Monday, February 20, 2012

FFA Week Challenge: I Believe in Innovation

As an agricultural educator, the statement "I believe in innovation" certainly rings true for me.  I am constantly trying to find new teaching strategies to bring into my classroom and identify new ways to present information to my students. Innovation to me as an educator means trying to reach students where they are.

 There are two key lessons I have learned about innovation:
1. Don't be afraid to fail, as long as you are willing to learn from your failure. Each idea I have for innovation might not be well received by my students, by the technology constraints I encounter, or by others. That doesn't mean I don't try. It just means I need to be prepared for the learning experience the not so successfully applied innovation will provide. 
2. Learn from others. I am fortunate to have virtual professional learning networks (NAAE Communities of Practice, twitter hashtags including #agedu, #careerteched, #edtech, #edchat) where members share ideas with innovations they have used so I can try them out myself.  

The FFA motto includes the idea of "Doing to Learn." This concept is true of innovation and Theodore Levitt says it well with "Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."  Doing take times, but because I believe in innovation, I have to be willing to commit that time.  I know I will soon be devoting time to an innovation in our district - teaching with Ipads - as recently, I was selected to be an Ipad pilot teacher.  (Side note, I have a blog about my experiences as I adapt to that innovation.) I am excited to see what changes that innovation will bring. The image with today's blog was created on the Ipad.

Why do you believe in innovation?

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