Seeing Dots!

Innovation – no doubt it’s a buzz word.

Indeed, “Innovate or Perish” seems to be a common mantra across many layers of the world of work.
But what might it actually mean, for us in our work in the NPDL Partnership?

One of our four core elements are “New Pedagogical Practices”, aspects of teaching and learning that are (often) enabled, accelerated or amplified by the digital. Whilst there are true opportunities to innovate and extend our teaching and learning here, the notion of building on, or extending current practice through leveraging digital can be one of iteration as opposed to innovation.

So, shifting focus, I would like to share some thinking around the connection between learning partnerships and innovation. It is inspired by a video I came across in that “down-the-rabbit-hole” kind of search that sometimes occurs when you are not really sure what you are looking for, but hope it’s out there!

What messages do you hear in that video?

I was struck by the idea of “Innovation” being the dots and connections that others have missed, or forgotten!

I wonder, as we partner to build Critical Thinking and Creativity (and the other C’s) in our learners, whether we encourage, explicitly structure for and create opportunities for divergent thinking?

In terms of Learning Partnerships, do we make time to leave the “Sage on the Stage” role and allow learners to direct the conversations, the learning; opportunities to see dots that we perhaps do not?

As I write I am reminded of one of my all-time favourite videos – Steven Johnson’s “Where good ideas come from”. Steven talks about the collision of slow hunches,  and about making space for this to happen.

In a classroom, these metaphors around collaborative creativity, and seeing new dots, underpin the whole idea of learners building new knowledge, and acting upon it.

So my search for more clarity around innovation has me, I think, seeing more dots – and I’ll leave you with more questions than answers!

Where is YOUR white space for innovation?

In your classroom, how are notions, unexpected connections, ideas, possibilities and imagination encouraged, in every learner, every day?

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts here on NPDLConnect, or through social media (@NewPedagogies | Facebook) or via email.

In depth,

3 replies
  1. Patrick Miller
    Patrick Miller says:

    Thanks for this Max. Made me think about where our present day coffee house and salons are, where are the spaces where hunches and ideas collide? What impact does the fact that they are likely virtual have on how effective they are at bringing people together? In some ways this increased connectivity (the ease of it) has allowed for groups of like minded people to come together in closed systems and that may be the biggest barrier to innovation. Innovation needs diversity of thought and expertise. When there is only one coffee house or salon, all types of thinkers are present.
    In the end, the question is how do we transform our learning spaces to increase the collision of diverse hunches?

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