Thoughts on Innovation

I wasn't planning on writing this afternoon, but I saw a post on Twitter from Steven Anderson,

and it really got me thinking. What is innovation? I can see what Steven is getting at. What happens when everyone is that not innovation anymore?

I thought for a minute and sent back this reply,

As I teach longer, I keep finding that I think the best practices in the classroom are not necessarily putting the class agenda on the whiteboard or using a word wall to help teach vocabulary or literacy. Those are things...they aren't at the root of doing what I do. When it comes down to it, I think best practices are really a combination of how we think about teaching and what that thinking causes us to do.

I can dream all day long about how I can innovate in my room...I do that every day. I think that is part of the Achilles heel of technology. There is always something new that we want to try, but we have to have the tech to make it happen. Would I turn down a class set of iPads? No way. But is not having them going to stop me from trying new things? Absolutely not.

Innovation isn't always thinking about new ways to do things. We aren't in the business of thinking...we're in the business of doing. And that includes failure. I am an innovator because I am willing to try those crazy ideas. I may never use them again and I may not change the world with it, but that doesn't make me any less of an innovator. It's all in your mind.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Innovation

  1. I teach a graduate course to teachers on the subject of disruptive vs. sustainable innovation. Because many are not aware of the difference between the two, it’s common to confuse them. Harvard Business school has had a good understanding for many years. Some of your bigger corporations understand the difference as well. Here is a link to my brief post along with references to the literature just in case you are interested.


  2. Mr. Bennett,
    I am a student of Dr. Strange’s Edm 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I believe that teachers really have to open up to being innovators. Each and every child has their own personal way of learning material. I feel it is important for a teacher to try different ways to teach a concept for all of the children to understand the material being taught. I agree with you when you said that “innovation includes failure.” I want to be the type of teacher that is open to new ideas. I really enjoyed your blog post!
    Thank you,
    Jessica Walker

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