Monday, November 5, 2012

Creating Innovators

Last night, Kami Thordarson, LASD Innovative Strategies Coach and I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Tony Wagner speak.  He provided the opening keynote for the K12 Academic Summit where we are presenting our work on "Blended Learning in Math with Khan Academy."  Dr. Tony Wagner, the author of The Global Achievement Gap & more recently Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,  is now the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard.  He has done extensive work around improving student learning.  As a fan of his books, we were very much looking forward to hearing him speak.  Here are a few of our takeaways:
  • Find time to allow students to explore their passions.
  • Play, passion and purpose are the things that really matter in learning
  • There's no competitive advantage to knowing anything that can be "googled"
  • It's about what you can do with what you know.
  • Content is important but the value added is the skill
  • We must increase student to student interactions.
  • Let's hold ourselves accountable for what matters most.
  • The culture of schooling is radically at odds with the culture of learning. 
  • An innovator is just a creative problem solver. We are all born curious and creative.
Many teachers in LASD are currently reading Creating Innovators.  In fact, this week we are hosting our first ever book club to discuss many of the concepts shared by Dr. Wagner.  I look forward to the discussion and know this will be the first of many to come.

by Alyssa Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

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