What is Innovation?

What is Innovation?

Innovation is a commitment.  It means being open and willing to think differently about common and not so common issues, problems, questions and learning targets.  Embedded within innovation is a willingness to take action even when the outcome being sought is not guaranteed.  Innovation can feel like a risk but it can also feel incredibly rewarding.  As I try to innovate in the learning space that my students and I call our classroom, it usually feels messy and chaotic in the moment but fulfilling and comprehensive upon reflection.  I hear the opportunities for learning that innovation creates in the questions and conversations of my students and I see the learning that innovation promotes in the physical manifestations of their problem-solving.  As we work towards learning deeply about the sciences together, innovation looks like inquiry, problem-based learning, engineering design challenges and design thinking.  It looks like collaboration and experimentation with a focus on deep learning, not grades.  It sometimes feels frustrating because deep learning is hard and takes time while turning in a paper for completion is not.   Innovation can also feel lonely depending on where others are in their own learning journeys.  At the same time, innovation in learning feels more inclusive and accessible to all learners, regardless of past performance and experiences, regardless of learning style, regardless of “baggage” that all learners bring to their learning experiences.  Ultimately, innovation both challenges and inspires me to become a better educator and learner.

Photo Credit:  Sky

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