Posted in #Innovation, education

Thinking About Innovation

 

innovation

I spent much of the past weekend in the car reading.  As a little girl, I found long car rides to be some of my best reading time.  Lots of quiet, the humming of the tires on the road and the dream of the adventure ahead of me always lent itself to quiet reading and reflection.  Our trip from Galveston to South Louisiana was the perfect road trip to reread some of my favorite passages.

Unlike those trips from my childhood where I’d bring a large bag filled with heavy books, I carried my laptop.  Once Ebook readers like The Kindle became available, I quickly moved all of my professional reading from books, to EBooks.  I can read a variety of texts at one time, and now my favorite books snaps can easily be displayed both in the book and on my Twitter feed.  I sometimes wish I could meet the very first person who thought of putting books online for readers.  What an amazingly innovative idea.  Making books available to the world at the tip of our fingers.  Great idea.  The lower cost of books, the ease of purchase and the ability to borrow books from a virtual library have opened up a lot of possibilities for this reader.

My travels this week had me reflecting on innovation.  After all, this blog is about how I inspire teachers to be innovators so it is something I think about and something I help teachers foster in their classrooms.

What is innovation what it could be and how to make it happen?  I reread part of some of my favorite books on innovation in our educational system, reread some of the notes I have on innovation from schools I’ve been able to spend time in.  I’ve watched countless TED talks.  My pre-Turkey feast weekend has been focused on how to move from saying we need to innovate and help assure it happens.

In The Book Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner, he quotes a study how by the time our students are six that the school system has already squashed some of the curiosity out of our children.   I had to booksnap that quote.  While I’ve read it before, this time it really hit me.

How can an institution brought about to help our children prepare for their futures move past the limitations of the walls of a classroom and help foster that curiosity and innovation in our children?

That question is worth a great deal more reading and reflecting!  There will be more blog posts to come on this topic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

stateofmind

Posted in education, innovation

Mobile Classrooms

bookmobilAs a kid, I loved when the bookmobile came to our neighborhood.  Living far away from a library, summer became a lonely place without a school library.  That weekly bus filled with wonder would show up at a local park and I’d run to get my weekly fix of The Happy Hollisters.  Our bookmobile wasn’t fancy, just a white bus with a bunch of books on shelves.

The learning came to me.  I sat on the ground outside the busy and the bus driver/librarian read us a book, then we hopped on board.  That mobile classroom was one of the reasons I cherished reading.

As I learn more and more about the science of learning, I have wondered a great deal about mobile classrooms.  Exciting busses filled with wonder.  The school bus would not take students to the school, it could be the school.  For students who don’t have access to the same experiences of some of their counterparts, this could be an equalizer.

Looking at this article, there are many of these mobile classrooms.  These classmobile learning labrooms could reach students where they are.  Enhancing their education by offering weekend MakerSpaces at a local park, STEM labs parked on a street.  Meeting students where they are and offering highly engaging activities is a great way to help us assure equity in education.

Have you seen Mobile Classrooms?  If so do tell me about it!

 

Posted in education, makerspace

#MakerSpace Playground

partner

According to the article Why MakerSpaces are the key to innovation,  “This focus on hands-on creative learning is one of the reasons why maker spaces are seen by educators as being a key to innovation and an ideal method for equipping students to succeed in the future.”

Today our librarian Tania, the author of Tenacious Tiny Librarian, my fellow coaches and I set up a MakerSpace playground.  We’re super excited to help teachers see how MakeSpace can be a way to help enhance instruction build problem-solving skills in students.

Here is Tania promoting our MakerSpace Playground on Twitter.

Here we are showing our Texas History teachers how to help students demonstrate their learning using Bloxel.

Makerspace is such a great movement in education.  Students are excited to learn, they work hard to complete a task and they enjoy the hands-on experiences.  Each experience helps to build students’ problem-solving skills, makes them gritty and enhances their learning.

MakerSpace is quickly becoming one of my favorite places!  Let’s start making!