I recently began blogging. In fact, this will be my third post. I am looking forward to reading all of the blogs related to The Innovator’s Mindset Open Online Course. #IMMOOC I also appreciate having this opportunity to help me create a cadence of accountability in my blogging journey. One of this week’s blog prompts is “Why is innovation in education so crucial today?” Right away, I think about my two school-age children. My daughter is in 3rd grade and my son in 1st. My daughter loves everything about school- even the worksheets. She comes home from school and plays school and she is really good “doing” school. When my son became school age, I had a huge wake-up call. All of a sudden all of the things that I appreciated about him so much were almost working against him in the game of school. He wasn’t good at sitting still, he loathed worksheets (especially filling in a 100’s chart daily in math), and never felt like he had enough “center” time. His curiosity, eagerness to move, and desire to create and play- all seemed like attributes that made it harder for him during his Kindergarten year. Thankfully, he had a wonderful, compassionate teacher that was open to dialogue about making some changes to help him be and feel successful.
In his Introduction, George Couros referenced the video “An Open Letter to Educators” featuring university dropout Dan Brown. Brown said, “You simply need to understand that the world is changing, and, if you don’t change with it, the world will decide that it doesn’t need you anymore.”
It got me thinking, are kids deciding they don’t need school anymore? And if they are deciding this, are they in some cases correct in their thinking? We are blessed with having the world at our fingertips. All it takes is a cell phone and a google search, and I can teach myself to do almost anything that I couldn’t do before. My six year old son knows how to use Siri to search and loves watching kid created video tutorials. In the video below he is describing what he purchased while we were on a vacation. He forgot one of the names of his cars, and instead of getting frustrated, he simply states that he will use his phone to look it up.
Do I believe that school should just be replaced by a search engine and we can all stay home? Absolutely not. I do, however, believe that as the world around us changes, we need to adapt to create a more meaningful school experience. School used to be one of the primary proprietors of knowledge. I wonder what school would look like if it were the primary place to collaborate, create, and pursue passions for adults and students? There are many teachers and leaders in many schools pursuing this. Little by little, we are re-imagining and re-focusing our efforts to reflect what our students and our world needs. As the world changes, we are being given a continuous invitation to innovate.