#IMMOOC Week 1

My random thoughts & answers to this week's questions posted in regards to The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  

Follow along with the questions & discussion at immooc.org/

1.  What do you see as the purpose of education?  Why might innovation be crucial in education?

For me, the purpose of education is simple:  for teaching and learning!  Schools offer places and content for all kinds of students whether you are in Kindergarten or working on your second Masters Degree.  Innovation is crucial in education because the students of today aren't the same as the students of past years.  We can't keep teaching and "playing school" the same way it's always been done for the sake of tradition.  In order to continue to be relevant and meaningful in 2017, schools must embrace change and innovation.

“Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.”  How are you embracing change to spur innovation in your own context?
Change is something I personally have always embraced and found quite exciting.  I've never been the one to stay at in a position or school for many years or even teach or do things the same way.  My longest stint was 8 years at the same school.  Currently, I'm embracing change with a new career pathway in education and I haven't looked back once.  The change in what I'm doing on a day to day basis has definitely afforded me new opportunities of looking at education through different lenses and learning from a multitude of new mentors.  One of the reasons I pursued this new job was because of my admiration for the private company.  I felt they were being innovative and offering solutions and help for problems found in education and technology integration.  Working with a variety of people has spurred innovation as we feed off each other for creativity and inspiration.  
3. If you started a school from scratch, what would you see as necessary, and what would you take out from what we currently do?

I recently participated in a discussion that asked a similar question.  It's definitely easier to start with what I would remove from traditional education.  I would get rid of grades and go with mastery learning instead.  I would also remove the rigid standards of grade levels and make it a more fluid setting where students could move back and forth depending on needs. (That seems to go right along with mastery learning!)  I would also remove the ideas/standards that certain curriculum takes an entire school year to cover and let students work at their own pace.  I know there are other things I would want to remove, but obviously mastery learning is on my brain right now!  Flexible spaces and non traditional "classroom" looking spaces would also be necessary.

If starting a school from scratch, what would I see as necessary?  Amazing teachers, of course! 


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