Innovating as a Mashup Artist
I have a nice drive in everyday. I travel through a section that is so remote, there is no cell phone network connection, so I download and listen to podcasts. I know this is something that others do frequently, but seeing as I just moved to this area, it is new to me. I have fallen in love with the EntreLeadership podcast and am starting from the beginning (I am about 3 years behind). This morning I listened to one with Austin Kleon, who wrote the book How to Steal Like an Artist. His take on innovation was one that I have agree with and that I think can apply to education as well. He discussed that we tend to bring together the voices of others and mash them up to come up with our own voice.
How does this apply to innovation?
Innovation is not the constant search for something new or the tireless journey for the cutting edge of new devices and tools. For many of us, innovation is taking many things that we have at our disposal and making something new out of that. Whether it be our voice, our thoughts, our products, or new ideas.
Isn't that what we want for our students?
We teach them things so they can innovate. I taught chemistry and science. I did not want my students to memorize reactions that they would forget, I wanted them to replicate what I had taught them, combine it with other learnings from other classes, their personal history, and make something new. Innovation is not making something new or replicating what another has done, it is transforming what we learn and experience and mashing it up into something new.
Where have you heard this before?
You have heard people say to "give students voice" or ensure students are thinking critically. What is that if not asking students to innovate by mashing up that which they have learned and experienced and turning it into a new thought.
The scary part about this is that we are never quite sure where this will go. As teachers, we are not the masters of the background of every kid that comes into our room. How do we respond to something that we are not expecting or something that, better yet, we do not yet understand?
An Innovative Classroom
Remember that our job as teachers is to innovate the learning environment so our students can think innovatively about the ideas, facts, and concepts that we present them. Essentially, we are teeing them up to innovate with our content areas, but that is only one thing that students will use to innovate. We ask that they value what we bring to the table, we need to make sure that we also value what they bring to the table.
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July 03, 2018 at 06:50AM