Innovation can be Taught

I attended a couple of different workshops featuring presenters from the You really should click on the link and explore. The future depends on innovation. Innovation requires collaboration and a willingness to accept that there are not always going to be answers and that failure is part of the learning process.

Without having to, it was clear to me that the traditional model of school does not foster innovation. Standardized tests can measure reasoning and logic, or worse yet, what you’ve been able to memorize. They don’t allow for failure and redesign.

The Design Thinking Process is circular and includes: empathy, definition, ideas, prototypes, and testing (and then back to empathy for a circular model). It’s not just about solving problems, it’s about finding them.

Tina Seelig led a session titled: Innovation as Contact Sport and gave great examples of the power of innovation and how (as cliche as it may sound) we can change the world.

Her quick list:

  • Identifying Opporutnities
  • Challenging Assumptions
  • Leveraging Resources
  • Value Creation
  • Execution
  • Teamwork
  • Risk Taking
  • Learning from Failure
  • Creative Problem Solving

She ended with this trailer. There’s definitely some very cool stuff going on at Stanford! I can’t wait to find a way to bring some of that back to my classroom.


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