I am participating in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with hundreds of other educators across the globe, about The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. These are my reflections for Week 1 of #IMMOOC and the prompt:
Why is innovation in education so crucial today?
I have been an educator for over 20 years. Throughout my career I have witnessed a number of initiative, advertised to:
- raise test scores
- improve student achievement
- boost attendance
- engage students
- energize teachers
- transform education
Some of those initiatives produced small positive growths, others ended up frustrating students, staff, and/or parents.
When I think about the future of education, I have a strong desire to see a new method, an innovation, that will make a difference in the lives of students and educators. I have not just a sense of urgency, but a “sense of emergency”, a phrase I recently heard Dr. Anthony Muhammad use, to innovate on behalf of our great profession.
I’m tired of hearing people say we need to get into the 21st Century, when we’ve been in it for 17 years. I’m sad that we still aren’t preparing many students for the jobs that exist today, much less the jobs we don’t yet know about in the future. Most importantly, I’m ready to empower our students to do and be more, each and every day they are with us in school.
After recently reading Social Leadia by Jennifer Casa-Todd and Empower by A.J. Juliani and John Spencer, in addition to The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros of course, I am driven to help educators strategically do less for students. It’s time to shift the balance of teacher versus student talk in our classrooms and to shift to the cognitive load from the teachers to the students. It’s time to use innovation to transform the way we plan lessons, deliver content, assess student mastery, and engage students in their own learning process.
I look forward to participating in #IMMOOC this Fall. Reading about and seeing innovations other educators are trying is inspiring! Sharing how to innovate within a box (or a school or a district system) is powerful for others to see. The time to innovate is now, where you are, with what you have. Are you ready? I am!
I too feel a sense of emergency! The more I learn to connect with other like-minded individuals like yourself, I realize that we can make a difference. As an aside, I also recently read Empower and thought it was brilliant!
Emergency seems a good way to describe the position in which we find ourselves as educators!
Your comment that you “have a strong desire to see a new method, an innovation, that will make a difference in the lives of students and educators” is a wonderful call to action for all if us in #IMMOOC. Hope the differences we inspire will extend to those we and our learners ultimately serve in our onsite-online blended communities as a result of our work in this course.
Great point! All the talk in the world doesn’t matter if it doesn’t lead to action in our schools.
“I’m tired of hearing people say we need to get into the 21st Century, when we’ve been in it for 17 years.” I just left a school improvement meeting where the same statement was made. Collectively, we decided to use “Teaching Global Competencies” to help us recognize that nearly 20% of the 21st Century is behind us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
That is a much better phrase- thank you for sharing!
I agree with you…it’s time to make the shift, and I am so glad that I am on board with your way of thinking!
I love your title! I totally agree that educators should be doing far less for students, shifting the cognitive load to the learners. This is not easy, in a world where many young children have most things done for them. It is an uphill battle to shift their thinking to an “I can do it ” mindset.
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