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Image attribution: The Open Doors by ClaraDon. Source Flickr.  Creative Commons License.

The journey of my Masters study in Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation has been eventful. I have completed 5/8 of the qualification since commencing in July 2014 and it has been an incredible journey of skill and knowledge acquisition, making connections, broadening my mind and evolving my career. My emerging qualification has now helped me change my career pathway for a second time, as I am soon to move schools and start a position as a Technology Coach, moving out of welfare and curriculum roles to establish myself more as a leader in digital learning. When I embarked on my study two years ago, I did not quite envision the speed with which my pathway might change and open opportunities. On the cusp of starting the unit, Knowledge Networking for Educators, I am excited to be undertaking a role in my work life that is now specifically relevant to my study, thus bringing together two enormous and previously disparate entities in my life.

Having been on leave after surgery in Term 2, I have enjoyed time where, whilst recovering, I have had the luxury to study unimpeded, create artwork, read novels and watch a myriad of TV series I would never normally be able. Amongst these activities,  I have been reading The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. I have highlighted an inordinate amount of Couros’ text as it resonates with me so strongly.

Couros reaffirms so much of what I believe about the changes needed to engage innovation and progress in today’s schools. Couros sites a colleague’s concept that our world is at a “printing press” moment in time (2015, Introduction). We are amidst change and it is necessary that educators embrace it, as the ostrich-sand approach is no longer an option. As a darkroom photography teacher of old, my teaching was perhaps thrust through change more forcefully with the advent of digital photography than many of my colleagues. Costs rose, technology created a simpler option, the darkroom was closed and I had to reinvent myself. Not many educators have such an impetus, however it is just as necessary for all educators to remain vital. Couros warns that without innovation, educational facilities (amongst other organisations) will cease to exist.

How to embrace this change? Couros advocates a range of possibilities with a few ideas key to my perspective summarised here:

  • People are essentially social, embrace relationships and connections first and foremost
  • Invest in professional learning for teachers. We need time and a leadership commitment to support transition
  • Build trust, empathise, allow risk, embrace failure
  • Harness technology with learning as the goal
  • Less is more – select areas for innovation, with a strategic plan and prioritisation
  • Build a culture that celebrates success, enables collaboration and is oriented in a growth mindset

 

References

Couros, G. (2015) The innovator’s mindset. Dave Burgess consulting. San Diego. CA.