageous and taking risks. It is about re-framing ideas and pushing the boundaries.

    • What support do you need to re-frame ideas and push the boundaries?
    • As leadership, what support do you give? And how do you show your teachers that the support is available, and they can safely take those risks?
  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2016 2:36pm ()

    Thanks for all the stories and thoughts shared so far!

    Gerard stated that while he was ICT Innovator at one school he was,

    always looking at what is happening next, having that future focus look

    • What steps are you taking to see what is happening next? To stay future focused?

    • How do you find/come up with that next innovation for yourself, your class or your school?

    • Who/what inspires you to keep being innovative?

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 10 Jun 2016 1:17pm ()

    Thanks for sharing, Erika. It's great to hear that your eyes have been opened to other possibilities! That's one of the great benefits of forums such as this one.

    I'm wondering how you surveyed your students. Did you give them a survey (online or paper-based) that they completed? Or was it more of an individual (or group) interview? Or maybe something else altogether!

    I also wonder if you would mind sharing some of the things that your students asked for? These may be things that are new ideas for others or simply things we haven't considered before.


  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 28 Sep 2016 10:45am ()

    Hi Nikki

    Thanks for sharing your story! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we put ourselves in situations that we know will stretch and challenge us.

    I wonder if you could expand a bit on the statement, "through pushing the boundaries in terms of student agency"? What did you do? What led to the greater attendance, engagement and enjoyment?


  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 28 Sep 2016 11:47am ()

    Thanks for sharing further Nikki! I really think this might help others who are looking for ways to develop agency in their students. Totally love that your students have chosen to step up and offer workshops. 

    We now have 57 teachers in our class and we are all seen as learners.

    That statement really excites me! 

    I must admit I have seen as quite daunting posting my ideas, but I guess the more you do it the easier it becomes!

    So, just to encourage you a bit further (I hope!), I wonder, now that you're experiencing this level of student agency, what your next steps are to develop it further? Or perhaps what your students next steps are, if they've already got further ideas they would like to implement?

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.