20 Jun 2018

THE ROLE OF EDUCATION AND INNOVATION FOR LEARNING

What is best for a child? How do we bring the experience of a powerful computer into the homes of families? What worked? What didn’t?  What could be done next time?  If we started again, what would we do differently?  What can we build upon? Did that person make the right decision? How do we advance the learning needed for innovation?

All innovation starts from a question, not an answer; innovation in the real world is a highly collaborative activity which embraces a lot of different skills. The basis for innovation should be broad surveys of knowledge and good synthesis, along with creativity and curiosity. A broad set of skills that draw on historical cues, experiences, insights, design and many other factors.  Innovation is broadly multidisciplinary and incorporates a lot of experiences and perspectives. To be innovative, you have to look at yourself as an innovator first in order to develop others.

New technologies and the creative opportunities they offer teachers who want to innovate, it was acknowledged however that the journey will not be easy or comfortable.  But to create something better for students, you have to understand their experiences. It is imperative that we not only talk about new ways of learning but immerse ourselves in these opportunities. If anything, teachers have to have a deep understanding of learning before they can become effective in teaching.  We need to put ourselves in our student’s shoes before we can create better opportunities for them in their classrooms. So many people have great ideas, yet they never come to fruition. Innovation is a combination of ideas and hard work.  Conversation is crucial to the process of innovation, but without action, ideas simply fade away and/or die.  What you create with what you have learned is imperative in this process.

It is important that in education and innovation, we sit down and reflect on our process. And an innovator’s resolution is to resolve to learn to communicate more effectively, especially about the promise of the ideas they believe in, translate the promise into potential results and demonstrate the value of ideas by linking them to clearly defined needs. Have the patience and determination, combined with the great attitudes along with constant innovation success, will win corporate culture as a way of thinking.  In respect to organizations, you recognize that innovation doesn’t solve every issue, but work to ensure organization doesn’t limit innovation thinking and potential outcomes and identify people in an organization who believe innovation is important and build networks to let others know that they aren’t alone.  Accept any innovation opportunity, no matter how small or how large, strive to improve on awareness and knowledge of innovative methods, tools, and frameworks and never become complacent in knowledge or rely too heavily on just a handful of innovation tools or techniques. Refer to new sources, seek out new books, and learn if that is what is required.  Be identified as an innovation resource for your organization.

True innovation isn’t about the sophistication of your technology but is about an unstinting willingness to welcome new approaches into classrooms. It also means school leaders were not just open to new ideas but positively keen to foster the dynamism and creativity that uncertainty brings for teachers and pupils who are increasingly co-learners in a fast-changing education journey.

On the release of iBooks, authors made it relatively easy to create next-generation textbooks and educational resources which will hopefully lead to an unprecedented amount of innovation around how technology is used to foster learning in ways not possible with analog mediums. The iPad and tablets in general present one of the most exciting advancements in education in some time, integrating them successfully will not be easy. For this to work, the system has to change and we need to begin to think more creatively about how we educate our youth. One of the most important and fundamental principles that have been acknowledged over the past 20 years is that not everyone learns the same way. An eight-year-old, for example, has no problem learning through repetition and busy work. For him/her, the system works. There are, of course, ways the system can develop and be more effective even for learning style, but for another seven years old, the system does not work, he/she learns through interaction and engagement and needs more hands-on work filled with examples, and more importantly learns through trial and error most effectively. Gets frustrated with the current system’s processes, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is hungry to learn. She simply needs better tools. That’s where tablets come in.

The point is with regards to technology and education; technology must be used as a tool to help educators. It’s a part of the educational process, but not the process in and of itself. We can’t assume that we can just hand kids these tools and walk away, expecting them to learn. The technology itself won’t teach them. Tablets are remarkable new tools in educators’ toolboxes and they need to be integrated as such. If we believe that technology is key to our future, then making sure kids grow up with sufficient exposure will be key.

We should decide to focus your time and energy on doing innovation right, and do it well. Be more passionate, more vocal, more capable to deliver innovation, and able to win over our counterparts and organizations not only through our passion but through our ability to deliver.

Article by: Blessing Bassey

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