Today, technology is an incredibly significant driver behind any and all change, and sometimes, it can play an important role in anything from innovations in educational design all the way through to delivery. There is an almost infinite number of possibilities for greater and for wider-spread change with the use of present-day technological advancements and progress, as well as with the implementation of more and more innovative educational programs. We’ve compiled a list of the best ways for people to innovate in the classroom today:
Schools Need to Improve
Change is important in today’s modern society, in fact, writer William Pollard once said: 'Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.' With the world outside constantly changing, schools need to be able to help out our students to become leaders in a world that
Ideas Need to Be Cherished and Encouraged
Many educators believe that innovation should be unique and be almost submitted as a patent. In the education domain, if the student has invented an existing product or a solution, then this is a success and should be considered as innovation. It shows his or her ability to create new ideas based on their sense of emerging knowledge and based off their younger (and in many cases naive) experiences. Students tend to invent things to find solutions, this behavior should be reinforced over the course of teaching. Ideas can change things for students too, like when people create resources that can benefit students, like a personal statement editor, which can help students with troubling aspects of a university application.
Drive-By Professional Development in the Classroom
Experts in education are something of a boon to innovation. Thought leadership, expertise in niche areas, and the general rallying of the troops through conferences, through the ever important world of social media and blogging is a truly great thing. When one of these experts gets an administrator’s ear, their ideas are usually 'brought in' by somehow–books, programs, DVDs, etc. In fact, they may even be invited to share their thinking and their new innovative ideas with staff in person, by sitting in on staff meetings or by observing classrooms. They may even come in several times throughout the year. The issue here is that this particular source of innovation is usually not their gift to staff, but rather various different tips and strategies. The best of these tips and strategies are undoubtedly helpful and necessary and offer opportunities for the kind of incremental improvement that shows up on test scores and on Annual Yearly Progress Reports. But this is something of a top-down 'improvement' as it doesn’t create the conditions necessary for serious bottom-up innovation. If that expert was to instead use a kind of cognitive apprenticeship or coaching model to help guide educators through a thinking process that yielded the innovations that have made them themselves successful, we’d have both innovation and, more critically, an improved teacher capacity.
Along with reading and writing skills, internet literacy is also becoming more and more important, and it is imperative that 21st-century schools teach students how to analyze online content for accuracy, and how to assess the quality of sources. In the past, students have had to rely on school library books for research. Now, they have to learn how to deal with the tremendous amount of information available to them on the world wide web. Whether or not people require students to take a basic technology or some sort of internet course, they agree that Internet literacy must be explicitly taught.
So there you have it! The things that we believe classrooms and schools need to do in order to innovate further in the world of education, and how it can help both teachers and students, both of which are the most valuable resources to the world today.
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