Posted in education, innovation

Mobile Classrooms

bookmobilAs a kid, I loved when the bookmobile came to our neighborhood.  Living far away from a library, summer became a lonely place without a school library.  That weekly bus filled with wonder would show up at a local park and I’d run to get my weekly fix of The Happy Hollisters.  Our bookmobile wasn’t fancy, just a white bus with a bunch of books on shelves.

The learning came to me.  I sat on the ground outside the busy and the bus driver/librarian read us a book, then we hopped on board.  That mobile classroom was one of the reasons I cherished reading.

As I learn more and more about the science of learning, I have wondered a great deal about mobile classrooms.  Exciting busses filled with wonder.  The school bus would not take students to the school, it could be the school.  For students who don’t have access to the same experiences of some of their counterparts, this could be an equalizer.

Looking at this article, there are many of these mobile classrooms.  These classmobile learning labrooms could reach students where they are.  Enhancing their education by offering weekend MakerSpaces at a local park, STEM labs parked on a street.  Meeting students where they are and offering highly engaging activities is a great way to help us assure equity in education.

Have you seen Mobile Classrooms?  If so do tell me about it!


Posted in education, innovation, technology

Empowering Students

socialjusticeBeing a student today is a much different experience than most adults experienced.  As educators, we have to realize that today’s students need an experience that empowers them.  What students don’t need is to have information shoveled into their heads, instead, they need to learn to create and optimize the tools they have to make a difference in the world.

Technology now allows all of us to be global learners and social change agents.  The walls of our classrooms are now a physical barrier that we can overcome.  As we talk about the need to help students develop core values, our students can learn about how those values make a global impact.

For example, I recently discussed with a group of teachers the impact that Skype can have in a classroom.  Skype is very simple to use but allows students to connect with others across the globe.  I’ve worked with a teacher who facilitated a discussion among students in Texas with students in Brasil.  What a powerful experience for her students.

Our community is still rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.  I’m now part of a Facebook technologygroup created to send books to our campus, I’ve seen and taken part in Flipgrid videos that are created to uplift our students in this very difficult time.  The outpouring of love from those around the world to help our students has emphasized how technology can be used to empower others to make a positive difference in the world.

I recently had a discussion with a colleague about our views on the ever-changing role of schools in our community.  Our original university education programs didn’t prepare us for the evolution of the new school.

Like most careers, research and advancements in technology have taken us to new and exciting heights in the understanding of the child and how best to serve them in classrooms.  Using the classroom as a way to empower students to see themselves as agents of change makes the classroom relevant, years after the lesson has been taught.


Posted in education, innovation

Innovation Coach

Today starts the beginning of a journey.  I’m focusing on building my skills as an “Innovation Coach.”  Over the past year I dove head first into reading research on learning, both for our students and adults and how that should look in our schools.  Today I’m entering my third MOOC  (Massive Open Online Course) While this isn’t my first MOOC, it is the largest, with thousands of people focusing on learning one thing.

How do we develop an Innovator’s Mindset?  I mean, it is not about just about consumption or memorization, but instead about problem solving and creating.  Our students deserve better, and from my point of view, as a coach, our teacher’s deserve better.

So today – the experience starts!


Posted in education, innovation

#IMOOC #InnovatorsMindset

Inspiring Innovators

I’ve joined a MOOC to read and study the book, The Innovator’s Mindset.  I’ve joined in a MOOC before, and have found the experience rewarding.  You can sign up and join us here if you are interested.

The first question we’ve been asked is why do we think education should become more innovative.  I wonder why it isn’t.  I mean the entire purpose of education is to help us make better sense of the world around us, to help us create better, live better, find, explore, thrive – so when did innovation leave education?

More to ponder on that subject!!

Posted in education, innovation

This week in research

I will admit that I’m a huge reader.  I enjoy reading just about anything.  My current research focuses on developing innovation and providing creative outlets for students.   Tinnovationhis week I’ve been reading, focusing on and pondering this this article from The International Journal of Innovation Science.

The article states that “it is possible to be creative without being innovative. (171)”  I’m curious what others think about this quote.  I admit I’m focusing on just a few words in one article, but I have to wonder if I’ve taught creative lessons that have not helped students build those talents they need for innovation.
Stauffer, Dennis. “A Proposed General Theory of Innovation and Innovativeness.” International Journal of Innovation Science. N.p., Sept. 2015. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.