Innovation and technology.
In recent years, these two terms have been more relevant in education than ever before. The world around us is rapidly changing and we have to keep up to live in it. With that being said, education has to change too.
Education is often underrated and seen as not as important; honestly, think about a teacher’s salary. We can’t give up on education and how it is truly the future of our world. So keeping this shift in mind, it is essential as educators to continue making changes and innovate learning and teaching.
Innovation means to make changes to something that already exists by adding to it or introducing new methods, products or ideas. Education has been around forever, but because our world is changing, teachers and administrators have to change and innovate too.
Education has already begun it’s shift. As I embark on my second year of teaching this fall, I have had the opportunity to see it in two ways. The traditional classroom and community learning spaces. Hillel Day School has innovated the way they teach by remodeling the school to fit the needs of its students. We have created community spaces where multiple classes can be going on at once in addition to flexible seating and co-teaching.
However, there is another piece to this puzzle. Technology. According to Koehler and Mishra, “We would argue that almost everything that is artificial—the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the pencils we use to scribble notes, and the computers we use to browse the Web—is technology, whether low tech or high tech” (2009).
Just like education, technology has been around forever. We might not have thought a book is considered a technology, but it is. And now, we are becoming more high tech and it is being pushed into education. But we have to be careful.
“The next wave of education innovation won’t come from dumping technology on the problem. Instead, it will come from deeply engaging with people and empowering them to make learning all their own” (Crichton 2015). This quote is from the article entitled, “Searching for the Next Wave of Education Innovation,” which discusses the importance of finding a balance between new and old education and what is vital for students both young and old to actually learn.
Technology doesn’t replace all of our problems. Giving a student an iPad to use won’t teach him how to do write a literary analysis essay. We have to give kids the right tools to enhance their learning, that’s TPACK.
Crichton says, “At the same time though, we need to be shifting our culture about what the ideal form of education might be. Academic knowledge needs to be complemented with practical learning, a mix that can be customized to each student’s needs” (2015). This is the balance. Unfortunately, this won’t come easy to teachers and administrators. We may fail and that’s okay. As long as we get up and continue to learn from our mistakes we fail forward towards more success. Warren Berger says you should be “giving yourself permission to think big” (2014). By thinking big we can allow ourselves to take risks.
Innovation and technology in education aren’t easy concepts to grasp, but educators must be willing to make changes and feel uncomfortable because this school year and next school year will not be the same.
How will you use innovation and technology in education?
Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.
Crichton, D. (2015). Searching For The Next Wave Of Education Innovation. Retrieved July 25, 2016, from https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/27/education-next-wave/
Koehler, M.J., & Mishra, P. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Learning and leading with technology. Link to article: “Too Cool for School” EJ839143