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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



  • Andrew Churches (View all users posts) 20 Jun 2016 9:23am ()

    While I like simplification, I think this is probably going a little to simple.

    The best model is one many of us will have encountered - Roger's diffusion of innovation model. It plots the different stages of adoption, looks at total level of uptake and indicates that you will need 4 cycles of adoption (on average) to bring on board innovation. How many of our initiatives are planned around 4-5 cycles of training and adoption.


    Rogers diffusion of innovations

    The diffusion of change matches loosely the changes we would expect in uptake of innovation. Roger’s identified 5 different types of individual adopters, each of whom have different characteristic but are representative of the work force in most organisations.

    Innovators – also known as mavericks. These are the risk takers who will experiment with change to better there teaching. They are self motivated. They are approximately 2.5% of the teaching staff

    Early adopters – these people watch the mavericks and are quick to adopt  strategies and approaches that they have seen work. Again these staff are self motivated. These are the opinion leaders. They spread the positive or negative opinion of the innovation. In many ways this is the critical group to bring onboard as they have the greatest degree of influence. This is approximately 13.5% of the staff

    Early Majority – This group will adopt new innovation once it has been seen to work. They are about 34% of the staff. Often they will need some encouragement to adopt innovation.

    Late Majority – this group also represents about 34% of the staff. They are often skeptical of the change, and will reluctantly come onboard after the majority of the staff adopt the changes.

    Laggards – this final group representing about 16% of change are change adverse. If not compelled to change, this group will prefer to stick to traditional approaches. Adoption for this group is often tokenistic or compliance based and given an opportunity they will revert or find reasons not to adopt the innovation.

    img alt="Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Diffusion_of_ideas.svg/2000px-Diffusion_of_ideas.svg.png" height="750" src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Diffusion_of_ideas.svg/2000px-Diffusion_of_ideas.svg.png" style="width: 1000px; height: 750px; " width="1000">

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