Innovation in Education

Innovation isn’t just a buzzword, I mean, it is, but not to me and the work I do. It’s a concept that has been studied for decades. It can be planned purposefully.

Innovation isn’t technology. It’s about new or enhanced ways of doing things that result in a measurable benefit.

Innovations can be things like having washers and dryers at schools for kids to do their laundry. I work in a district where we implemented this to increase attendance and it is happening in other districts as well.It can be allowing students to manage helpdesks; it can be creating opportunities through more flexible scheduling; it can be projects like Edible Schoolyard; or changing what types of feedback we give our learners.

Factors of an innovative practice:

  • Relative Advantage – Is it better than what it replaces?
  • Compatibility – Is it similar enough to what we are doing that the change isn’t so drastic?
  • Complexity – Is it relatively easy to understand?
  • Trialability – Can it be piloted before it is adopted?
  • Observability – Can we measure the results?

The following image is where the population falls:

Innovators 2.5% of the population; Early Adopters 13.5%; Early Majority 34%; Late Majority 34%; Laggards 16%
Which one are you and when?

Where do you see yourself? There are strengths of being in any of the first four groups. We need them working together. What we can’t do is let the last group hold us back.

Collaboration fosters innovation. “Chance favors the connected mind.” -Steven Johnson

Published
Categorized as Education

By Jon Fila

Jon is a Curriculum Coordinator/Teacher/Innovation Coach/Consultant/OER Strategist who focuses on equity issues (accessibility, racial, gender). He has worked in education for over twenty years. He has been making his own stuff for a long time.

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