Sunday, August 15, 2010

Innovation and Creativity

Yesterday I posted about how wikis and prezi presentation were some of my favorite tools.  Everybody has their list of tools and we all know that tech doesn't make the teacher.  Teaching and learning is essentially about relationships and networks.  There is no hard and fast rule, no one size fits all and no easy solutions to difficult challenges when it comes to teaching strategies.  However, when it comes to qualities and characteristics of good teaching I think that innovation and creativity are at the core of the effective teacher.

 This summer I read Sir Ken Robinson's book The Element.  If you haven't seen him on TED, do yourself a favour and take the 18 minutes to listen to him.  He reminds teachers that the creative child is often different and does not conveniently fit into conventional systems.  His book is an homage to the creativity of many famous people who all had horrendous experiences in the classroom but thrived later on in life when they discovered and developed their creative nature.

Bill Gates spoke at a conference hosted by Techonomy recently and had some interesting things to say about innovation in education.  In this short clip, he speaks about online education and how innovations in educational technology will reduce the cost of college education.  At the end of the clip he bemoans how the school system does not encourage teachers to be innovative and creative.

What do you think? Do you agree with Bill Gates? Is creativity and innovation in the classroom diminished because of a rigid system that encourages standardization and uniformity? Are you a teacher who values creativity and will look for ways to be innovative despite the obstacles? Leave a comment!

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