What does Innovation Mean to You?

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(image via Tina Zita)

We decided to do a blog hop as per Tina Zita’s suggestion, as a sort of Minds On before we gather for our first online discussion of George Couros’, Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity.  We are all beginning with the concept of innovation and what it means to us.

Couros references Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, who says,

“Innovation is the process by which we change the world…It’s the practical application of ideas and technologies to make new and better things” (19).   

Couros then adds that “innovation isn’t about tools or things, but more about how we use those things” (20).

Both those ideas really resonate with me.

Innovation to me looks like…

To me, this kind of innovation happened on January 28th with EdCamp Global.  The idea of an EdCamp which has up to now been for and about educators, was shaken up and turned inside out when the audience AND oftentimes facilitators were students from around the world.  In one of the sessions called, “The Games We Play,” Fran Siracusa organized teachers from Spain, Italy, France, the US, and a good friend of mine from Ontario, Rob Cannone, in an interactive session led primarily by the students.  This was not only empowering for the teachers involved, but for the students who basically took the reigns of their own learning.  Check out the padlet here with all of the students explaining how to play their favourite game.

Yes, technology such as Padlet, Google Hangouts, Kahoot were being used but these were all secondary to the value of the connections, the leadership of the students, the communication skills they practiced, and the valuable learning about other cultures and the games they play.  It was an experience that those kids will remember when they reflect back on their grade 5 & 6 year, and even now, another connection between those classes is being planned.

Kudos to the dedicated and forward-thinking organizers, for their innovative vision, and for the teachers who took a leap of faith and really showcased an innovative mindset by providing “optimal learning experiences for their students” (20).

In my own professional learning journey, I took a leap this summer and joined a Voxer group.  For those of you that have never heard of it, it is a walkie-talkie app that allows for the sharing of links, images, but most especially, the ability to share ideas through dialogue.  I’m sure Voxer was never intended to be a tool for education, and yet there are lots of educator Voxer groups created out of a common interest.  One principal, Greg Bagby shared that he uses Voxer as a way for his teachers to communicate with each other during bus dismissal because they don’t have walkie talkies for each of their staff members.  This has solved so many practical issues for them. To me, this is yet another example of innovation.

I have created a Voxer group to complement our Innovator’s Mindset Book Club.

Join me if you enjoy talking out loud to people about a passage that resonates or like to have a conversation with someone or share an idea prompted by what you’ve read.  Or if you are just getting used to Twitter and don’t know that you are ready for a Twitter chat. Or perhaps you are just interested in moving outside of your comfort zone to learn something new?

We will begin with your own ideas about what innovation means to you, and talk about the book as we read it. We will share images, quotes, anecdotes, resources, and stories.  Download the app and contact jencasatodd@gmail.com to be added to the group.

What does Innovation Mean to You?

I am excited to read about what my peers say innovation means to them and I love that they are all so different!

Why not hop on over to their blogs and check them out:

Tina Zita

Leigh Cassell

Stacey Wallwin

Donna Fry

Paul McGuire

Patrick Miller

Mark Carbone

There are more here Read the other posts or submit your own answer to the question via your own blog post.  And don’t forget to check out our first online discussion on February 9th at 8 pm.

 

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