Innovation has never been more important in today’s world than nowadays. We live in a world where technology is developing at a speed that we cannot control, and all other areas need to keep up.
We are all today because of the constant need for developing and creating. And these two stay at the basis of innovation.
While “innovation” is mostly used in the business and industry world, education also adopted it. And just like that, innovation in education appeared.
We will see below that innovation in education has a wide range of understanding.
Examples of innovation in education
Looking beyond what we know and developing ideas and ways to do something in a new way, is what innovation is about. Making sure education embraces innovative ideas is the job of both society and teachers alike. Students are always eager and receptive to new ideas. Where we might encounter problems is within the system and with some of the teachers that might not be ready to implement some changes.
However, while we work towards developing more and more innovation in education, we also try to prepare teachers for the innovative learning methods that are put in place.
To be able to work and actually make a difference, innovation should be implemented at a larger scale.
Innovation in every sector comes as an improvement and a way to improve the actual system. More than ever, innovation in education is about improving the quality of education, implementing a system that helps more children have access to education, making education more efficient and easier for students to learn.
Innovations in education are in many areas and come in many forms. Few of the examples of innovation in education are below.
Innovation in Educational Technology
Using the new technology is just a tiny part of today’s innovation in education. As small as it is, it has its role, and it helps learners and teachers provide education from anywhere to anywhere in the world.
The globalised world we live in needs technology, and education needs to embrace it and use it in its interest as much as possible. Technology in education means making things more accessible, attainable, and flexible.
It can be done through different learning management systems that schools use to engage students and teachers. Some of them are:
– online learning systems – there are many offered by Google and Microsoft
– virtual studies desks
– virtual assemblies
– social media gatherings – tools like Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Technological innovations have their benefits and challenges. This is why implementing them into the education system needs to be done with care to transform them into successful teaching practices.
Innovative learners are the learners of tomorrow and the learners ready to embrace the future. They are prepared for living the life of tomorrow and contributing to the development of society. Creative learners embrace change and believe that we can only grow through innovation.
Innovation in the classroom
The innovation inside the classroom will improve the quality of learning and understanding. Discovering that innovation also involves a higher degree of freedom and trust will change teachers’ perspectives on the learning style.
Making sure teachers are prepared for an innovative education program is also essential. Thus, enhancing their professional development, helping them understand the changes that are made from the technological perspective, preparing them to develop their competencies, skills and teaching ways are critical.
The most important factor in innovative teaching is the student and the learning process. Innovative teaching is not about instruction. It is more about being a facilitator and helping the student develop, supporting them in the learning process and encouraging them to be creative, coming up with ways for the student to learn, which will not cause extra stress.
You can use innovative teaching through:
– A combination between pedagogy and technology,
– An environment where students can feel free to think and interact,
– A degree of personal involvement in the learning process,
– Replacing the “failure” way of thinking with “mistakes”,
– Giving students the opportunities to be a part of the real-life and take on challenges,
– Allow creative thinking.
“The way that the design is going, the way schools are being built and used, has to reflect the fact that there are certain times you do need to sit kids down and teach to them in a very didactic, very explicit learning approach, and there are also other times you have to allow them to work by themselves, or work in small groups, or work in collaboration with large groups of kids… it’s how we use the space that makes it an innovative learning environment” (Innovative Teaching)
Innovation in education importance
Education is the primary driver of the economy. Thus, education must embrace and even strive to adopt innovation as much as possible. Education can respond to today’s needs through innovative learning, teaching, guiding, creative courses, and adopting each term.
The sooner education adopts innovative practices, the more significant its growth because the education system nowadays needs to be effective and efficient.
The Impact of innovation in education
“Innovation resembles mutation, the biological process that keeps species evolving so they can better compete for survival” (Hoffman and Holzhuter, 2012, p. 3).
There has been an “Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC)” project since 2016 that intends to see what an innovative learning environment can bring new to the traditional classroom setting. Some of its key findings from 2019:
“Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs), which combine flexible use of spaces, furniture and technology with greater collaboration and flexibility concerning teaching and the curriculum, are becoming more common. ILETC data suggest 25 per cent of all Australian and New Zealand classrooms are ILEs, as opposed to traditional classrooms. However, few teachers see traditional spaces as optimum.” (Innovative Teaching)
Innovation will have a positive effect on education and society as well. It is through innovation that we will grow and develop.
The direct impact that innovation in education will have is quantifiable through the learning outcomes, the results of the exams, the increase in the number of students, the employment rate of school graduates and the growth of their career.
Obstacles of innovation in education?
More than technology, there are other barriers in the drive of innovation in education, and these barriers are the schools themselves. Despite the need, there still are some education systems – like higher education and mostly secondary school. These two find that traditional education that cares about the well being of students and does not allow them to take a peek at the real-world problems and become a part of the solutions that early, is what students need. They believe that “[…] the systems and values of industrial education were not designed with innovation and digital tools in mind. Innovation, whether it is with technology, assessment or instruction, requires time and space for experimentation and a high tolerance for uncertainty. Disruption of established patterns is the modus operandi of innovation. We like the fruits of innovation, but few of us have the mettle to run the gauntlet of innovation” (Levasseur, 2012).
Disrupting the routine has never been an ace in humans’ hands and more so in education. “Heick writes that “[…] many K-12 schools give lip-service to the concept of innovation in mission statements, on websites, in PDs (professional development), and during committee, council, and board meetings, but lose their nerve when it’s time to make it happen. […]While education begs for innovation, arguments against it often turn to tempting, straw man attacks” (Heick, 2016).
Being technologically innovative can be costly and time-consuming. Thus, having an innovative approach in education as far as technology is concerned needs to be well-figured out with the means at your disposal.
However, the more innovative education is, the bigger the quality of the classroom and the courses is.
A main obstacle to innovation in education is the budget. While there are innovative ways teachers can adopt to use in the classroom and have more engagement, better response from students, a bigger connection between them and students, mostly are budget bound and need support from this view.
Innovating education during Covid-19
The pandemic urged education to become more innovative from the technological point of view. Innovations usually are the result of a push. When there is a need, things get going faster and have better results as people try to collaborate and find the ebay solutions.
During the Covid – 19 period, systems that allowed students to continue learning without any interruptions of their studies were some of the first very innovative ways of learning that many schools and countries embraced.
However, Covid – 19 prompted education to think not only of online learning but also some other ways education can get to those that do not have access to the internet, to the online learning possibility.
Still trying to figure this out, societies and governments all over the world come together constantly to discuss the education issue. “Education not only needs new ideas and inventions that shatter the performance expectations of today’s status quo; to make a meaningful impact, these new solutions must also “scale,” that is, grow large enough, to serve millions of students and teachers or large portions of specific underserved populations” (Shelton, 2011)
Spark School view on innovation
At Spark we try to cover the problems that may arise with the innovation process.
Thus we care and offer help to our teachers through training and professional development. We believe that the learning process never stops and this is why our teachers are along with our students in a learning process. While they are experts in their fields, they train to be able to give back and create the engagement our students need.
We also support our students to be innovative. We like to be there for them while also challenging them to take on responsibilities, make mistakes, learn, grow and discover how they can help the global community. We prepare students to be a part of a global society, embrace the realities of today and create a change. We support them every step of the way while also giving them the freedom to act.
Moreover, we also use high technology for our hybrid learning system. This keeps our students connected to their peers, tutors and colleagues. There are assemblies, social gatherings, quizzes and other social activities they can be a part of.
Innovation can happen only if you are open to change. While most private companies and businesses are eager to make innovation happen, to make life easier and to discover new ways of communicating, learning, improving, getting to know each other, the education system has always been kind of set aback by the challenges innovation poses.
Embracing innovation requires a global mindset, a free mindset, a change of what is traditional and a better opinion on what is new. And maybe that is the case – that education needs to prepare children for life and as long as more or less the traditional way had results, it is harder to let go and start something new. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT ABOUT STARTING SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW – IS ABOUT INNOVATING WHILE ALSO KEEPING WHAT WORKS.
Take a step back and just see the advantages an innovative education has! They are more than the hard work you have to put to get innovation going.
It is necessary to realise that the education system should be efficient and eligible according to the progress the world is making. Innovative learning is the only means students can learn more than it is in a textbook!
Innovative Education FAQ
How can I make my classroom innovative?
Making the classroom innovative should be an easy step, especially in today’s world.
Some ideas you can choose from are:
– Allowing students to choose the lesson to learn,
– Challenging students to find solutions to real-world problems,
– Giving students the freedom to express their thoughts on how to make the course more engaging,
– Embracing hybrid learning whenever possible,
– Taking on leadership roles,
– Strategizing the communication tools.
How do you innovate education?
You can innovate in education through:
– Artificial intelligence is used at every level of the education process – classroom, courses, teaching, feedback, communication
– Charter school
– Home schooling
– Blended learning
What are some innovative educational technologies?
Moreover, the educational system itself can be updated and innovated through
– Fully automated educational systems,
– Autonomous or self-directed learning,
– Online, networked, and mobile learning,
– Artificial intelligence.
What are some innovative teaching strategies?
A great innovative teaching strategy is project-based learning. In this type of learning, more disciplines are combined into one, promoting active and deeper learning. This type of learning allows students to develop their multitasking and focus.
What makes a learning experience innovative?
Any learning depends a lot on students’ eagerness to learn and focus, on their willingness to engage and interact with others. An innovative learning experience also signifies letting go of old ways of learning and engagement and embracing new innovative ways. This means virtual engagement with teachers and colleagues, adapting the interaction according to ways of learning, embracing all new things.