Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Innovation in the classroom

This year, I had a chance to ponder upon what makes a school innovative.

In speaking with different educators in Philippine schools, I was met with different views on technology. On one hand, we have the schools who will not wait for better bandwidth to arrive in order for them to start making improvements in technology. On the other hand, we have the schools who will go for tried and tested methods and conservative means to educate the kids of today.

I always wondered which was the more effective method, if there was one, and so I decided to reflect upon my own education and the teachers and mentors that made the most impression to me. The teachers that I remember the most were the ones that tried something different - the ones that taught lessons in unexpected ways, the ones that led me to discover things on my own, the ones that taught me to overcome my fear of the unknown.

In teaching me to think for myself and to learn with my teachers, I was given the necessary tool to survive the challenges of a more technologically advanced future.
Excitement and Curiosity. It didn’t matter that there were always new tools or new gadgets to use; I was always excited to try them out.

The result is the ability to keep up with the changing times. And for an educator, training this ability in our students is very important. The leaps in technology are such that we have no idea how fast information exchange will be tomorrow.

So, fear not.

Delving into technology, using digital resources (free or otherwise), trying out cloud services, using video instead of books sometimes - these are not things to be feared. They are there to be explored. Wake up the adventurer, the student, in you.

Take a look at this Google Classroom video last year, and pay attention to Sister Rosemarie deLoro, who said that you cannot stay in teaching and keep going back to the old ways.

I love to hear of educators who in spite of the challenges like slow internet, or minimal budget, can still find ways to innovate in the classroom. These educators must have had great teachers themselves.

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If you are innovating in the classroom now, we’d love to hear your story. And if you are interested to innovate, but have questions holding you back, share them with us! Our team would like to help.