Innovative School Culture

By Ann Lee Flynn

What is innovation? Out of hundreds of thousands of Google definitions, this one by Hutch Carpenter, a Spigit software executive, is one of the simplest: “a change in a product offering, service, business model, or operation which meaningfully improves the experience of a large number of stakeholders.”

With so many definitions floating around out there, it’s no surprise technology innovation in education can trigger lots of different thoughts. For me, it means always scanning the horizon for ideas or solutions that have been created from scratch, or adapted from another industry, that address the challenges faced by educators, administrators, and school board members.

As an eternal optimist and someone who has followed technology innovation closely for the past 20 years, I’ve seen some big wins and some even bigger disappointments. But in K-12 education, the biggest wins have been in districts that create a culture that nurtures and supports new tools and ideas, maintains a keen focus on the educational challenges they need to address, and engages in a thoughtful process of evaluation and continual improvement.

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