To my delight I have been named Innovator of the month at Innovate Here for DEECD (our Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. This is a new initiative and is dedicated to discovering, connecting and helping others to get started with new and innovative ideas/practices for learning both within and beyond the classroom.
This set me thinking about
- the nature and meaning of innovation
- why innovation is so important especially in education
- why might I be considered innovative.
For me innovation can be seen as
- The creation of a new invention, product or process or
- Using existing products/processes in new and different ways to create a more effective and/or efficient way of doing things
This would place me in the second category as my passion is to use tehnology and new emerging tools to empower learning for students. Teaching in a small rural prep to year 12 school, Hawkesdale P12 College, means that students tend to be geographically and culturally isolated. However the use of technology means that our students and staff can be at the centre of the globe, learning from and with others both synchronously and asynchronously.
This means that learning spaces are changing significantly from the traditional classroom space. They are moving from physical to virtual, from local to global, from class based to community based and becoming available 24/7. The networking capabilities that web2.0 tools enable connection, collaboration and the ability to create products that can be global in nature.
As needs arise it is necessary to experiment with online tools that can address that need. Over the past five years, I have been fortunate to establish a fantastic network. With a supportivenetwork it is possible to work together as a collective brain to push innovation further, push the tools beyond the boundaries and experiment with students on best learning practise. There have been so many amazing projects that my classes have been involved in but below are some that we are working on this year. They include:-
- Lunch with an author – lunchtime classes between students who are passionate about writing with an author from New York, Christopher Herz who is passionate about encouraging the young to write.
- Blending classes that consist of my ICT classes with Lorraine Leo’s class in Boston, USA, with interested parents and community members eg a university professor from Japan who is involved with global Scratch projects
- Using moodle for forums, discussions and created movies with a group of university students from Japan who are learning English as part of the university degree
- the K-2 Building Bridges project which is a trial project for the Flat Classroom projects, 2012 connecting young classes and creating collaborative projects. Can we do it with pre-school and the early years?
- Learning about different cultures with a class from Malaysia
Further posts will give greater detail to these projects. What do you see as innovation especially in relation to education? Who do you see as being innovative? What innovative projects have you been involved in? But most importantly, what questions do you have of me? Please email your questions to me, this month, at
and your questions will be formally answered and shared via blog posts and the InnovateHere website.