Innovation in Education
Question: What do you get when you put 15 students, thought leaders, administrators and superintendents into a room and ask them to riff on innovation in education for three hours?
Answer: A lot of passion for learning, best practices from around the world, and new perspectives and possibilities for reinventing our education system.
That was the outcome of the recent 5th Innovation in Education Think Tank, hosted by Dell, Intel and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) at the TASA Midwinter Conference in Austin, Texas. The event brought together an eclectic group of local and national leaders in the education community.
Moderator Suzi Sosa launched the conversation by quoting snippets from “Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas” (TASA, 2008), the recent progress report from the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium:
Public schools must evolve from being bureaucratic institutions that are being primarily driven by rules, sanctions, punitive accountability, routines and standardization to institutions that become learning institutions driven by shared purpose, shared beliefs, commitments and trust.
Sosa then posed the question: “Can this really happen and if it can, have you seen it happen anywhere?”
Participants shared their observations following the event:
Several key ideas emerged through the lively conversation:
- There are individual cases of heroic superintendents and principals doing great things, but we have to create systemic changes to scale and sustain those examples.
- We’ve got to trust teachers, local schools, parents, students and the community as contributors to the process of transforming education and spurring innovation.
- The assessment process isn’t working: We need less testing and more teacher involvement in the mix.
- The digital age revises roles in education: Students take more responsibility of their learning and teachers are guides to relevant, accurate information.
- When asked, kids want the same things from school as employees want from work: Notice me. Say my name. Challenge me. Believe in me.
You can also learn how Dell’s K-12 educational technology solutions help schools address some of these innovations to prepare students for success in the digital age.