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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



  • Sarah Kendal (View all users posts) 18 Jul 2016 9:21pm ()

    Thanks Kathryn for sharing the video "The Adaptable Mind", it was truly inspiring and at the same time reminded me that what we/I already do on a daily basis is innovative. Our school is a very traditional boys' secondary school who have only in the last year or so introduced BYOD for senior students and purchased sets of Chromebooks (very popular). Technology is not my forte and I often feel inadequate with the current trends. However, we are encouraged to use this technology and slowly but surely I have set up Google Classroom and have begun to use this with some success. 

    Technology is a definite work-on for me, but I know that I can always get assistance from my students. However, teaching them 'Human Skills' is something I see as vital to their learning journey.

    Curiosity, Creativity, Initiative, Multi-Disciplinary Thinking and Empathy.

    Empathy is not a word that is synonymous with teenage males. It is something which requires practice, and classics such as 'To Kill a Mockingbird' are still valuable today in teaching our young people these vital characteristics. Texts like these allow them to consider what life is like from someone else's perspective - “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Harper Lee.

    Our Principal recently initiated a connection with the local business community to see what they are looking for in future employees. The good old values of manners, punctuality and communicating effectively with others were top on their list - basically "being a good buggar".

    Perhaps we are not at the forefront of the technology, but we are definitely innovative in a world where young people are often seen as self-absorbed and driven by their devices.

    Traditional values are timeless.


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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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