The Student As Innovator

In a gymnasium full of year-end exhausted teachers, George Couros @gcouros changed our tired mindsets into positive ones, ready to innovate in our own classrooms for next year. His underlying message wasn’t a new one. He skillfully shared with us every aspect and nuance of a creative problem solving process. As an art teacher, this process is the main focus daily in my classroom where students are molding brainstorming into a refined idea and transforming “problem finding” into problem solving. The shift in my own mindset was the permission he gave to let go of my fear: handing my students the often-inappropriate world on the iPad.

Mr. Couros said that technology is more than a tool and we have the chance to make this transition a better one for our students. With this tool, our students in turn, have the power to change the world. He encouraged us to help our students create real world change now, becoming ultimately the leaders of the present, and the future.

This past year I have been focusing on transforming my own classroom into a modern one, planning lessons using iPad applications, adding 3-D printers into the curriculum, and creating an environment leaning even more toward an immersive creative problem-solving space. My Science Olympiad students have also inspired me as they work through solving problems for their competitions. In our #summerconference2016 share session, every staff member wanted to start an innovation club or activity for our building. This summer I will begin brainstorming the possibilities to add an innovational real world choice problem that my students can be challenged by this next year. Thank you, Mr. Couros, for a great motivational beginning to our summer.

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